Christian Aid is urging the public to give generously to its Christmas Appeal, so women – particularly mothers – around the world can live full lives free from poverty, oppression and discrimination.
At this time of year, Christians remember how, against all odds, one mother’s bravery and devotion brought her family out of danger.
Today, gender inequality is a major cause and effect of poverty. It is estimated that one in three women experience gender-based violence within their lifetime, and women are 4% more likely to live in extreme poverty than men. Approximately one third of married women in developing countries report having little or no say over their own healthcare.
In India, poor and marginalised Dalit women – the most excluded of the caste system – account for 95% of the 1.2 million ‘manual scavengers’. Every day, they endure hours of degrading work that involves the removing, carrying and cleaning of human excrement from latrines and sewers in return for scraps of stale bread and a few rupees.
These women are trapped in a generational cycle of manual scavenging, a practice that is technically outlawed in India, but keeps them trapped in poverty.
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, said: “It is not right that women are still disproportionally affected by poverty, discrimination and violence.
“If we give women the opportunity, they can be stronger changemakers who can transform our world. We all have God-given gifts we can use to help others – and ourselves. Women have the power to liberate themselves, their families and others from oppression; to challenge inequality; and to seek justice.
“Every one of God’s children has the power within them to change their lives and achieve wonderful things. They need a conducive environment to make it happen.”
Christian Aid’s local partner organisation, ARUN has helped millions of people in India break free from manual scavenging during the past decade by educating them about their rights, helping them to apply for government compensation grants, skills training, and giving them the chance to make a better life for themselves, and their families.
Your donation could provide a woman with skills training, like tailoring, to enable her to set up a business (£19), or could pay to replace 50 (£141) or 100 (£282) dry toilets with flush toilets and help eliminate manual scavenging.
To donate, visit https://www.christianaid.org.uk/christmas-appeal