Friday, January 20, 2012

Half the Sky

A lady at church let me borrow her copy of

I knew superficially about the horrors inflicted on women around the world. I knew that educating women lead to smaller healther families, and increased economic growth by increasing the workforce.

What I didn't know was just how brutally some women are treated, just because they are women. Rape being used as a weapon of war, culminating in rape with sticks or glass to kill the victim or stop her having children in the future.

I didn't know that girls married young cannot bear children as easily, and without access to good maternal healthcare, labour on their own, their babies die inside them.

In both instances parts of their reproductive system rot away, or tear, and then fistulas form so urine and feces leak through the vagina constantly. Making the girls outcasts for not saving their children, and because they are dirty and smelly.

Fistulas like these can often be repaired if the woman is able to seek medical attention, and projects throughout the developing world are trying to set up hospitals and teach local people how to repair them without the need for a surgeon.

I didn't know that paying for a girl's school uniform every year can help keep her in school for longer by relieving the financial burden on her family. She'll be better educated and the longer she stays in school the later her marriage will be, and so she will be older, and will find having children easier.

Some of these things are so small and simple and will make a real difference to lives.

I encourage you to read the book if you can, or look through the website to find out more about what we very lucky people in the western world could do to help. I've just sponsored a woman through Women for Women, where I will be able to write encouraging letters to my sponsored sister. If you can spare the money to do something like this, please please do.

And if not, maybe you can donate a little somehting to a girls school uniform?

And if you have no cash at all, could you spare time to publicise this? Or to write letters lobbying the governement to spend more money supporting female education and maternal healthcare?

This is about all human beings being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. This is about equality and looking after our worlds future.

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