Before Jayden and I got married I had another personal blog, I don't use that blog anymore, but I came across this post from last year:
I just finished reading an incredible book, Half the Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. The book is about women across the world and the harsh realities of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender based violence, and maternal mortality. After you read this book you will not look at the world the same way. I am grateful for my freedom and the country that I live in. We do not realize how lucky we are to have the freedom that we do. Many people across the world are not free. We have so much and we have so much to be grateful for. I want to share a couple of statistics from this book to give a glimpse of what I am taking about:
- 39,000 baby girls die annually in China because parents don't give them the same medical attention that boys receive- and that is just in the first year of life
- In the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan, 5,000 women and girls have been doused in kerosene and set alight by family members or in laws - or worse seared with acid
- It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century.
- More women die in childbirth in a few days than terrorism kills people in a year
- 2.7 billion people (40% of the worlds population) lives on less than $2 dollars a day
One of the most heart wrenching stories was the story of a girl from Cambodia named Meena. She was eight or nine when she was kidnapped and trafficked into sex slavery. On a typical day they forced her to have ten or more customers a day, seven days a week. If she fell asleep or complained, she was beaten. In the brothel that Meena was enslaved in, they did not use condoms. This is common for a lot of brothels, leaving these young girls pregnant and with AIDS.
The reason why I am telling you this is because this is happening right now. There are women all over the world that live in slavery, poverty, discriminated, and are uneducated. I believe that education of women is key to taking steps to overcoming these problems. In Half the Sky it says, " One study after another has shown that educating girls is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty. Schooling is also often a precondition for girls and women to stand up against injustice, and for women to be integrated into the economy. Until women are numerate and literate, it is difficult for them to start businesses or contribute meaningfully to their national economies." We as women need to take a stand for women across the world. One of my favorite quotes by Marianne Williamson says,
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?"
Be the difference