Today is International Women’s Day…..
It’s time to celebrate women. Women everywhere. Women we personally know, and those we’ve never met in life. We’re celebrating women, young and old, of every color, nationality and religion, around the world in every country. We are celebrating women who strive to make a difference every single day. Below we have explained worldwide adversity amongst women.
Ukraine – we celebrate the women we know who are artists, musicians, teachers, mothers, and human rights activists. We also celebrate our Ukrainian sisters who have been trafficked into the very dark sex trade world, and we hope and pray for their release from bondage. Our Ukrainian sisters are being rescued in parts of the Middle East, where many live out their days in safe houses, but there are several thousand more women continually being sent into the sex trade against their will. Ukrainian women are talented, intellectual, well-educated, motivated women – they are not objects to be sold.
Afghanistan – To our Afghan sisters – we are always hoping and praying on the future of your happiness. Afghan women are truly the backbones of their families, and of their nation. They have suffered, and yet they have endured. Although they are not visible to all, they are women of substance who strive to learn, who love their babies, who are talented, who are poised and conservative, and who are proud of their families successes. Many Afghan women are silent leaders, and they are to be celebrated today and every day!
Nigeria – our Nigerian sisters and many of their African sisters are also being trafficked and exploited. Nigerian women always find a way through the adversity. They are business women, mothers, talented educators and political and human rights activists. On April 12, 2014, Boko Haram, an militant Islamist group stole 276 girls from their homes in Nigeria. First Lady, Michelle Obama, and several women worldwide started the recognized movement “#BringBackOurGirls”. Boko Haram raped these girls, forced them to marry Boko Haram fighters, forcefully converted them to Islam, and in some cases, forced them to be suicide bombers. Women everywhere are bound together in the hope that all of our Nigerian sisters will be released to re-establish their lives. Pray for Nigeria and the beautiful women there who have so much to endure.
America – Our sisters in America are politically-charged right now – Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Every seven seconds though, even in the U.S., violent acts of being committed against women. Domestic violence is rampant, and many women feel a lack of support from law enforcement, their own families and their religious communities. The Salvation Army, for decades, has been providing support to women affected by domestic violence. And while we have current problems being addressed within the law enforcement community, there are hundreds of officers, male and female, who recognize the challenges of helping victims of domestic violence.
China and All of Asia – Almost every industry in America benefits off the backbones of Chinese and Asian women. Both men and women work countless hours to ensure that we have the products, goods and services we want. The very clothes we often wear are compliments of women in the garment industries there. Many Chinese women come from their small villages into the major cities, where they learn to cope with low wages, excessive hours, dangerous environments and crippling injuries. For years, many Western country and Bangladeshi businessmen have conspired to keep wages depressed and safety requirements ignored. Since the collapse of the Rana Plaza in 2013, which killed over 1100 people, primarily women, little has been done to improve the working conditions within the over 5,600 garment factories throughout Asia. Only European countries signed the Pact enacting better working conditions. Would you buy a beautiful dress for your little girl if you were aware of the fact that a little girl the same age spent 17 hours on the floor of a garment factory picking the scraps of fabric for the dress? If the garment industries aren’t bad enough, they are also engaging in the trafficking of young girls and boys to work the factories. Our sisters, both women and young girls in Asia need our support. While the women in these countries need a way to economically sustain themselves, they should never be exploited in order for us to acquire products. Buy handmade by artisans and designers worldwide who are involved in projects that revel in fair trade, fair wages, fair treatment of workers, and safe working conditions.
Finally, regarding violence against women worldwide, it is important to recognize the growing problem of rape. It is dramatically increasing in India and Syria, and even throughout Europe. It is an epidemic on college campuses around America. Civil wars, ethnic conflicts, and hate propaganda against women of different cultures are all contributors. At Jo’el Worldwear, we are doing our part to support organizations, small groups and non-governmental agencies addressing violence against women and human trafficking. We support our sisters who are facing these issues in conflict zones. As an individual, please do your part. Whether you are a mother who can talk to her children, or a business owner who can talk to your employees, or a school administrator who can talk to your students, please do something towards stopping this horrible crime. Today, during International Women’s Day we hope and pray for female survivors that they will experience a full recovery, both physically and emotionally, and eventually emerge to be a voice for others.
Help women artisans worldwide who strive to economically sustain themselves in many challenging environments: www.joelworldwear.com