Shadows in the Sun: A Book Celebrating Womanhood

 

It seems impossible that babies are still being killed in the womb, and even after birth, just because they are a specific gender, but it is a reality.  Female infanticide, or “gendercide” is still happening in the 21st century. It is the reason Bangladesh-born author, Rukhsana Hasib, decided to write the book, “Shadows in the Sun”.

From firsthand experience she writes, “Being from an Eastern culture, I am acutely aware of the abuses and oppression of women in Eastern societies, particularly among the poor. The birth of a daughter is still considered a misfortune by a vast number of people.” According to a 2011 report, 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month in India alone. 

“It’s a reminder of how horrible life still is for many women and why we need to support one another and the freedom of all women to be full human beings” –Reader

In some cultures, the birth of a boy is widely celebrated, while the discovery that a mother is carrying a girl in her womb is not. In fact, it is cause for grave disappointment, shame and even murder. The mindset changes from carrying a baby, to a nameless, faceless, “it”.  A girl.  A thing to be discarded and destroyed, just because of the gender. Countless news reports tell harrowing stories of mothers who throw their baby daughters out of hospital rooms, into rivers, or onto garbage heaps.

While India has outlawed selective abortions of female fetuses, it has not stopped the crime. Females in many parts of the culture are still considered inferior to males, and gendercide continues. A 2012 article by The Economist: The War on Baby Girls: Gendercide states, “for millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son.”  Worse still, research reveals the belief and practice is not limited to the poor and uneducated, and is found on almost every continent.

“This book will open up controversial discussions in many book clubs about the roles of women in society and the difficult choices they have to make to better the next generation of women” -Reader

Through the story of Shadows in the Sun, author Rukhsana Hasib adds her voice to the millions of women who have stood up and fought for women’s rights, “with the hope that eventually our collective voices will ring loudly enough to be heard in every corner of the world.”  

Many use “selective abortion” to get rid of female babies. Not just out of the womb, but out of the family structure, the society, and their place in the world, literally robbing them from their destiny. Rukhsana Hasib, along with advocates against gendercide look forward to the time when “the birth of a daughter is no longer considered a misfortune, as a mere shadow in the sun, but as valuable as the sun itself, which nurtured the earth like the mother who gave birth and sustained life.”

Long held belief systems are powerful, but not impossible to break through. As with any cultural shift, negatively embedded belief systems must first be dismantled in the mind. Life is a gift to be valued and honored, regardless of gender.

We need to protect, celebrate and empower the next generation of women. The more light that is shed on the issue of gendercide, the less room there will be for evil to propagate in the darkness. 

Author Biography

Rukhsana Hasib came to the United States in 1971, earned an MBA at Rutgers University, and went on to work as a commercial lending officer. She is the author of the novel Shackles of Time and a short story called Redemption of Red, which was published in an anthology of Diaspora writers, poets, and artists in 2011.

More Reading:

All Those Little Faces’: Elizabeth Vargas Explores India’s ‘Gendercide’  

In the third world, unwanted baby girls ‘disappear’. It’s called gendercide. And it’s happening in this country, too  

Follow Rukhsana on Twitter @rukhsanahasib, or on Facebook

Join me at @DestinysWomen on Twitter.

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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GLOBAL GIRLFRIEND: Shop To Benefit Women Worldwide

Global Girlfriend was created by Stacey Edgar to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing unique products and a simple way to help women in need. Through Global Girlfriend, marginalized women are given a vehicle to bring their handcrafted products (apparel, handbags, jewelry, handmade paper and bath products, and more) to market, empowering them to create a better future.

Global Girlfriend brings the work of “disadvantaged groups directly to the end-users (you and me) by forming long-term partnerships that provide women a fair living wage with equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance and development strategies to foster prosperity and reduce poverty.” In turn, stronger families and communities become a reality, along with a tangible affirmation to these women and their children of what is possible. Hope is a powerful catalyst to fostering a resolve for a better future.

“We have the extreme privilege of knowing and working with a wonderful group of women social entrepreneurs globally who are leading cutting edge women’s non-profits aimed at bringing women social and economic justice.” –Global Girlfriend

The advocates and artisans of fair-trade products are cinched together by a single common thread of purpose: “helping women in need help themselves”. Women from Nepal, Africa, Thailand, Guatemala, India, and other countries unite around their shared cause: security and freedom.

“We believe passionately that economic opportunity for women holds the promise for real change in the world; because when women have an income, they reinvest in themselves and in their children’s health, education and nutrition.” –Global Girlfriend

Recycled Color Burst Tote from globalgirlfriend.com

Shopping is more meaningful and even more fun with names like, “101 Beads of Joy” or “101 Beads of Peace“, “Zulugrass Beads for Learning“, “Three for Freedom“, “Congo Solidarity Skirts” and, bookmarks with meaningful sayings that sum up the vision: “Start Small, Dream Big, Change Lives“.

 

“Each item we sew is our claim to a better world.  A world where we are seen not only for the challenges we face but for the beauty we create.” -Congolese Seamstess

You can also choose from a variety of the “Gifts that Give More” projects. These provide opportunities to help girls in Afghanistan receive an education, provide childbirth kits to mothers in developing nations, skill train mothers living in extreme poverty, or help liberate girls from human trafficking or those living as indentured servants, and more.

Sharing about Global Girlfriend is a creative and unique way to enlighten and inspire your friends to shop with an eye toward giving back. Promote fair-trade eco-friendly products at your workplace, through gift-giving, event promotions, fundraiser giveaways or, to educate children.

Together we CAN make a difference.  Now don’t keep it to yourself, Go Tell a Friend!

The GreaterGood Network of websites offers the public a unique opportunity to support causes they care about at no cost to them.

Connect with Global Girlfriend to shop online, on Facebook, or to follow Stacey Edgar on Twitter.  Buy  Stacey Edgar’s book, “Global Girlfriends”.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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