World Watch Monitor March 6, 2020
The UN Secretary-General last week called it ‘the biggest data gap in the world: the unquestioned assumption that men are standard, and women the exception. Very often, women are not counted, and their experiences don’t count.
In its Gender-specific Religious Persecution Report 2020, Open Doors says the two most-reported persecutions used against Christian women and girls globally are sexual violence and forced marriage.
Across every region of the world, sexual violence continues to be the most prevalent means of exerting power and control over Christian women and girls. Often this sexual violence is outside marriage; but forced marriage also gives an appearance of respectability from which a woman cannot escape.
Women are disproportionately targeted, in many more ways than men, especially if they are converts from another faith such as Islam or Buddhism. These young women are physically alive, but they are hidden and isolated; hence their suffering is frequently un-reported. They are also lost to the Christian community and to the future of the Church.