Clothing is one of Bangladesh’s main exports, and there is a huge supply of cheap clothing from Bangladesh across the western world. However, there is a high price paid for this profit, a price that comes, mostly, at the expense of women and girls.
Bangladesh ranks number two in the world for child labour violations. Despite the law stating that children under the age of 18 years can only work 5 hours a day, many as young as 13 work up to 11 hour days. Undercover cameras have exposed physical abuse and threats, but, as one 14-year-old said, “We have to eat.”
Statistics of abuse of child domestic workers are even worse.
It all starts with the culture. A survey of Women’s Life Choices and Attitude across 6,000 women in Bangladesh found that 83% of marriages are arranged, with 77% of girls married before the age of 18, and 38% before they are 15.
Most child births, 58%, take place without a skilled birth attendant.
They numbers of violence reports against women are staggering, including gang rape, acid attacks, murder by husbands, and suicide due to sexual harassment.
Education of girls is not a top priority in many homes across Bangladesh. Working to feed the family is the priority, so many children drop out of school or never attend. However, studies from around the world prove that when women are taught to read and are educated, the quality of life is vastly improved in society as a whole.
- Pray for women and girls in Bangladesh, for protection for them from harassment and sexual and physical abuse.
- Pray that the government will recognise the priority of education for women and girls, and take the necessary steps to keep these children in school.
- Pray for Bangladesh to come to value women and girls in their society.
- Pray that Christian churches and ministries will work together to provide literacy programmes for women, as well as heath education and training in life skills that will enable them to lift their families from the cycle of poverty.
- Pray for women and girls in Bangladesh to hear the Gospel, and come to see themselves as God sees them, as precious daughters of the King of Kings.
Psalm 82 vs 3 – 4: “Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.’“