If just one aspect of my life was changed …
If I was born somewhere different
Like in one of the world’s developing nations instead of the affluence of Australia.
If I lived somewhere different
Like in one of the nations where women are culturally oppressed, abused, discriminated against and treated as second class humans instead of one founded on the Christian principles of equality, respect and the basic acknowledgement of a human’s innate worth regardless of gender.
If I was less educated
If I grew up in one of the African countries where more than 70% of school aged girls are denied access to education. Or if I was one of the women making up 2/3 of the world’s 774 million illiterate people. Instead of having access to quality free education and then completing multiple tertiary qualifications.
(For more info read – Unesco factsheet on girls and education)
If I had a different family
Like some families in Cambodia who sell their pre-teen daughter’s virginity to pay off their own debt. Or families who give their young daughters into forced marriages to buy their way into higher society. Rather than the family that nurtured and protected me and supported me in all aspects of my education and development.
If I was poor
Like more than a billion people live on less than $2 a day – the World Bank’s definition of poverty. Rather than finding myself in the top 4% of the world’s richest people with all the privilege, opportunity and comfort that affords.
Just change one of those factors and my life story could be entirely different.
Today more than 27 million people are in slavery. Trading in people is one of the world’s richest industries behind the trafficking of drugs and weapons.
People are being sold, used, abused, and stripped of dignity. People – actual human beings – are being told and shown that their value is in what they can be exchanged for. That they’re a commodity. That their worth can be measured in dollars, in sexual favours; in their productivity in a factory.
If you change just one aspect of my own life that could be me.
Decisions made for me, good fortune, cultural factors, and opportunity have meant I have never been at risk of such exploitation. But I am no more deserving of such privilege than any one of the millions who are enslaved and suffering right now.
I can’t do everything but I can do something. I can’t help everyone but I can make it possible for some to be helped.
Right now for me that takes the form of participating in Dressember. An advocacy campaign that raises awareness and funds by encouraging women to wear only dresses for the month of December and inviting sponsors to make donations.
In this way the dress becomes the uniform of the advocate and as we exercise our freedom to enjoy our femininity we draw attention to the plight of those who are oppressed because of their gender.
Join the fight for justice.