Sunday, March 8, 2015 is International Women’s Day. Gospel of Asia Canada is celebrating this day in South Asia by:
- Giving new saris to widows
- Encouraging women by sharing stories of women found in the Bible
- Distributing food and blankets to poor children and families in the slums
- Visiting women in prison and encouraging prostitutes with Christ’s love
- Meeting the basic needs of some of the poorest women in society
I encourage you to watch a clip of the movie, “Veil of Tears” about a woman named Suhkwinder who almost committed suicide because her children were born girls. As you watch the clip and celebrate International Women’s Day, find out how you can help to change the life of a woman just like Suhkwinder’s. In a society where boy babies are preferred, the worst words a parent could hear are, “It’s a girl”.
In India girls are unwanted. I read in an article that came out a couple of years ago that a three month old girl died from cardiac arrest at a state-run hospital in Bangalore after battling for life for three days. Her father had battered her because he wanted a son. Little Neha Afreen sustained head injuries, abrasions and bite marks all over her body. This caused public outrage which led to her father’s arrest. Her mother said, “My husband was enraged with me for delivering a girl, He hated her. He wanted me to get rid of the child or abandon her as he wanted a son.”
Sadly, there are several horror stories of baby girls who have been abandoned, tortured or killed because they were unwanted. We live in a world where there is gender bias. As a Christian this is very hard for me to accept. God created both man and woman in His image. Little girls are as precious in His sight as little boys. And if society keeps killing the baby girls, how will they have the boys they want so much? And what about the boys when they grow up and want to get married and there is a shortage of women? Many of them will have to go elsewhere to find wives. In Asia, baby girls are tossed aside as if they are garbage and women are raped.
There is the documentary, India’s Daughter, the story of the gang rape and murder of a young woman which shocked the world and sparked riots and protests all over India. Grieving parents and one of the rapists tell the story of the night six men brutally assaulted 23 year old medical student, Jyoti Singh while driving around Delhi, India’s Capital, in a bus. Women should have the right to feel safe in their own communities. In Canada, you can watch India’s Daughter on March 8 on CBC or online for 30 days after broadcast.
I know of some fathers who have daughters and adore them. In fact, they want daughters. God bless these men. Jyoti’s parents were happy to have her. She had dreams like everyone else. One night, her dreams and life were brutally taken away from her.
On March 8, let us celebrate our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, teachers, etc. Let us celebrate women and reflect on the marvelous contributions they have made and will make to our society. Each life matters. Girls matter. I pray that one day, the words, “It’s a girl” will be met with joy and acceptance. Until then, let each of us who has a little girl of our own, encourage her to stand up and say, “I am a girl and I matter.”