In a conference with some 300 men in attendance in an open-air pavilion, Dr. K.P. Yohannan was preaching on how these men treated their wives, saying something that memory recalls as being to the effect of,
“You treat them like servants [by saying], ‘Do this; do that. Take care of me.’ You get angry and yell. Some of you even push them around. But you are not freeing them to be the women God created them to be.”
The power of this exhortation and of the Scriptures verifying his instruction manifested itself in a loud groaning that began to rise out of the group of men sitting on wooden pews.
“At first,” David remembers, “I thought it was a thunderstorm. I had never heard anything like it in my life. Then I realized these men were groaning in repentance and remorse.”
The devaluation of women in marriage, which those men repented of many years ago, is merely one symptom of what causes the 100-million-missing-women global crisis. If we choose to “see the women,” to study the plight of women worldwide and to pay attention to their distress, we will quickly conclude that women’s lives are threatened from the womb through widowhood.
Indeed, the whole world needs to be groaning in remorse and repentance when we realize that 100 million women who should be alive according to statisticians’ projections are nowhere to be found.
The reasons for this are varied and tragic. Even the numbers vary somewhat. In a 1990 essay published inThe New York Review of Books, Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen claimed there were 100 million missing women. Through the following decade, Sen continued to expand his exploration and discoveries, which were published in many subsequent academic works.
Though estimates of between 90 and 101 million missing women, as well as the various causes for the phenomenon, have been studied, debated and analyzed by demographers and social scientists in the years since Sen’s original announcement, most agree now to the reality that roughly 100 million women, worldwide, are missing.
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