February 21, 2007

A Woman's Worth

I was reviewing some of my research for the Childless by Choice book when I came across an article posted on the BBC News site in 2004 that asked: Is a woman worth more than the children she bears?

It’s fascinating reading and, as the link is still active, I decided to share this with the Purple Women & Friends™ readers.

This is an excerpt of the story BBC News readers and viewers were invited to comment on:

In Somalia, a hospital in the capital Mogadishu was forced to shut for five weeks following threats to a doctor who removed a woman's womb. Dr Bashir Sheikh said the operation had saved Mrs Fatuma Abdulle's life because she was carrying a dead foetus. Fatuma's family sent gunmen to the SOS hospital, saying she was as good as dead, without a womb.
Never mind that it was her husband who had urged the doctor to do what he could to save her life. And the doctor did save her life. However, this woman’s family cared not. They wanted compensation—50 camels, in fact, the traditional compensation for "a dead woman."

Not surprisingly, this story generated plenty of comments. In my opinion the most eloquent comment came from Tvtandia Cameroon from South Korea:
It's essentially an offensive and dehumanising thought to measure the worth of a woman by the children she bears. Let's also ask if children are worth more than the mother who bears them or better still, if they are more human. Anyone who tries to judge a woman's worth only from her child bearing clearly ridicules and challenges the whole purpose of human life.
Thank you, Tvtandia Cameroon, I couldn’t have expressed it better.

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emmie johnson said...

How terrible. Is a woman without a womb not a human being anymore? Disgusting. Thank goodness the woman lived and I am happy the doctor did a good deed.
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Anonymous said...

So...if the doctor/hospital paid the 50 camels, a virtual fortune for the "dead" woman, would they get to keep her?

This woman's plight reminds me that I have it so easy in the U.S. My troubles are nothing. My family is great, wouldn't trade them for the world.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

and talking of women....on the second day of my trek in Africa last week, the Maasai still carry out female circumcision.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

sorry that should have read "we came across a Maasai village and it was explained that this procedure is still routinely carried out"

Robin said...

It's so hard to understand how people think like this, I just really can't comprehend how this thought process comes about.