Last week I received a link to an article from my friend Steve Goode reminding me:
In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.
Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.
This is an issue that I have always been passionate about and I am always frustrated by how complex it is and how difficult to eradicate. The needs so overwhelming and our ability to make a difference seems so limited. I was delighted when I came across this article by Lindsay Tanne:
In Bihar, India—where the bride’s family traditionally pays a dowry—residents are planting the seeds for women’s progress.
Families in Dharhara village have started a new tradition: planting 10 trees whenever a girl is born.
But the gesture is not just symbolic—when it comes to marriage, the benefits are as sweet as the lychees and mangos that will grow.
Subhas Singh, the father of a 19-year-old daughter who is set to marry this month, describes the trees he planted as “our fixed deposits.” He explains that he sold off the fruit three years in advance to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Read the entire article
The planting of trees is not just life giving to those women whose families sell the fruit to provide for their weddings. It is also life giving for the environment.
This story reminds me of one of my heroes of the environmental movement- Wangari Maathai who started teaching women to plant trees around their villages in Africa. Her actions started a movement that spread around the world. May the planting of these trees too start a movement that spreads and changes lives.