A DEFICIT OF VALUE

#BringBackOurGirls

Imagine one child goes missing in your son or daughters classroom. Now imagine if two children go missing. What about the entire class just vanishing?  Now, imagine the entire grade of a large junior school….GONE.  The circumstances may not even tug at your heartstrings because they seem so unrealistic.

Yet, just 3 weeks ago, terror inside a Nigerian girls school led to more than 250 young women being loaded onto trucks and thrust into the back of vans, herded like cattle and abducted into what we can only imagine is the most nightmarish of circumstances.  All because they had the courage to try and get an education.

You see, the abductors were an extremist group, Boko Haram; their war cry a barbaric outlook on society – their belief that women should not go to school.

It’s hard to imagine - sitting here in my pajamas with a coffee in one hand and a MacBook in the other - that anyone in the world still maintains the point of view that any people group or demographic, such as an entire gender, is undeserving of something so liberating as an education.  And yet, this is still a reality throughout so much of the globe.  According to the Global Partnership for Education, women represent nearly two thirds of the worlds illiterate.  31 million girls are still out of school and completion rates and participation of girls in school is significantly lower then boys.  Far too many countries are still denying females their basic right to education. 

The desperation of this particular story goes so much deeper as we begin to read reports that these women are being sold into slavery - sex slavery - and married off to their barbarian captors.  Their innocence robbed simply because they are girls who dared to dream of becoming more then their society told them they could be: Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Government Officials – educated women.

In the last 12 months alone, the worlds’ media has reported on young women in Pakistan, Afghanistan and China being attacked, abused, berated and beaten within an inch of their lives, simply for walking to school. 

It has been stated over and over that the economic future of nations is positively impacted by the empowerment of women within those countries.  That the productivity, welfare, health and well being of entire continents are inextricably linked to the value that is placed on its female citizens. And therefore, as blessed and free and inexcusably fortunate recipients of education in our western culture, it is our duty to raise our voices and lift our pens and shout from the rooftops “Bring Back Our Girls”.

And while the international pressure from everyday, ordinary people like you and me, using our social media profiles and blogging celebrity to raise awareness of this particular plight IS making a difference; it is the continuing story of placing value upon womanhood and on upholding the rights of the underrepresented and marginalized in our society that requires our serious attention, our hearts focus and our ongoing support.

At the heart of all of this is the idea that some groups of people are better then another group of people - and it’s insidious. And we need to be attuned to the atrocities that are happening the world over, an invasion of the very humanity that is common to all.  Long after these girls are rescued and brought back to their families (which is our heartfelt prayer), it is our responsibility, our privilege, as educated men and women to alert ourselves to discrimination and be vigilant that this deficit of value is not lurking in our own perception of the world. 

Standing with the families of these missing loved ones, with their community and their nation as they seek to find solution and resolution to this horrifying ordeal.

#BringBackOurGirls

 

For tangible ways to get involved in speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves, check out just a few of these great organistions who, through education and practical means are placing value on humanity…

THE COLOUR SISTERHOOD

THE A 21 CAMPAIGN

THE DAY OF THE GIRL

WATOTO 

Who is Karalee?