MSA Seed Sampler for the month of July is out. This issue is focused on Women in the Third World.
The status of women varies enormously from one part of the world to another, but there are few places in which it is equal to that of men. Crushing poverty overlaid with long standing patterns of discrimination can create living conditions for women almost too harsh to imagine for those of us living in Western industrialized nations. Seven out of ten of the world’s hungry are women and girls. Worldwide women grow about half of the world’s food, but own only 1% of the world’s property and receive only 10% of the world’s income.
These inequalities have dire consequences for all of society, today and in the future. Women profoundly impact the well-being of their families, communities and local environment. They often have greater influence than men on population growth rates, infant and child mortality, health and nutrition, children’s education, and natural resource management. The articles in this issue of the Seed Sampler focus on the areas where women need the most help, which correspond to specific geographical areas (although the issues are not exclusive to these areas): sex trafficking in Asia, community development in Latin America, reproductive health in Africa and gender-based violence in the Middle East.
Unfortunately most development projects are targeted towards men and those that are directed at women are often small, scattered and peripheral to the main aims of development. Jesus, however, demonstrated respect for women, granting them privileged places in his life and illustrating their equal worth with men. These women have God-given dignity and worth, equal to that of men, granted at creation and deriving from the image of God which is neither male nor female. They are worthy of our concern and our ongoing commitment to see them become all that God intends them to be.
- Mercy Ships’ Obstetric Fistula Program: Providing Corrective Surgeries to Women Suffering From Birth Injuries in West Africa
- Violence Against Women and Girls in the Iraq Crisis, Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, video (September 26, 2007)