Happy International Women’s Day!!!! This day stands out to me and encourages me and affirms me so I was beyond thrilled to contribute the blog post to Food for the Hungry today. I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of an organization that fights to see women own their worth, fights to see that women are treated fairly in light of who God made them to be, and fights to rid the oppression that they face because we know that sexism, misogyny, and violence against women is a direct result of sin and the fall. If we’re to work toward the true restoration of God’s Kingdom, then we’re to work towards the liberation of women.
I decided to post it here for you all, but the original article is here.
Today marks International Women’s Day which serves to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. It also brings awareness to the parts of the world where women’s parity is slowed or ignored, inspiring action against the oppression of women’s ideas, advancement and equality.
As a woman in America, I’ve been subject to many harmful stereotypes, catcalling, income inequality and a myriad of other generally oppressive notions against women as an entire gender. These further perpetuate the idea that we’re are weak, inferior and simply exist for the benefit of men.
However, I have a voice. I’m unashamed to speak up for my rights and the injustices I see. I’ve never felt scared or voiceless in my pursuit of equality. It is because of that freedom that I feel responsible to speak up for those who don’t yet have that right or luxury, for those who are silenced by generations of cultural misogyny.
Today, leaders and organizations across the world are pledging to take action towards upholding the value of women, and I’m proud to know that Food for the Hungry is among those who fight for this all year long, all across the globe.
In Bolivia, violence against women runs rampant. The idea of Machismo, a strong or aggressive masculine pride that often leads men to beat their wives even to the point of death, is common among their culture. FH is working against this cultural norm and teaching families through a biblical worldview, that women are valuable, equal and deserve respect.
In Uganda, FH is changing the way that men view their wives and other women in their communities. Domestic violence was common, but through education and understanding the teachings of Jesus, the culture is shifting and many men now respect women as equal contributors to society rather than useless objects.
In Bangladesh, young girls are often married off when they’re 12 years old because their families aren’t able to care for them any longer. FH is working with women through savings groups to value the education of their daughters and helping families establish sustainable livelihoods so that they’re able to keep them in school breaking the cycle of poverty.
In India, some communities have been indoctrinated into the prostitution industry with fathers and brothers soliciting their wives, mothers and sisters. FH is working with local partners to break this 500-year-old tradition and help women gain freedom from the damaging effects of sexual exploitation.
I hope that International Women’s Day is not just a singular event, one day, but rather a catalyst that sparks change. I hope that it would inspire us to stand up and speak out for those women whose God-given potential is hiding behind the fear and shame of bearing the title of female. I hope that we identify the places which might be dishonoring a women’s true identity in Christ and that we would be the force that ends these injustices. Imagine a world where women are free to live in light of who they’re made to be. That’s a world in which I hope we can raise our daughters.
If you’d like to read last year’s post on International Women’s Day, you can read that here.