Today is International Women’s Day and I want to mark the occasion by honoring the women of the world and by raising awareness of the violence committed against women.
For those who do not know, the official website for International Women’s Day says that March 8 “is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” Google has marked the day by putting an incredible Google Doodle of women on its homepage. Multiple news websites and blogs are highlighting the day by doing features on prominent women, both contemporary and historical.
History tells a beautiful story of remarkable women. The names of many of them are familiar to us–Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt–while there are countless others who are known only to their families and those whose lives they impacted.
History also tells an ugly story of the mistreatment of women. History tells both beautiful stories of achieving women and ugly stories of mistreatment. Click To Tweet
The human trafficking of women to be used as sexual slaves is one way in which violence against women is often known to us. Many are also aware of the horrors that frequently takes place in Afghanistan and Pakistan as acid is thrown on young girls walking to school by cowardly men determined to prevent the education of women. Still there are other less known occurrences that are happening every day. Across Africa, property grabbing is a crime committed daily against vulnerable widows–a recent study shows that 40% of women come under attack after their husband dies and that 30% of them actually lose their home and their land.
While these occurrences of violence, and many others, are often known to us, there are many other episodes that go unreported. Statistics show that 22 million women in America have been raped and only 37%-26% of these occurrences are reported to law enforcement officials. That means that between 74% and 63% of rapists are left unchallenged to continue terrorizing women. The US Department of Justice estimates that only 6% of rapists will ever spend one day in jail.
A woman is assautled or beaten every 9 seconds in the US. Women who are the victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US. Every single day more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Maybe we need to rethink land of the free and home of the brave?
As a Christian, a husband, and a father of a daughter, these statistics are of great concern to me. Poor, at times atrocious, interpretations of Scripture often send abused women back into the nightmarish arms of their husbands because “the Bible says” that women are to submit to their husbands. I’m going to leave what “the Bible says” untouched for now, realizing that these interpretative issues run far deeper than most imagine. I’ll simply say this, if you are a woman being abused by a man…run! The whole testimony of Scripture is of God’s concern for the poor and the oppressed, the widow and the orphan. God’s concern is for you–the abused.
I’m writing this post on International Women’s Day to honor the women of the world and to highlight violence committed against women.
I have the privilege of knowing some amazing women. I want to mention four in particular–my mother, my wife, my daughter, and my late mother-in-law. These four women impress me. They are all strong women who have faith, conviction, and strength that moves me deeply. More than likely their names will never be recorded in famous books, but their lives have touched mine and many others, and all of us are better because of them.
Today, on International Women’s Day, be sure and honor the women in your life and the women of the world. All women are beautiful and they deserve to be treated as such. Click To Tweet