After 10 months of peeing on sticks to no avail, in November I saw the tiny double line I’d been longing for. I soon learned Baby likes pancakes and Dad shows his love by coming home with 8 kinds of crackers to keep the nausea at bay. And in the grab bag of first trimester surprises, something unexpected happened.
Baby was still the size of an olive and we had months to go before learning our little creature’s gender. I was watching a documentary I’d already seen twice--- about the dangers girls face all over the world. And three quarters of the way through, I lost it. I ugly-cried in a way I’ve never done so abruptly.
All it took was one thought: “It’s a terrifying thing to bring a girl into this world.”
Terrifying to love a treasure so full of promise in a world that’s primed to break her spirit and beat her body.
As the 8 inch baby girl inside me grows, I can’t wait to meet her, to celebrate her. And more than ever, I’m passionate about creating a world that prizes her innocence, creativity, compassion and dreams.
In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s one way we can celebrate and protect the daughters of the world...
14 million girls were child brides last year.
Childbirth is the leading cause of death of girls aged 15-19.
70 million girls aged 6-12 do not attend school, often because they are forced to provide for their families.
50 million girls are missing in India--- that’s as if every girl in America were to disappear.
47% of all girls in India are married as children
India is home to more illiterate moms than any other nation. They are strong-armed into aborting their girls, selling them or sending them to work in order for the family to survive.
When we educate a mom, we break the cycle of poverty and abuse for generations! We give her the power to give her daughters the safety and opportunity that she’s always been denied.
One amazing way we can help is by sponsoring a student through Sister India. Just $30 sends an illiterate woman to school for an entire year--- where she’ll learn reading, writing, math, business skills, family health and how to make right choices for her children.
After one year 80% of students graduate with a 5th grade level of reading, writing and math! Before the class only 59% of students oppose child marriage, and by the end 95% oppose it! And by the end of the class 96% of students send their sons and daughters to school.
This literacy program, taught by caring, Indian Christian volunteers has already educated over 500,000 students in the last 30 years. Just $5,000 more would complete the funding for this year’s classes in Delhi and Haryana--- two of the most dangerous regions to be a woman.
By skipping out on 1 blouse or one shellac mani, you can transform an entire family in India. You can stand with your sister in India and give her something others said she wasn’t worthy of: an education.
A world without girls is utterly incomplete. Let’s celebrate everything we love about them--- their laughter, their ideas, their heart--- by creating a safer world for girls everywhere! Please be a voice for girls by sharing this post with the hashtag #letgirlsbe.