For some, women's day is a chance to remember the struggle for women's rights and to celebrate the progress that has already been made. Indeed, I'm thrilled to live in a time and a place where I can raise my kids, pursue my artistic dreams, and engage in business endeavors. I doubt there has been a better time in history to be a woman.
That is my truth today. Unfortunately, it is not the case for the hundreds of thousands of girls and women trapped in sex slavery around the world.
For sex trafficking to end, we need more than just good preventative measures. We need more than just stricter laws and more law enforcers willing to uphold the cause of justice worldwide. For sex trafficking to end, we need God to change hearts. We need to ask God to bring down the cultural chains that hold entire communities in slavery to falsehoods and lies that help trafficking flourish.
Although paying a dowry to marry off a daughter may not be an evil practice in and of itself, in many cultures, the dowry principle teaches families that their daughters truly do have a price tag. In Cambodia, Thailand and other nations of Southeast Asia, girls are expected to serve the family, no matter the cost. A family can sell a girl into slavery to help pay off a family debt and pat themselves on the back for making a wise business decision. Until these values are confronted, girls in these countries will continue to suffer.
Many cultures offer girls far less education opportunities than boys. If a girl is taught to think for herself, and if she is equipped with a trade that can produce income when necessary, she will be far less susceptible to human trafficking schemes.
In many nations, girls are viewed as less human because they’re female. They’re not afforded justice because of their gender. In some countries, girls who are victims of rape are charged with adultery. In nations like these, a trafficked girl would hardly have the courage to speak up or accuse her oppressors. Who could blame her? Until women and girls are empowered and taught to see their own intrinsic worth, sex slavery will flourish.
Until these cultural perceptions change, until God’s truth is brought to light, girls and women will still be abused, victimized, kidnapped, and sold. Let’s pray for God to change the hearts of entire nations so that righteousness can flourish in our day and age.
~ Adapted from Thirty Days of Prayer to End Sex Slavery. Available on amazon.