The world’s a pretty precarious place, and women face additional challenges because of their gender. Honour killings, genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, forced prostitution, gender-based abortion, sex tourism, bride kidnapping, denial of education, sexual assault, date rape—the list is horrendous and lengthy.
It’s easy to fall into despair. Safe World for Women chooses action instead. Their Web site calls attention to the plight of women around the world and also to ways we can help.
Spend time surfing the Safe World for Women, and you’ll weep for the women whose lives are described. Jane Wells makes it clear that child prostitution is not just something that happens “over there”. Fernanda P. Amaral writes about children as young as eight or nine who are forced into sexual slavery. Kerry Semon and Niels Hoogeveen tell the story of five Liberian sisters abused by the American family who adopted them. And then there’ll be a point of light, such as when Beth Davenport and Elizabeth document the reunion of Congolese civil war victim Rose Mapando and her daughter, ten years after their separation.
The first step toward changing the horrendous treatment of so many women around the world is to name it, to put faces on the perpetrators, and to call for justice in the international community. Safe World for Women works virtually, using the power of the Internet to “campaign against abuses of women and children, advocate for the oppressed, and support local organisations working at the grassroots.”
Organizations like this give me hope that one day women will live in a world where they are recorded respect and compassion simply by virtue of being human.