Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things I have been reading.

The Livesay Haiti Weblog has had some really great posts recently about care for families, adoption, open adoption, justice, love.  Such honest compelling writing.  First do no Harm. and Working for Justice in Adoption.  and  linking A Map of Adoption Ethics.    Reading their blog and following the stories of the women they serve is quite inspiring; the women are inspiring.    In the first post linked here she comments that through their work they have seen 250 women keep their newborns and not relinquish them for adoption.  So inspiring.

Two posts talking about the book that has been released called The Child Catchers.  The first post is an interview with the author which was really interesting.  The second is one of many refections to the book and articles about the book which I found thoughtful and sincere.  "Actually, this is something that all Christians need to be aware of so that we can be sure to fight for ethical adoptions so that we can be above reproach."

This article was close to my heart as it is eastern DRC where we lived for so long.  After reading it, I remembered my experience running with women who had been raped.  That was an incredible memorable day.  I remember running while holding hands with a woman who was about 5 feet tall (I'm quite tall) who held my hand for the entire run, smiling the whole time.  It was humbling and inspiring.  I was left speechless at the resiliency and bravery of the women in eastern DRC.  The part that made me connect that day to the article I read was that I remember trucks of men driving past yelling at the women and making rude gestures.  So, as I read this article, I really resonated with the writer as she said:  

But in the DRC I discovered something worse than rape as a weapon of war. I discovered an underlying culture of rape in which violating women sexually has become normalized, accepted. In this extremely patriarchal society, boys are taught that being a man means dominating women. Rapists are congratulated on being "man enough" to "take a woman."
Congolese surgeon Monique Kapamba Yangoy explained that the DRC has laws prohibiting men from having sex with girls under 18, but they're not enforced. It is not uncommon for girls as young as fifth grade to ensure "success" in school by having sex with their teachers. University students who demand that their professors wear condoms when they have sex with them tend to get lower grades than girls who don't demand condoms. Women are often asked to have sex with potential employers before they can get a job.
Perhaps the deepest problem, suggests Dr. Yangoy, is that women in such cultures are conditioned to believe they truly are of little value. So they lose the will to fight back, to stand up for themselves, to expect just and loving treatment.
In the DRC, as in many countries, churches have often reinforced this perspective by preaching a perverted message of female submission. Women are to submit, period. No one mentions that men are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church—even to the point of giving his life for his beloved. No one mentions the concept of mutual submission.
But in the DRC that is beginning to change. One reason I work with World Relief Congo is that it actively works toward the slow but sustainable transformation of cultural attitudes toward gender and sex. I sat with Congolese church leaders as Dr. Yangoy challenged them as a woman, a doctor, and a Christian to use their positions of power to protect and empower women and girls.
Recently, at a gathering of women leaders from around the world, I joined women from many faiths in denouncing the actions of those who wrongly use our sacred texts and belief systems to degrade women. Together we agreed to give our voices, our money, and our time to the people, organizations, and cultural movements that honor rather than degrade women. Please join me—for the sake of every woman in India, in the DRC, and in your community and mine.


chantal said...

I'm really looking forward to reading the Child Catchers book. I read her last book and it was really good, and scary.

Lana said...

i couldn't agree more!