Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Airing Dirty Laundry


From 1920 to 1996 the Catholic Church in Ireland ran "homes for fallen women" called the Magdalene Laundries.  Taking in girls as young as nine, those with nowhere else to go because of poverty, abuse, poor choices or just plain bad luck worked long days in hard labor without pay.  They were outcasts, stripped of their names and dignity.  They were held in service to the the church that housed them, the government and military that commissioned the work, and the common people who ostracized them.  The UN Committee Against Torture called upon the Irish government in 2011 to investigate the Magdalene Laundries and the report of the findings was recently released.  The report not only describes these women as slaves, but acknowledges the collusion of the state in their treatment.  Today, more than 10,000 women, after a legal request for reparation, received an apology from the church. 

The apology was rejected.

Listen to Joni Mitchell's Tribute Song to the Magdalene Laundries:

References Cited:

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