I have waited so long to write this post. It seemed as though each time I tried to write it, I just got restrained but today there is perfect freedom to share something on my heart. On my blog this month we have been celebrating women’s month. There have been so many celebrations of womanhood across the globe this month that have truly been amazing. Women’s month is also a time of year where organisations and communities reflect on the oppression of women worldwide and what we can do to make a difference. Over the past few months Yeshua has really been “teaching” me about the necessity for women to be educated. In our fight against women abuse, human trafficking, child labour, child brides and the other numerous devastating realities facing the women of our time, we need to pause and look at some of the ways in which we can empower women to break free from these chains. One of the major pillars that empower women to break free from these atrocities, is education and literacy.
In the Western world or the developed world as many call it, when kids get to a certain age they fill in college or university applications. The only thing they worry about is which college to go to or which subjects to major in. What careers to choose from or in some cases, which university is the furthest away from home! But in many under developed countries, with impoverished communities and cities, education is a lofty dream. Something that will never be realised, something never obtained. In many under developed countries, women cannot read or write, never mind pursue a college education. That is why the work of so many faithful organisations like Gospel for Asia and Open Doors, are so important. Missionaries and field workers teach these women to read and to write, they teach them life skills and working skills. So that their lives can be improved drastically! However, the reality of the oppression of women is in my opinion, one of the greatest failings of mankind. No doubt the enemy, has had a diabolical plan to oppress and destroy women from the very beginning. We are a force to be reckoned with, we only need to believe it! (Psalm 68:11)
I want to share some recent statistics with you, regarding the oppression of women and education globally.
· There are 66 million girls in the world that are out of school to date.
· 80% of all Human Trafficking Victims are Women
· Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married as children.
· There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
· A girl on planet earth has a 1 in 4 chance of being born into poverty.
· A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.
· The #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth.
· 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year; 38 thousand today; 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.
· A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5.
· School is not free in over 50 countries.
Just reading some of these statistics makes me cry, truly and sincerely. One of the things I value most in my own life, is the opportunity I had to study. I love studying, I love education, I love teaching and I am thankful that my parents supported me both financially and emotionally, in my desire to study.
I am thankful for that opportunity to spend ten years of my life in the hallways of education after school. While this is my reality and the reality for many of you reading this, millions of girls in the developing world will never have this opportunity to study, I pray that God will open a door for these precious sisters to be educated!
This statistic really makes me think, Women operate a majority of small farms and business in the developing world. Isn’t this amazing! In the developing world women are a force in the work place, yet most of them are uneducated and face harsh realities in their personal worlds. How’s this statistic, If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. Sadly, India has the highest percentage of illiterate individuals in the world, along with some of the highest percentages of child brides, prostitution, rape and abuse. (If you want to watch a good documentary about the realities facing women in India, get a hold of Veil of Tears)
So many blog posts and authors these days are focusing on unlocking the dreams we have inside of us. But I grew up in a “third world” country, that is actually a first world country uncover, yet we have seen what illiteracy has done to our society. We have seen hopeless on people’s faces, how can they dream, when they cannot even spell the word! How can someone find the courage to dream when they don’t believe in themselves or their worth? I am all for finding the dream within but in it all, let’s get practical about this issue. Let’s get practical about praying for these precious lives of womanhood around the world. Many of us can’t go, we aren’t missionaries, we don’t have the money to travel or to educate, but we can make a difference where we are. That is why we have to be faithful in what we are given to do. I pray that Father Yahweh our God, will use us where we are and send us if we are meant to go.
I want to end this post by sharing a quote from my Social Psychology textbook. It’s a commentary on a study that was conducted examining the differences between men and women in terms of self-esteem, here is what the study found…
In nations such as India and Malaysia, where women are expected to remain in the homes in their roles of mother and wife, women have the most negative self-concepts. In contrast in nations such as England and Finland where women are the most active in the labour force and are valued participants in life outside the home, women and men tend to perceive themselves equally favourably. This research suggests that when women are excluded from important life arenas, they feel more strongly devalued and as a result have worse self – concepts than men. (Social Psychology, 11th Edition, Baron, Byrne and Branscombe 2006, Pg 188).
When women are seen as equals, as equally valuable in the eyes of God and of man, we will see a revolutionary change in the way the world works. We will see true justice, true mercy, true empowerment and the true ability to dream. We have the answer, so let’s give it to them!
I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
and an endless river of righteous living.
and an endless river of righteous living.