Viewing entries tagged
Value of Women

Comment

Getting mad...Why are 200 Million Girls Missing?

I am a documentary junkie.  (My husband thinks I may need a support group, but I digress).  I recently watched a documentary that has lingered with me long after the credits rolled.  Has that ever happened to you?

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.

The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls.

Shot on location in India and China, It’s a Girl reveals the issue. It asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women.

The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate different paths towards change, while collectively lamenting the lack of any truly effective action against this injustice.

See more at: http://www.itsagirlmovie.com/synopsis#sthash.DcCh0PaZ.dpuf

The documentary, called "It's a Girl" (produced by Shadowline Films) tells of the reality of "gendercide" around the world.  In India, China and many other parts of the world, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls.  As a result, the United Nations estimates that 200 million girls are "missing" worldwide.  Those that survive their infancy can go on to face neglect, violence and even death at the hands of their family.  You can find out more here:

It's a Girl Website

How is this even possible?

I remember giving birth to my daughter Robyn, 21 years ago this June and hearing the most amazing words..."It's a girl"!  While I loved having my boys, I always wanted to parent a little girl. I remember repeating to my mum in the delivery room... "it's a girl, mum, it's a girl".  It was like I was trying to absorb the good news.  But the sad reality is that in many parts of the world, these same words are not met with joy but rather with disappointment, grief and unthinkably a plan to "solve the problem".

We live in a world with a systemic, centuries-old devaluing of women which leads to the sex-trafficking, honor killings, child marriages, female genital mutilation, gang rape and gendercide that we see rampant in the world.  It can feel overwhelming and we may be tempted to give up, saying "what can I do?"

The first thing you can do is "get mad".  (Now that it not usually what you hear in a "nice Christian lady blog")...but let me explain.  We need Canadian women to hold a "righteous anger" surrounding the systemic devaluing and abuse of women world-wide.  This anger serves to propel us forward...to stand up and say "this is NOT OK".  It is not OK to kill babies just because they are girls.  It is not OK to use women as sexual play-things.  It is not OK to treat women as property used in high stakes games.

Women all over the world need to understand who they are.  Women are not second-class citizens or ontologically inferior.   They are image bearers of God...think about that...these baby girls that are casually disposed of are image-bearers of God! The work of ZOE Projects is to restore the worth and dignity of women around the world.

So don't get overwhelmed...let the "righteous anger" build within you and let's stand together.

Leanne

PS - To see the documentary film trailer...here is the link...

It's a Girl Documentary Trailer

Comment

Comment

Sexual Playthings OR Full-Fledged Human Beings?

I remember visiting Bangkok for the first time a few years ago and being stunned at how widespread and casual the use and abuse of women and children was.  My husband and I saw young Thai women "holidaying" with white Western men.  In effect, they were being rented for the day, week or month...as though they were simply a commodity. I was blown away and honestly, ignited with anger.  As Nicholas Kristof says in his book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for women Worldwide, “The tide of history is turning women from beasts of burden and sexual playthings into full-fledged human beings.”

What do we believe about women?  Are they simply a commodity or a sexual plaything?  No.  A woman is an image bearer of God with the full rights and dignity that that affords.  ZOE Projects affirms this and raises a banner of justice and freedom for all women around the globe.   

Today we announce our latest ZOE Project:

ZOE Project Partner:

Krista Couts - Krista is a PAOC global worker living in Bangkok, Thailand with her husband Darrick. She works with an organization called NightLight International and is soon welcoming her first baby.

The Problem:

Unfortunately, Bangkok, Thailand is home to a growing international sex industry. The Thai women within this industry usually come from poor rural families. Most are sent to Bangkok by their parents in order to provide for their families. These women feel trapped and hopeless, seeing no options and no future.

Our Solution:

Krista works with NightLight International - NightLight reaches out to women trapped in the sex industry through regular outreaches in the bars and on the street. Through relationship women are offered alternative employment. NightLight focuses on four core areas to help combat the growing sex industry within in Thailand: intervention, prevention, restoration and education. They also assist women trafficked from other countries into Bangkok to work in the sex industry by providing a safe house for these international victims and working to return them home for a fresh start and new beginning.  

What can you do?

You can help support Krista in her work with Nightlight International. Their desire according to Krista is that “these women see their God-given beauty, value, worth, giftings, and talents. We want them to know their past does not have to define their future.”

Email: kcouts@paoc.org

We couldn’t agree more! Krista needs your support. Give generously to this ministry through ZOE Projects. 

Leanne

Krista with a young Thai woman

Comment

Comment

Time to Celebrate!

Christmas is the time when we remember the incarnation of Jesus...light breaking through the darkness.  God entering the brokenness, pain and spiritual poverty of all humanity bringing His life that He generously shares with all who would receive.  What a beautiful narrative!   I can't think of a better way to celebrate His birth than by supporting women around the globe through ZOE Projects.  Jesus came for the "least of these"...and every time we live and give in such a way that honours the worth and dignity of others, it raises a banner that says: "This is what God is like" ...and it is beautiful! 

This week, ZOE Projects is raising that banner by distributing money to our first two projects.

Comment

Comment

And so it begins...

It doesn’t matter where I go in the world I am discovering that women are women!

We care about the same things! I met a woman last August who lived with her family in a slum outside Pretoria, South Africa.

I was introduced to her by Marvelyn Schell (who incidentally is one of the facilitators of ZOE Projects). Marvelyn had worked with this young woman, offering a small business loan and ongoing support so that she could begin a baking business from her home.

This small investment was absolutely life changing.

I travelled to Kolkatta to meet with Monique Shaw and accompanied her in the brothels in the heart of the city.

There I saw Monique’s dream to begin a jewelry business that would offer women an alternative to life in the brothels.

I met a Canadian woman who is passionate about manufacturing reusable menstrual kits and distributing them in Africa so that young women do not have to drop out of school.

I have met some AMAZING women all around the world!

Through all of these experiences, a deep desire to connect women across the globe began to grow.

We who have worked on ZOE wondered what would happen if we told the story and gave Canadian women the opportunity to help.

You see, I know that Canadian women care about our sisters around the world, but often we just don’t know what to do.

We hope that ZOE Projects will help with that. ZOE Projects is meant to link women around the world…sharing resources, ideas and encouragement.

I was in South Africa to “help”, but I learned so much from having met this young entrepreneur. I saw resilience, ingenuity, beauty and a deep commitment to doing “what it takes” for her family.

I was richer for the exchange.

I know you care…that’s why you are reading this blog -

Can you do us a favour and follow us on Facebook, Twitter etc. etc.?

Share the stories that you read about with the women in your life…your book club, your running group, at your university, your church group…and let’s see what we can do together!

We will keep you posted on current projects and celebrate completed ones.

It is going to great!

With great excitement -

Leanne

Comment