Monday, April 11, 2011

1 out of 100 million

The book "Half the Sky" is a compelling read that emphasizes turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide. I'm just at the beginning of this book and it can be completely overwhelming to handle the details of the suffering of little girls and women around the world. I was driving today and thinking about, even if I could just help one person avoid some of the horrific scenes from this book, my life and work would be worth it. It's this idea of one person helping one that can keep us from giving up hope. If one isn't enough for me, than am I saying my life is worth more than theirs?
There are 100 million women missing. In places where girls have a deeply unequal status, they vanish. Every year, at least another 2 million girls worldwide disappear because of gender discrimination. This discrimination comes in many forms. Girls aren't valued so they are sold into sex slavery in order to make income for their family. Most end up dying of AIDS. Many infant girls are killed at birth because families can't afford another girl (dowry), or because killing the baby girl might lead to them having a boy the next time around. In countries where girls aren't valued they are the last to receive medical care (vaccines or care when they are sick) and food. A little Indian girl dies from discrimination every four minutes. A "bride burning" takes place once every two hours. This abuse doesn't just happen in other countries. In America, millions of women and girls face beatings and other violence from their husbands or boyfriends, and more than 1 in 6 undergoes rape or attempted rape at some point in her life.
All this is overwhelming, but there is always hope. You are part of this hope. Education is a huge factor in ending gender discrimination. Please take time to visit "The Invisible Girl Project" and "Purchased" which are linked on my blog.
If you hit the "Purchased" link it will take you to the "Run for One" event coming up in June.