I spent the past two weeks in India eating curry, exploring, and talking with our program leaders. During my time there I made several observations. Many of them revolved around the realization that I wasn’t seeing very many women. On the metro, in shops, at the hotel… there were men everywhere doing the cooking, cleaning, driving, building and every other job that took place in public…but very few women. I sat down with some of the Ending Gendercide team members to talk about gender discrimination in India and how they are working to change worldviews.
When did Ending Gendercide begin?
The Ending Gendercide program was officially started two years ago, but the concept began five years ago. At that time we were doing biblical worldview trainings and felt a calling to initiate a movement to defend women and girls in India.
What made you decide you needed to start this ministry?
There is very little dialogue about gender issues in India. Girls and women across India are being abused, neglected, and killed—and very little is done about it. Even the Christian community is mostly silent about these issues. We want to change worldviews and communicate the message of valuing women and girls in our society.
What programs are you currently running? Who are you working with?
Currently we have two main focus areas—university students and churches. Our goal is to raise awareness about the issue of gender discrimination and the practice of gendercide in India.
We visit college campuses in India and do film screenings to promote discussions around the issues of gendercide. At the end of each showing we have a panel discussion with the students and staff that are present. The panel often includes faculty of the university, leaders from our team, and other members of the community that are engaged in the topic. Through the discussions the students are motivated to take personal steps in ending gender discrimination by not taking or giving dowry and by valuing and respecting women and girls in their families, classrooms and public spaces. The truth about the equality and dignity of women is communicated in those discussions.
We have done awareness events at several churches, and we are starting a new program with them to create greater engagement with the issue of gender discrimination. A small group of churches will be forming core groups that will be trained as advocates to care for the vulnerable women in their communities and respond to their needs.
What impact have you seen so far?
So far we have had more than 800 university students sign pledge cards to refuse dowry, pre-birth sex determination, abortion, and all other violence against women. Also, we have several young adults who have signed-up to help us as volunteers and interns over the course of the next year. These students want to see India change as well, so we are excited to have them help us by hosting more awareness events and forming care groups on campuses to help other students understand gender discrimination and work towards creating a society where both men and women will be valued and have equal opportunities to grow to their full potential.
What are you hopes for the future of your work?
We want to create a long term impact in India. By engaging with university students and churches we are hoping to increase dialogue around women’s issues and communicate the biblical truth of equality and dignity of women. We hope that this engagement will create greater awareness on gender justice and that girls and women will be valued and treated equally to men.
What can our blog readers do to help this cause?
Pray – Our prayer guide on gendercide is a great starting point for praying about gender discrimination in India and around the world.
Donate – Our Ending Gendercide team hosts many different awareness events throughout the year. Help us reach more people in India by sponsoring one of these events.
Become an advocate – If you are interested in helping spread the word about gendercide in India please let us know. We would love to share more resources with you so you can help us raise awareness and promote the Ending Gendercide program in your community.