Girls growing up in Liberia are afraid to get up in the presence of men and speak out.
Girls in Sudan are often pulled out of school at 13 and forced to marry men they don’t know. When they start menstruating, their families look at them as sources of income. They are ready to start their “new lives.”
Girls in Karamoja, Uganda are traditionally raped during courtship, and if many men are interested in one girl, the man who rapes her first gets to marry her.
It is hard to grasp the enormity of the atrocities against girls and women around the world. While we may debate with our husbands over where to go on vacation or take issue with arrogant male bosses, millions of girls and women are robbed of their voices, their freedom, their youth and their futures.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, created as a global celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements and potential. The International Rescue Committee hopes it also will be an occasion to “tell members of Congress not to cut the international affairs budget that is critical to protect and empower women and girls.” The Committee has launched the Wake Up Callas “a platform for people to share struggles facing women and girls, and the inspiring ways in which they are overcoming these obstacles.” I hope you will visit their site to watch some of their inspiring videos and sign the petition to Congress. These women really are our sisters.
P.S. Tomorrow also is my birthday and I can’t think of a better present than to see a woman in need get help.