I am often asked how I cope with work that involves the heart breaking, gut-wrenching information that often graces the pages of this blog. All I can say is that it involves a lot of keeping a sense of perspective and purpose. But sometimes that isn’t enough and a recent piece by Riane Eisler in the Christian Science Monitor left me feeling like the air had been kicked right out of me.
Eisler reports that the Global Peace Index, the first study to rank countries according to how peaceful they are has a flaw that makes it erroneous and truly damaging. Of all the indicators measured, none take into account the most pervasive form of violence in our world, violence against women and children. Eisler writes,
“The current index rightly seeks to measure the “level of disrespect for human rights.” But according to the report’s methodology, this level was based on the “Political Terror Scale” – a scale that ignores the fact that the most ubiquitous human rights violations worldwide are, as a UNICEF report noted 10 years ago, violations of the rights of women and children. That the index fails to include this violence is particularly shocking in light of the longstanding availability of international statistics.”
“Similarly, while the index rightly includes “level of violent crime,” it fails to take into account that much of the violence in families is still not considered a crime in many nations – and hence not reported, much less prosecuted, as such.”
I don’t even know how to address this–that despite all the work done be so many women and so many organizations to raise awareness about violence against women and children, this pandemic scourge upon our planet was totally invisible to the organizers of this index. It is notable that their website lists supporters but does not say who the authors of the index are. Their anonymous omission is testament to the true depths of misogyny and patriarchy in our world.