By Robin Rubin, JWI
You’ve heard by now that on April 14, 240 girls ages of 15 to 18 were abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok in Northern Nigeria. A terrorist group called Boko Haram – which translates to “western education is a sin” – claimed responsibility for the kidnappings and threatened to “sell” the schoolgirls as wives, servants and sex slaves. These girls were kidnapped merely for pursuing their education.
It took more than two weeks for the media to start reporting seriously on this incident. What message have we sent by our silence? When the Malaysian flight went missing, there was non-stop news coverage and an international search mission. What these girls have likely suffered in the time it took the world to notice is too awful to imagine. When we say nothing, we send a global message that girls don’t matter and their futures aren’t important, and we embolden those who commit horrific violence against women and girls with impunity. This atrocity deserves and requires international outrage.
Sadly this case is not the first and it will certainly not be the last reminder that, in many places around the world, it is dangerous simply to be a woman. Since this kidnapping, we know of eight more girls who were taken from a nearby village in northeast Nigeria. Numerous news outlets are reporting that the girls are already being forced into marriage or sexual slavery.
The Nigerian government is offering a reward for any information on the girls’ whereabouts and the United States has offered its help in bringing the victims home to their families. We must not stand idly by as human rights are violated.
Please take a moment and join Jewish Women International by calling for a safe and immediate rescue by tweeting, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. For more information on this issue please contact Robin Rubin, firstname.lastname@example.org.