A Blessing to Vote
Regardless of who you chose or were in favor of during our 2012 elections this past week, we think it is important to acknowledge the blessings that we have as free people of this country. The election of 2012 showed that the right to vote should be respected everywhere. In that way, people can freely express their voices and represent their opinions by voting for any governmental party under which they wish to live.
The United States watched anxiously Tuesday night as roughly 11,791,839 votes were counted, concluding that Barrack Obama would serve the presidential office for four more years. The importance of acknowledging our blessings of human rights is not just about who won the election, but also that it represented a true choice by the people of the country.
Our right as citizens to vote was not the only demonstration of our rights that was seen in the election. As a nation we were also able to see the amazing progression of women’s rights that we have encouraged at Action Africa. Proving that our nation has encouraged and supported equality for people of both genders, 54% of the electorate votes were made up of female voters, and a record number of 20 women were voted into the senate and will serve in the 113th Congress. According to The Huffington Post “The State of New Hampshire will have the country’s first all-women delegation: a female governor, two female senators and two Congresswomen.” In fact, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, since the year 1980, votes submitted by women here in the US has superceded votes by men for each election since.
In Sierra Leone, women in general have not been given the opportunity to prosper and progress as we have here. The maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world, and domestic violence is still very widespread. Women brave enough to report domestic violence cases to the authorities are often taken lightly; so lightly in fact that at the end of 2010 only one case of domestic violence had been prosecuted under the Domestic Violence Act of 2007.
These facts are not to show the prosperity and growth of our country, the United States; instead they are to show how fortunate we are as citizens here in comparison to other less fortunate. As opportune citizens, it is our responsibility to use our strength and help countries like Sierra Leone. Action Africa works to raise funds in order to support such rights as basic healthcare, and organizations like UNICEF are working hard to take the necessary steps to strengthen civil registration throughout the continent.
Action Africa’s recent inauguration of a microenterprise program for 50 women in Lunsar, Northern Sierra Leone, is a significant beginning in the march toward dignity and respect for those women and their families. The program will grow as more women receive seed money to launch their enterprises, and the results will multiply.
We encourage you to take the initiative and donate, volunteer, or take any helpful actions you can so that Action Africa may continue to inspire the changes needed that will grant people the rights to education, basic healthcare, a decent livelihood, and the right to have and express an opinion without the fear of violence. Just imagine, if casting your ballot on Tuesday could have cost you your life, would you have voted?
Dr. Chris Nwaka Egbulem
Action Africa, Inc.