We will not send our daughter to be killed

by oxfamcanada | November 25, 2016
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It was last November when Naseem, a social worker at the Rapar police station in the Indian state of Gujarat, raised her eyes to see a bleeding woman being carried in.

The young woman’s name was Bhina. She was being carried by her parents. She was seven months pregnant. And she had been severely beaten by her husband.

At first, the police refused to file a complaint. That’s when Naseem intervened and insisted they did. She helped Bhina get medical help. Miraculously, both Bhina and her baby survived. Three months later Bhina gave birth to her beloved son, Vijay.

Oxfam has long worked to support and empower women like Bhina. We’ve been working to fight poverty in developing countries for over 60 years.

Bhina’s husband kept threatening Bhina and her parents. And community elders insisted Bhina be sent back to her marital home. But Bhina’s parents refused. Her mother Jamaniben says, “We have told them clearly that we will not send our daughter to be killed. Where were they when my daughter was being brutally beaten up in the middle of the road?”

In our frontline work, Oxfam has seen the impact of rampant and horrifying abuse against women and girls in the countries where we work. Beatings. Rape. Dowry murder. Torture. Child marriage.

What we know for certain is that the underlying beliefs about what are ‘appropriate’ roles for men and women are often a key root cause of violence against women and girls. This must change.

With your gift to Oxfam, you can provide the funding for social workers like Naseem and others around Gujarat. They are a lifeline for women reporting violence. We also know that economic freedom means freedom from violence, and with your donation, Oxfam and our local partners will support women’s economic empowerment through skills-building and entrepreneurship training.

You’ll also be helping us work in Bangladesh, where 34 women were tortured to death between January and March of 2016. And Nepal, where thousands of girls and women as young as 10 are trafficked every single year.

Thanks to our donors, Oxfam is able to work with communities to have much needed, honest conversations about social norms that place greater value and worth on men and boys that all too often are used to rationalize violence.

One of the most powerful things that we can do is to break the cycle of violence. Bhina’s son Vijay will grow up in a household where women are treated as equals, instead of a household where he watches his father abuse his mother and grows up thinking that is okay. This is how we change the world – one person at a time. And we never give up. Thank you for standing with us.

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