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  • Writer's pictureEcumenical Women

Join in UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence - 2023

Kathleen Keefer is the Vice Moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (USA)

These numbers should be a cause for concern. These numbers should make you angry. These numbers should be a cause for activism.

* 130 million 6- to 17-year-old girls are not in school.

* Two thirds of the 781 million illiterate adults – 496 million are female.

* For every dollar a white man earns, a woman earns $.80.

o Women of color are paid $.63

o Native American women are paid $.57

o Latina women are paid $.54

o Asian women are paid $.87

* Two and a half million US children will be brought out of poverty when women are paid equal to men.

* Domestic Violence in the US is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rape combined.

* Three women are murdered every day in the US

* Every nine seconds a woman is beaten

* Every six minutes a woman is raped in the US. 1 in 5 women will be raped during her lifetime.

* The leading cause of death of pregnant women is intimate partner violence.*

In 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Hilary Clinton said the following, “As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace everywhere in the world, as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled, subjected to violence in and outside their homes—the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realized.”

Let us pray: Creator and Creating God, we continue to yearn for a life when the women you created to be equal partners with men are truly equal. We only desire to do what is best for our families, our communities and our countries, but we are held back, every step forward becomes two steps back. We humbly ask for strength to continue the fight. We ask that you make us good advocates for sisters and ourselves, so that we are loved and respected by men, as you Holy One, love and respect us.

*Statistics from Laurie Levin, Call Me A Woman: On Our Way to Equality and Peace, One More Page Publishing, 2021, pp. 47–51.

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