ROSWELL, Ga. – While the world stands horrified at the kidnapping of more than 200 young girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, and rapes and deaths of women in India and Pakistan, “Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage” provides critical insight and context for understanding the issues related to the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.
Women and girls comprise more than 60 percent of the world’s illiterate, 80 percent of the world’s trafficked and 98 percent of all sex slaves. Millions of females suffer a lifetime of violence and injustice. Moved to compassion by these realities, Michele Rickett, co-author of “Forgotten Girls” with Kay Marshall Strom, and founder of She Is Safe (www.sheissafe.org), traveled to some of the most high-risk places to tell the individual stories of women and girls mired in the seemingly unbreakable chain of exploitation.
Along the way, she also discovered women and girls rising above their circumstances and paving new roads to hope and freedom.
“While the world is focused on the violence of the Boko Haram kidnapping and other atrocities, ‘Forgotten Girls’ provides a helpful framework for understanding the conditions and background that often lead to the oppression and sale of girls,” Rickett said. “The book lays out this framework, tells stories of abused and enslaved girls who have overcome these injustices, and also provides important action steps to address the conditions that leave girls vulnerable to being sold. This book is a window into the root causes that we have to address.”
Founded in 2002 by Rickett, She Is Safe (www.sheissafe.org) prevents, rescues and restores girls and women from abuse and slavery around the globe. The organization has been at the forefront of bringing awareness to gendercide, child marriage and the abduction and slavery of girls. She Is Safe has established superior results-based programs, curricula, training and metrics that go to the source of the problem and not just treat the symptoms. The organization also has become a reliable source for statistics and other data on female-based issues, especially among least-reached people groups.
Lynne Hybels, wife of the Rev. Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Community Church, writes in the book’s foreword: “[‘Forgotten Girls’] focuses on the life-changing events that have given hope to girls who have suffered in ways most of us can’t imagine. Their stories are a testament to the strength and resilience of our global sisters. Truly, I am in awe of the women described in these pages.”
Numb with horror, little Amina moved along with a group of other survivors desperate to escape the nighttime attack. They helped each other keep moving. “I got lost and could not find my way back. As I wandered around, armed men abducted me. They held me captive, forcing me to cook for them, wash their clothes and sleep with them. One day all the men left the camp, and the girls were left with only one of the gunman. Three of us looked at each other, and we made the decision: it would be better to run and die than to stay with those men.
Amina’s journey walks us into the life of abducted girls, and is just one of the many stories of couragethroughout “Forgotten Girls.”
Critics have offered praise for “Forgotten Girls” not only for raising awareness of the abuse and exploitation of girls around the world, but also in demonstrating tangible avenues that can bring freedom and new life to future generations of endangered girls.
“Through riveting, firsthand accounts, Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett take you on a mind-blowing, heart-expanding global expedition as [the authors] tell stories of the most defenseless and voiceless of our time — women and children,” said Beth Booram, coauthor of “Awaken Your Senses.” “[The book] is an unforgettable read, one that can convert our lack of awareness into meaningful, urgent action.”
“A book we all need to read about little girls and women who are living in parts of the world that most of us never even think about,” said Beverly Dillow of Retailers + Resources. “After reading, be prepared to want to do something to spread the word of the mistreatment of women and girls.”
“Forgotten Girls” can be purchased at http://sheissafe.org/media/ books.
She Is Safe (SIS) (www.sheissafe.org) is a Christian non-profit organization that works to prevent, rescue and restore women and girls from suffering abuse and exploitation in high risk and least-reached places around the globe. This is accomplished by collaborating with local initiatives of education, economic empowerment, anti-trafficking and advocacy. Currently, SIS has strategic partnerships with local women, churches and nonprofits in China, India, Indonesia, Mali, Middle East/North Africa, Nepal, Sudan and South Sudan. The ministry is located in Roswell, Ga.
To schedule an interview with Michele Rickett, contact Ty Mays at (770) 256-8710 ortmays@inchristcommunications. com.