Clarice lived in a shack at the bottom of the world’s largest slum for more than 30 years. She raised her family in very difficult circumstances and constantly did whatever she could to guarantee their survival. When one of her family members, a 12 year old, was brutalized and raped and became pregnant, she was devastated. How would she feed another mouth on their meager assistance?
How would this endless cycle of oppression and poverty end?
Our maternity homes in Kenya rescued that broken little girl and helped her become a mother more than 3 years ago and today she is thriving. And sweet Clarice who thought she would spend the rest of her life surviving, is now sitting at a loom 5 days a week in our Miujiza (miracle) artisan group. We have watched God take an impossible situation and do the miraculous. She represents countless women around the globe today.
Today is International Women’s Day and we are celebrating at Mercy House Global with FREE SHIPPING on nearly 1000 products. Use code: empowerment
Here are 9 practical ways we can bring empowerment to women globally every day:
- We acknowledge what we have been given so we can see clearly what others don’t possess. Yesterday women who were free to march did so because they could–whether we agree with political issues and rights, we acknowledge this precious freedom in light of those who do not have it. It shines a spotlight on the places where women don’t have the simple right to have an opinion about what is done to their bodies or the choice to attend school or the freedom to live freely.
- We live as an example in front of our kids. We choose what we read, watch, and purchase in light of the oppression against women. Pornography and explicit novels contribute to a global human rights issue. We educate ourselves and fight against the sexualization of our daughters and the exploitation of their bodies.
- We teach our children about human rights issues. One of the most powerful ways to stand for the human rights of women is to stand against those who treat women unfairly. We explain to our sons and daughters that cheap jewelry and clothes cost someone something. We start small and refuse to shop at someone else’s expense. We teach them that when they look at pornography they are contributing to the problem of objectifying women who might be posing willingly or might have been trafficked.
- We stand for life– We acknowledge the oppressed, vulnerable, orphaned, trafficked, impoverished women around the world who live in bondage because it’s the right thing to do. We do more than recognize this fact, we do something: we give money, we adopt and foster them or we take meals to those who do, wear the jewelry they make in rescue programs, we pray for them. We do more than march. We do something. We step into a woman’s story and we say you will not bear this burden alone.
- We buy items that provide freedom. Fair trade isn’t just a trendy fad. It’s not just cute items. It’s a practical and powerful way to do something–that’s easy! You get something tangible in return. Give your accessories a purpose, your jewelry a theology. This is an entry level place to begin.
- We share what we have with women who have less. We actively look for our sisters who need help. We look at what we have been given and we give it away. When we feel down and have had a hard day, when we are depressed and sad, we look for someone who has less than we have and we share. This is how we help someone. This is how we help ourselves. We employ struggling single moms. We visit the elderly neighbor who talks too long at the mailbox because she’s alone. We share our time, our resources with someone who has less than we do.
- We love our neighbors and our enemies. We don’t take our arguments to Facebook. We don’t attack people we don’t agree with or scrutinize people who marched or didn’t. We don’t isolate people who have a different opinion, morality or motive. We love people–especially those we don’t understand. This is the greatest commandment. This is how we show the love of God in us.
- We spend our time serving women. We volunteer. We visit. We vow to be the difference we long to see. We get our hands dirty serving each other.
- We offer sustainable dignity and not a handout. I’ve learned a lot about empowerment these past 7 years. I’ve discovered that women who need more rights, don’t need our pity. They don’t want our hand-me-downs or hand outs. They want to work and provide and meet their own needs. When we can give them a hand up, we offer something every women in the world deserves: dignity.