We think we have come so far.
After watching the PBS documentary, Half the Sky, which is also a book by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn, I keep thinking and praying about how I can help. The story goes something like this:
Women and girls worldwide are the highest number of people who are discriminated against on a daily basis because of their gender. During the first half of the PBS documentary, Sheryl Wudunn states that over the last century, more women and girls have died because of gender specific violence than every person who has died in every war over the same period of time. And yet no one talks about it. People are not aware that more children are aborted because they are female, than for any other single reason worldwide.
In America, we think that we have come so far from these problems. We think that through the liberation of women in the 60’s and 70’s, we have walked away from this problem, but we are living in a dream world. The world outside our own doors matters, because these women and girls matter to God. Christ repeatedly tells us to protect the weak, serve the poor, and plead the case of those who are too weak to stand up for themselves. And I am calling each one of us to stand up.
Sex trafficking, rape, gendercide, and female genital mutilation are not problems that are going to go away by simply policing men to behave. These problems lesson through education. The organization, The Girl Effect, is a movement that was organized to educate young girls and teach them that they can make better choices and life decisions. In Half the Sky and at The Girl Effect’s website, it talks about how when a boy is educated, the money he earns is often spend on himself. He spends it on alcohol, prostitutes, or whatever strikes his fancy each day. But when a girl is educated, makes good money at a well-paid job or career, she spends that money educating her children, feeding and clothing them, and giving them a better life. When we educate a girl, we are educating her children. And it keeps going from generation to generation.
As a mother of four boys, one might ask why I care. My boys will one day be husbands and fathers. My boys will one day have the physical strength to be violent toward women, and I am set on teaching them differently. I plan to teach my boys to value women by holding themselves accountable in the attitudes toward women. Women are not put on this earth to pleasure men; they are put on this earth to serve and love God, and walk a life of Holiness that only the Lord can give. I am going to teach my sons that all people, regardless of gender/race/sexual orientation/religious preference/or any other matter are God’s people, first and foremost, that the Lord loves and cares for deeply. What we do for the least of these, we do for the Father.
Educating people about this issue is the most important step we can take in raising awareness and helping others see the need for change. Men and women need to step up and say that treating anyone this way is wrong, and step in the gap for those who cannot speak for themselves.
I have often wondered that, over the centuries, the most popular scapegoat and person that take the brunt of all violence, is women and children. How can we stop this cycle and learn to protect them?
The Girl Effect’s Website: http://youthinkyouknowme.girleffect.org/
Half the Sky on Facebook: www.facebook.com/halftheskymovement?fref=ts