Equality for Women is …

sondasa

Sondasa is a leader of women in Bangladesh.

I have been given the freedom to use my voice.  It’s a unique freedom, when considering the rest of the world.

As a woman, I use my voice to rally the cause of other women who don’t  have the right to speak up against injustice.

While there is much to celebrate in the way of great achievements made by women, there is still much work to be done. There are women around the world who are making a difference on behalf of girls in their community who need our voice — who need our support!

“Equality for women is progress for all.”

-United Nations

It’s been more than a year since my last trip to Bangladesh. And to be honest, I miss that country.

I miss the women I’ve met who, for the first time in their lives, have learned how to read. I miss the inspiring stories of hope shared by women in Food for the Hungry (FH) savings groups. They repeatedly tell me, “I will wait for my daughter to finish her education before she gets married.”

Generations of women have experienced life-changing circumstances. The collective voice that these women are given in savings groups is changing their culture.

Sondasa’s Story

This is typically where one would drop in a bunch of statistics that would overwhelm your brain to the point you could do nothing in response. Rather than give you useless statistics, I would prefer to tell you a story. 

The story of one woman who stands in the gap for others in her community. Her name is Sondasa, and she is a leader. She has chosen higher education over early marriage for her daughter.  Watch her story, and others in her community who joined with her to bring necessary social change for the betterment of all.

Image by Rodney RASCONA-DRC-Susana KatembaOne woman cannot do it alone in a male-dominated society.

Her voice must be amplified by community solidarity to make changes like:

“No, we won’t allow our daughters to suffer abuse.”

“I am tired of seeing my grandchildren die at childbirth, because our daughter’s are too young and their bodies are not ready.”

These are strong women, unsung heroes who make a difference in the lives of girls in their community.

International Women’s Day

On March 8, women will be celebrating International Women’s Day. This is a day when women are recognized for their achievements. It is a day of reflection to look back on how far we’ve come – and to look forward with anticipation to the untapped potential that await future generations of women.

As women of faith, let’s join with women around the world who must take a stand for justice.  Remember, not every woman has the ability to speak up like we do. Millions of girls don’t have access to education, and many cannot go about the day without fear of violence.

Take a step…walk with them…inspire hope…let’s end poverty together!

 

About Heidi Heinrich

Heidi Heinrich, church relationship manager for Food for the Hungry's community-to-community (C2C) program, got her start with Food for the Hungry as a volunteer. She began promoting child sponsorship after being incredibly moved to "just do something" about the poverty she had seen while serving internationally on a team. A mother of two adult children who are pursuing their life's work in serving the poor, Heidi attributes their passion to the impression made through child sponsorship. "It has been a journey." she says, "It all began by sponsoring a child in Bangladesh that led to serving on a team. I am very grateful for the experiences God has given me through sponsorship." She also enjoys art and music, and she is finishing her degree in Human Development through Hope International University.

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