Geeta, a mother of two, lived in the slums and struggled to put food on the table every day with the meagre 20 rupees her husband gave her. That amount equaled less than 50 cents at the time.
In the evening, Geeta's husband would come home drunk, having spent most of his earnings on alcohol. When she did not meet his expectations for dinner, he'd bring out whatever stick, rod or bat he could find and beat her in his drunken anger.
What Geeta endured at the hands of her husband is the story countless women share. The circumstances may be different, but the reality is the same. Throughout the centuries, women have silently suffered violence at the hands of their husbands who were supposed to love them, at the hands of their close and distant relatives who were supposed to care for them, and at the hands of strangers who were never supposed to have their hands on them in the first place.
1 in 3 women worldwide have or will experience abuse in their lifetime
- The World Bank
In 1999, the United Nations established November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Both the World Bank and the World Health Organization have released reports on violence against women and girls, citing South Asia as a hot spot for this prevalent crime.
GFA World field partners see the effects of this violence firsthand as they minister to battered women, abused daughters and neglected widows.
But why are women targets of such abuse and discrimination? Why does it seem almost like a requirement for women to silently endure the violence done against them?
GFA World would like to suggest it begins when people neglect to see others as made in the image of God, as “knit from the same cloth,” as fellow human beings and citizens with equal rights and values. Throughout many countries, women have been regarded as inferior to men. What’s tragic is that this discrimination often starts at conception.
It’s widely known that some nations have a highly disproportionate ratio of men to women. The reason? Son preference.
According to the World Bank’s report, “Some degree of son preference is evident in most societies. But son preference so strong as to cause daughter aversion and consequent sex differences in child mortality in excess of what is biologically expected occurs only in a few parts of the world, of which South Asia is a prominent example.”
They didn’t want to save their daughter. To them she was a burden, another mouth to feed, an expensive dowry payment for a future husband.
- Dr. Daniel, Director of GFA-supported Medical Ministry
These reports and global statistics are certainly disheartening, but in the midst of it all, we can be encouraged. By God’s grace, an army of courageous women is being raised up to reach suffering women and girls with the love of Christ.
GFA World-supported Initiatives helping to end violence against women, include:
Literacy Training - provides adult women with the opportunity to learn how to read and write—skills they never had the chance to learn, most likely because in the minds of many parents, a girl’s education is not worth investing in.
Health Care Seminars - teach women how to properly take care of their pregnancies, their babies, their homes and families, which empowers them inside the home.
Bridge of Hope Program for Children - is a child sponsorship program that helps keep young girls off the streets and provides them with an education—while teaching every student how boys and girls are created equal in God’s sight.
Income-generating Gifts - give impoverished women the ability to take care of themselves and their families if their husbands are struggling to provide, unemployed, or incapacitated due to alcohol or other addictions. Vocational training makes it possible for women to learn skills that will help them find good jobs—or even start their own business!
Learn more about these life-changing programs by clicking on the titles above.
At the heart of many of these initiatives are GFA-supported women missionaries and Sisters of Compassion, specialized women missionaries. They stand beside and advocate for the rights of abused and neglected women. They show others how to love and care for the people around them, regardless of their gender. Through them—and the guidance and teaching of male pastors and missionaries who see each woman and girl as precious, valuable and made in the image of Almighty God—violence against the women they serve is ending. Women are enjoying new life, safe from hands that once sought to abuse them.
Would you consider joining with us in prayer for women and children, for their safety, for deliverance from violence, and to find hope in Christ? Thank you!
Connect with GFA World’s Women’s Ministry.
Full Article on Ending Violence Against Women