Posted by: Andrea Mullins | 9 December, 2009

What About the Afghan Women?

Perhaps most disturbing in all the discussion about Afghanistan is the lack of reference to the plight of women in this country. A report just out highlights these concerns that are as serious for women and girls living in this country as in past years. According to a new report from the Human Rights Watch, “Women and girls continue to lack access to justice and education and suffer from high rates of violence eight years after the fall of the Taliban…One nationwide survey of levels of violence against Afghan women found that 52 percent of respondents experienced physical violence, and 17 percent reported sexual violence. Yet because of social and legal obstacles to accessing justice, few women and girls report violence to the authorities. These barriers are particularly formidable in rape cases. Although women activists and members of parliament pushed hard and succeeded in putting rape on the statute books this year for the first time, the government has shown little willingness to treat each case as a serious crime or to engage in a public education campaign to change attitudes.” To read more about this go to Human Rights Watch.
As I have watched report after report on every news channel, I’ve found myself asking, “But what about the women? What are we going to do about the women?” Even in this country, life can be difficult for women who have no voice. I’ve been walking hand in hand with a young woman in need for over a year and have seen firsthand how difficult it can be for women in poverty, even in a country that guarantees rights for all people. Whether it is medical care, education for their children, a job, or many other basic needs, navigating the system is at its best challenging and frustrating.
Again I am reminded that believers must be the advocates for people who have no rights. We’ve seen those in the news who faced persecution and even imprisonment because of their commitment to stay in the most difficult and dangerous places to be a voice for the less fortunate. I know of missions personnel who are currently living in places where they can bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations, knowing they risk their lives every day they remain.
You and I can be a voice of hope through prayer and our own willingness to be advocates for those who are less fortunate in our communities and in far off places. But to make a significant difference, we must be committed to the long term, to sustainable hope.
And this can come only as we invest our time and hearts in the lives of these whose voice can only be heard as we walk alongside them.
If we were to remove from Scripture the verses that reference God’s concern for the persecuted, imprisoned, abused, impoverished, and rejected, our Bibles would be much smaller and the reality of who God is and why Christ came would be diminished. Advocacy for those who have no voice is a passion Christ followers should consider in a world where money and power are increasingly in the hands of a few.
This coming year we can choose to live each day with passion for the purposes that are important to God. A resource to encourage you along this journey everyday is a new 365-day devotional, A Passion for Purpose . You’ll want it in hand when the year begins. Don’t let a day go by without regard for those whom God has placed in our world, those for whom His love is deep and lasting.
Please share what you are doing to give women and children a voice in our nation or somewhere in the world.  New Hope Publishers will send a free book to every 10th person who shares their story until we have given away 50 books.
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Responses

  1. Wow! You know what amazes me? I pray for my brother serving in their county for his safety and his spirit. I often also pray for the “bad guys” and ask God to heal their troubled hearts. How could I forget to pray for the Afgan people?! Those who are hurting, and tormented by a way of life?! Thanks for the reminder to pray for the Afgan people.

  2. Cynthia,

    I am thankful for your brother who is serving and protecting those who have so few who care whether they live or die. I pray for his safety and that he will return home soon.


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