My Freedom to be a Country Girl

Every year, over 1.8 million women and girls are trafficked into the global sex trade against their will. It is estimated that 60% are under the age of 16 and some are as young as two. They are typically kept as captive sex workers. ~ from Soulgems website

When I hear of the injustices that are committed against women the world over, it sends a shiver up my spine. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of girls as young as 2 years old being forced into the global sex slave trade.

Could you imagine this fate happening to anyone you know,
or even yourself?!

What about being born into a region where there are no educational opportunities for women, where women are considered as property and are treated as such - employment is out of the question, and sometimes the only "work" option for these women is prostitution.

Can you even begin to imagine this kind of life,
with no spot of brightness on the horizon?

Did you hear about this recent case in Pakistan, where a woman who refused an offer of marriage paid the ultimate price - she was strangled and when she was thought to be dead, her nose and ears were cut off. This was to "set an example" according to the men who did this to her. She survived, and the two men have been sentenced to the same fate, pending confirmation of the high court and a doctor's affirmation that they can survive this punishment. Sadly, the high court has suspended such sentences in the past. I am enraged when I hear of these horrible acts of injustice. Why would anyone worry whether these two could survive their punishment? They were not worried about their victim in the least - but this is because women are treated differently in this part of the world.

When I read or hear of these atrocities against females around the world, it makes me appreciate every day, every second of my life here in the United States, with the precious freedom to be a female who has the choice to be anything she wants to be, and has many positive and exciting options available to her.

My sister was listening to
NPR on her way to work earlier this week, and they were talking about Mekong Blue. Thanks to the help of an American woman, these Cambodian ladies are able to learn a skill and earn enough money to make a decent living, about $150/month which is roughly equivalent to a doctor's salary in their region. Hear the NPR broadcast here.

Since my sis feels that her alternate life might have been as a staunch supporter of women's rights, she checked out this website as soon as she got to work and promptly ordered a bright red scarf to brighten her otherwise drab winter coat ~ and to offer her small token of help to the women who make these beautiful silk scarves.

Another website, Soulgems, sells beautiful handcrafted sterling silver jewelry to help stop the forced trafficking of women and girls. 100% of their profit is donated to charities working to combat sex trafficking. I am personally intrigued by Betty Makoni of Zimbabwe who founded the Girl Child Network in 1998 to help young girls combat the sexual abuse endured at the hands of teachers, relatives, and sometimes, even officials. I have purchased the Little Square - Shelter necklace to make my small contribution to their network.

I realize there are many problems here on our own continent. However, I strongly feel that the exploitation of women and children is at its worst in other countries around the world. So, if you want a beautiful scarf or a lovely new piece of sterling silver jewelry, why not toss your dollars in a direction that actually benefits someone else, and helps lift them out of a desperate and sad life? Every single purchase is a small helping hand to these women.

And these cases are always good reminders for us to appreciate everything we have in our lives. Our families. Our friends. Our homes with warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. Our food, our vehicles.... we are so very blessed to have all the basics that so many people the world over do not have.

In keeping with this subject matter, I would like to pass along a book that is a wonderful, warm read ~ Three Cups of Tea. I always find it heartwarming to read about individuals endowed with a huge, giving and passionate heart, and it's truly amazing to see what one person can accomplish when their mind is set firmly on the goal.

I will draw a name from all the comments made on this post and forward this book to you for a cozy read. Closing date for book giveaway entries is Friday, January 1st.


  1. Thank you for sharing this post and for the book recommendation and the other sites as well. Also, Kiva is another great site that makes loans to women (and men). To think of children being abused and women with no freedoms is sobering indeed. We complain about so much here in this country but we are very blessed as well.

  2. Very enlightening and knowlegeable post Susan. it makes me sick to my stomach to hear about these things. Thank you.

  3. thank you for a very informative post. Very heartfelt and enlightening.


  4. Sometimes it's hard to even take on that these things really happen, living in our little sheltered lives. Thanks for bringing them into the spotlight in your own way. I read a review of this book by another blogger I love and she was also touched deeply by it. I would love to get the chance to read it.

  5. Thanks for sharing this information. I love the necklace and what a great cause.

  6. I heard that story on NPR (my fave station when I am working in the barn!) and also felt sick to my stomach.
    Thanks for posting about this, Susan!

    I hope your holiday was spent with loved ones, and was warm and fuzzy!
    We spent ours in the barn, with those that we love, and gave out special horsey treats. It was awesome :)

  7. One wishes one could be very wealthy and have many more lives to live so one could help make a bigger dent in all the evil that one reads and hears about. It is hard to decide sometimes just where to contribute to help the most. We are so blessed that so often I wonder how come we have all these things and these women and children do not. Is the wheel of Nirvana really the answer?

  8. I get absolutely disgusted when I hear about this kind of abuse. It is so wrong and I just wish it would never have to happen!!
    Love that necklace, and I always love a good book!

  9. This subject always breaks my heart to just hearing how women around the globe are forced to survive. Yes, sometimes seeking a better life in the United States they are 'shipped' into this country with the purpose of more of the same. Thank you for drawing attention to this very horrific matter. Ladies we can make a difference here. It was so good to hear from you again. 'So glad your back.

    God bless you and let us all enjoy our blessed freedom!!!

  10. It's a dreadful thing but the fact is that there is too much injustice in the world for us to handle. I give my time to help local kids who are dying. I give my money to help local people who live on the streets and I give my prayers to those further afield who suffer injustice and hope for their relief. Just now, my heart is with the oppressed in Iran. On a lighter note, I wish you and yours a very happy new year!

  11. I read about this stuff too and it is so hard to comprehend how humans can do such atrocities to another being-especially children. I don't know if you've ever heard of Joyce Meyer Ministries but she has an outreach also for women and children in the sex trade. It's called Hand of Hope and they have built several sanctuaries for those that have been rescued from the slavery. I donate to them when I can. Any organization that can help these people is a blessing to those who suffer. Your post is an awesome way to spread the word and make us realize how blessed we are.
    Chester's Mom ;0=)

  12. Such a great post! The injustices done to young girls is astounding and terrible!

  13. Good post wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for sharing your world

  14. Hey girl,
    That Three Cups of Tea is an awesome book!
    You know what else is a good read? In the Land of Invisible Women by Quanta A. Ahmed, MD. Check it out.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  15. I loved Three Cups of Tea, and I'm currently reading Greg Mortenson's new book, Stones into Schools. So far, it's also a great read.
    Happy New Year to you!