October 11 is the third annual “International Day of the Girl Child.”
If, like me, you live in the United States, you might be asking yourself, “Is that really the best name the UN could come up with?” And then, your next question might be, “What is that day even for?”
Well, funky name notwithstanding, October 11 is really a big deal kind of day. We live in a world where:*
- Gender-based violence is the second leading cause of death among adolescent girls.
- Close to half of all girls aged 15 to 19 (about 126 million people) think that it is sometimes justified for a husband to beat his wife.
- 250 million girls and women alive today were married before the age of fifteen (1 in 3 of those women live in India).
- More than 200 million girls are “missing” from the world population due mostly to sex-selective abortion and infanticide.
Pretty much all of this injustice and violence is rooted in one toxic lie: That females have less value than males.
Our Ending Gendercide team in India is gearing up for International Day of the Girl Child right now. We are excited about the way God is using them to challenge cultural beliefs at the root of gender injustice.
On October 11, we will mobilize college student volunteers to visit three hospitals in New Delhi, celebrating the births of baby girls. Last year, as students traveled from room to room, they encountered varied reactions, from happiness to despair or bitterness. One grandmother said, “If you think [the baby] is so cute, why don’t you take her?” Another woman expressed her disappointment by saying, “We can’t throw this one in the dustbin so we have to take care of her.” But one father took a photo of our group and said, “When my daughter grows up, I’ll tell her you came to celebrate her birth.”
This year, our student volunteers are trying to raise 60,000 rupees (close to $1,000) to buy baby gifts for the 250 families they will visit. This only covers about half the cost of the baby gifts. If you would like to match their efforts, please donate to our Ending Gendercide project right now!
We are also distributing prayer cards to New Delhi churches that they can have special prayers on 11th during their worship services. We invite you to join with our brothers and sisters in India to pray for:
- A change in worldview so that girls are valued as image-bearers of their Creator.
- Protection of women and girls.
- Churches to understand the biblical truth of God’s love for girls, and to be a witness to that truth in society.
- For our Ending Gendercide team to have wisdom, boldness, favor and open doors.
If you want to read more about gendercide and/or what our team is doing in India, check out these previous blog posts: