It’s International Women’s Day, a day to honor and celebrate the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women. It’s a day to remind ourselves why girls are so amazing.
In the course of human history, the female population has been horrifically oppressed, abused and mistreated.
Girls have been burned at the stake as witches. They have been buried alive, drowned and left to starve to death on trash heaps in China. They have been shot in the face for trying to go to school. Their feet have been crushed and bound. Their genitals have been mutilated.
They have been hidden under yards upon yards of black fabric. They have been kidnapped and trafficked. They have been denied education, voting rights, property ownership, driver’s licenses and equal pay. One out of every five women has been raped. One out of four has been beaten by her romantic partner.
Girls are amazing because they never quit.
Girls haven’t quit trying to get to school. Women haven’t quit providing two-thirds of the world’s unpaid labor. Women haven’t quit giving birth to the world’s next generation. Women haven’t quit advocating for equality, freedom, opportunity and dignity.
Girls start fighting the second they are born and they keep fighting until they day they die. In studies of neonatal intensive care units, baby girls are more likely to survive than baby boys, and around the world, women consistently outlive men.
Girls have proven again and again that they can go far when people invest in them. Microlending studies have showed that women in the developing world are exceptional entrepreneurs. They are more likely to repay the loan than their male counterparts, they make better financial decisions than men and they are more likely to invest in their community.
Women haven’t quit changing our world for the better.
I have the opportunity to invest in the lives of several special little girls. I sponsor a little girl named Bona. She’s 5 years old, and she lives in Bangladesh. Also, I wrote a book about a Somali refugee woman and her five girls. All the proceeds from the book, The Invisible Girls, are going into a college fund for the Somali sisters.
My prayer for Bona and the Invisible Girls is that they will grow up to be women who don’t quit. Women who endure. Women who persevere through any hardships, obstacles or discrimination they might face. Women who reach their potential. Women who are equipped to experience and express the love of Jesus well.
My prayer for the rest of us is that we would treat women like the beautiful, capable, intelligent, valuable treasures they are. That we would invest in them spiritually, emotionally, academically and financially. That we would give of ourselves in order to give little girls around the world the one thing they need most to succeed in life: A chance.
Do you sponsor a girl or young woman? Take a minute today to write her a letter. A letter that says, “I believe in you. I pray for you. You have it in you to change the world.”