“That one-third of the world’s women are deprived of their right to bear girls is the biggest women’s rights abuse on earth. This is the true War on Women, and it deserves a passionate response.”
Two of my favorite people in human history were midwives. They lived long before anyone was debating home vs. hospital, and their courage inspires me daily. Their names were Puah and Shiphrah. Here is their story as told in the Bible, starting in verse 7 of the first chapter of Exodus (KJV):
And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them. . . .
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
A few weeks ago I hosted a small house-party screening of the documentary “It’s a Girl,” the three deadliest words in the world. At present, over 100 million babies have been aborted, killed, or abandoned in certain regions of the world simply because they were girls. In China, India, and other regions, women are pressured and even forced to undergo gender-based abortions because of cultural, economic, and/or political reasons. Some women also suffer forced sterilizations in these regions. The boy-girl ratios in these countries are extremely unbalanced after decades of boy-preference. And those girls who are left are at extreme risk of abduction, abuse, sexual assault/exploitation, and other horrors.
I can’t help but think of those countless lost sisters when I read in Exodus of Pharoah’s command to exterminate the Hebrew male infants. This practice is called by some “gendercide,” and it makes my heart hurt. But Puah and Shiphrah give me hope. We need more Puahs and Shiphrahs in this world.
To educate yourself about gendercide, infanticide, sex trafficking, and other abuses of women across the world is a heart-breaking task. I have wept in my own discovery of these horrors. Especially as mothers and life-givers, women who cherish our own daughters, it can be overwhelming to ponder the violence endured by girls around the globe. We may feel there is nothing we can do against such suffering. But we are women, and that means we are powerful creators.
It is through travail that we physically create, and it is through travail that we can spiritually create a new world. With broken hearts, tear-streaked faces, and resolved wills, we will bring about the rebirth of humanity. As a mother in labor wails her way to the joy of new life, we can wail our way to the creation of a better future for our children.
“We can tip the bowls of Heaven. When interceding tears meet with God’s, they have the power to alter society and generations to come, to change governments and deliver people and nations caught in unbelievable situations. This is justice and this is how women fight!”
Please join me on June 2, 2013 for a day of spiritual solidarity to demonstrate our sympathy, sorrow, love, and concern for the world’s victims of gendercide.
You may participate in whatever way you feel most comfortable. Here are some ideas:
Make this photo your facebook profile pic!
Writing (op-ed letter, blogpost, poem, etc.)
To learn more about gendercide and prepare for this powerful day, consider the following:
3) Read blogposts/articles
Please invite all your friends to join us at
“Our Sister’s Keepers” facebook event page!