Watch the video above to discover more about The Mordecai Project as well as the injustices women face around the globe.
Female Genital Mutilation
Q: Why do parents in 29 countries force their daughters to endure female genital mutilation?
A: They think it will make them less promiscuous.
In 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, 125 million young girls and women have been brutally mutilated by a barbaric procedure called female genital mutilation. FGM removes part or all of their external female genitals. It is done on girls from infancy through age 15 and results in immediate complications: severe pain, shock, hemorrhage, tetanus, sepsis, urine retention, open sores and injury to nearby tissue. Lifelong scars are physical and emotional: severe bleeding, problems urinating, cysts, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
Even though doctors often perform FGM, it is not done for medical reasons but for cultural and religious reasons. FGM is so entrenched in society that it even happens in churches. "I was in a Pentecostal church in Nairobi, Kenya," says Grady, "and I asked a woman if this happens.
She pointed to an elder in the church. He just had this done to his daughter."
Research shows that if communities themselves decide to abandon FGM, the practice can be eliminated very rapidly. It's an issue that Grady wants to tackle through education. Meanwhile he plans to build shelters specifically for girls fleeing from this abuse. A pastor in Kenya has offered to partner with him, and Grady is looking for sponsors to help fund it. —Diana Scimone
Wives Abandoned by Their Husbands
Q: In most parts of the world, what happens when a husband abandons his wife?
A: She receives no alimony or child support, and in fact is ostracized by society. After all, she must have done something to deserve it.
You won't see billboards in most parts of the developing world showing the names and faces of deadbeat dads, which you might see in some parts of the United States. "There's a big problem all over the world with women being abandoned by their husbands," says Grady. "A woman may have five kids, no food, no skills and no way to get a job. She and her kids are starving. There are no laws that say a man has to support her, either."
This is such a problem in Uganda that Grady is partnering with an American couple who has quit their jobs, raised their own support and are moving to Uganda to launch a woman's shelter and discipleship ministry. "It's a very poor community, so this is about women's economic empowerment," Grady says.
He is currently looking for a church or ministry that will partner with him to fund and sustain the program. —Diana Scimone
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