"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46v1
Gender inequality is a crisis in India, blighting the prospects and health of half the population of an otherwise rapidly developing country. As well as providing quality healthcare, our partners at Duncan Hospital in Bihar have also implemented neighbourhood children’s parliaments to help children understand issues in their villages and advocate with adults for improvements, particularly in women’s and girls’ healthcare. These children’s parliaments are also supported and facilitated by local task force groups, who themselves work to improve gender equality in their local communities.
Task force groups (such as the Sundar Task Force pictured above) are able to keep vigilant and take immediate action to prevent girls from early marriage. Girls like Shajahun Khatoon (pictured right).
It was Shahjahun’s uncle, and guardian, who arranged for her to be married to a 70-year-old man with one eye, and who planned the wedding to take place in a faraway village, so he and other families could keep her property for themselves.
However, this plan thankfully came to light when one of the task force members visited the house where the wedding was to take place and reported to the group what was happening. Hearing this news, they rushed to the wedding place, took the girl away and bought her to a place of safety.