We all, women and men, have an opportunity to join with others around the world to act justly. Let’s stand together for freedom, justice, and righteousness on Friday, March 8 (International Women’s Day). Unlike the uniquely American version of Mother’s Day, this international commemoration is for ALL women and it’s about much more than receiving spring bouquets, overpriced cards, and fancy lunches.
According to my writing guild friend, Shayne Moore, in her hot-off-the-press book Refuse to Do Nothing:
“There are more people enslaved today than there were during the entire trans-Atlantic African slave trade that ran from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. The widely accepted estimate of the number of slaves in the world today is 27 million people. 80% are women and children.”
A majority of those slaves are young girls being used in the sex trafficking business — a business that brings in 32 billion dollars every year. Sometimes the girls’ parents sell them into slavery to pay off a loan, hoping to escape their desperate poverty. Sometimes the girls are tricked themselves. But no one would choose this life that they cannot escape.
International Justice Mission is leading the charge to shine a light on slavery. According to their website:
“Slavery is wrong. You know it. We know it. As a country, we’ve officially known it since 1863. But here’s something you might not know — Slavery still exists. We want every man, woman and child to know that there are 27 million men, women and children, just like them, living in the shadows. In brothels. In factories. In quarries. Working as slaves. In 161 countries. Including our own. We are here to shine a light on slavery. No more bondage. No more sex trafficking. No more child laborers. No more, starting now.”
Together, let’s end it. And let’s start today.