Both men and women are valuable. The Scriptures show and state this truth; it’s a key tenet of the Christian faith. Even so, not everyone treats women with dignity. Women and girls endure violence and oppression. They bear the brunt of the world’s injustice. Current news coverage is making the sad fact all the more understood. Many women are vulnerable and are poor academically, economically, socially, and spiritually. Imagine, with us, these injustices happening to your daughter, wife, mother, sister – or to yourself. You would shout, “Stop!” Paraphrasing Jesus’ Golden Rule, you would consider the outworking of “Do to others as you would want done to you.”
Bangladesh’s government is trying to address gender inequality. Because this is a patriarchal society, people were traditionally only asked their father’s name; now the government requires form-applicants to list both parents by name. Brides traditionally cost a lot to be married off, and then they leave their parents and join the husband’s family... so pregnant women hope for sons. The government wants to lighten the “burden” of having daughters. Because education is costly, poor parents opt to school their sons not daughters; now the government is financing girls’ education. Because females here have been sequestered within their homes, few are physically fit; now the government is encouraging healthy lifestyle and high-school girls’ sports. If a woman is suffering physical abuse in her home, the government urges her to seek legal justice and protection. Yes, changes are happening.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report released at the latest World Economic Forum, within 80 years many countries will reach gender parity in pay, status, and governance. Yet more is possible. We needn’t wait 80 years.
AOB wants to prayerfully lift up and empower the women with whom we work and whom we serve. We want to speak of God’s love for each one personally. We want to help them to live with God-given dignity.
- To offer protection in our projects, AOB requires Woman-and-Child-Protection training for personnel who work with women and children. We operate according to our Woman-and-Child Protection policy.
- Memorial Christian Hospital ensures that every mother and newborn who enter our doors receive high quality health care. This is particularly important when mortality risk is its highest – during labor and childbirth.
- AOB’s Literature Division recently produced more books for women: Two bestsellers are Women in the Bible and Every Life is Valuable.
- AOB’s Human Resource Development projects invest in women and girls. In Child-and-Community Development camps, girls are taught wise behaviors to help protect themselves from gender-based or sexual violence.
- Our formal and non-formal education projects see girls excelling in their studies. We offer 50% of our enrollment to girls. Memorial Christian College of Health Sciences offers young men and women training in the medical field. Baptist Bible College of Bangladesh teaches male and female students to study the Scriptures deeply and practically use their theological training in their homes and communities.
- At Heart House Handicrafts, we invest in women’s economic and income-generating activities. Women who are widowed or handicapped develop skills in handicrafts and tailoring.
- Skilled women work in many of AOB’s projects: as teachers, media producers, camp leaders, traveling health workers, nurses, paramedics, and more.
And so, our goal is a gender equality that draws people to trust their Creator, He Who can redeem every circumstance and each person. This type of gender equality enables community development. As the apostle Paul explained, “From Him (that is, Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)