Perhaps it is something in the Himalayan air; Perhaps the peaceful, nature-loving culture of the country has provided the fertile environment that is needed; Perhaps the stunning natural landscapes have been absorbed into the people’s genes and manifested themselves as incredible aesthetic beauty in their own right. Whatever it may be, the visual delights of Nepal are not confined to the sunrises and mountain ranges alone, for the country is home to some of the most beautiful women on the planet.
“We met women who are beaten every day by their husbands for asking for money for food. They are brought up to believe that if your husband doesn’t hit you he doesn’t love you. We met women who have to sell fish their husbands have caught. But the tradesmen buying the fish know they will rot after 4-5 hrs in the heat. So they stand there with their trucks full of ice and toy with the women as the price of their fish decreases while the clock ticks, eventually agreeing only to buy them from the women who will grant them sexual favours. I met women who have to walk four kilometres to fetch a can of water eight times a day. I consider myself fairly strong but I tried lifting one can and could barely carry it a metre. Some of these women have to send their daughters alone after school from the age of seven to collect this water instead, where they are often abused by men from other villages.”
The following is a guest post from a friend of mine, Martin Simonneau. He is currently working on a charity project in Honduras and has been there for around six months now. Martin said his experiences so far have given him much to think about. He says that certain aspects of Hunduran life are “real eye-openers”, in particular the role, and treatment, of women. What follows is an honest, almost cathartic account of Martin’s time in Honduras.
These are Martin’s words, albeit with a few minor edits from myself.
Honduras has often been cited as the ‘most dangerous place on earth’ outside of a war zone. In particular, women in the country find themselves subjected to the most horrific violence one can imagine.
I have witnessed cases of extreme misogyny, I have laughed at sexist jokes because I wanted Hondurans to accept me, I let my adoptive ‘mother’ wash my clothes, cook my food and clean my room, I did not say anything when a friend showed me the most brutal and degrading porn video that he casually carries around on his phone, and like everybody else, I read through the local newspapers without being utterly shocked – that’s after six months of living here – at women having their hands chopped off, or even worse, murdered, because one daughter dared to cheat on her father. Life went on as normal.