Spending the past few days with women from so many Asian and Pacific countries has been incredibly special. Every delegate here is working to improve the status of women in her community – and willing to bridge cultural differences to achieve that.
I was moved to tears yesterday during a workshop when an elderly Japanese woman stood and apologised for the atrocities Japanese soldiers had committed during the war. She then added she was a bomb orphan. When she was small, a bomb fell on her family’s house, burying her parents and siblings. She was the only one who was dug out alive. Her solemn wish is for world peace.
Kathryn Xian blew the lights out with her expose of sex trafficking and the impact it has around the world. An avenging angel against exploitation of women, Kathryn jolted us into taking a fresh look at our attitudes to everything from toddlers in tiaras and girls serving sushi off their own bodies to strip clubs and massage parlours.
The world turns a blind eye to how young women become sex workers. Often a “charming” boyfriend lures her into the scene and then forces her into a “breaking in” phase in a brothel. The average lifespan of a woman once she has become a prostitute is SEVEN years.
If every man heard Kathryn’s presentation the world would change for the better overnight.
Decked out in a local costume (Yes, really!) I’m now waiting for dear friend Becky to tap on my hotel room door and take me downstairs to the final dinner. Going by the past few nights, it’ll be lively.These women LOVE dressing up and dancing! Last night we all hit the floor. With hardly any men about dancing took on a new, almost tribal meaning.
And I have learnt a brand new routine that seems to imitate riding a horse.