Watching the morning news with my girl the other day we saw a story that neither one of us completely understood. Over 200 girls stolen from their school in Nigeria? Missing for days and no one has done anything about it? Quite honestly, the story went by in such a quick blurb on the news that I wasn’t sure how to dialogue with my daughter about it because I was stunned at the story and more stunned by the lack of coverage.
The 234 girls taken from North East Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group is now somewhat of a global headline, but that doesn’t make the story any less horrific and our initial reaction any less embarrassing. We spend hours on missing Americans in Jamaica or white models allegedly killed by sports figures in South Africa, but we can’t use more than 45 seconds of our precious news cycle to cover 234 young women full of promise stolen in the dark of night? Gross.
My voice in this space is tiny, but I have seen first hand that when many of us with tiny internet voices ban together, we can do huge things. So today, I’ll use my voice to shout from my corner about our girls. Yes, ours. Because if even one girl in this world is ours, then ALL the girls of this world are ours. If we do not fight for our girls, we can never expect forward progress as women, men or civilized human beings. So let’s fight. Let’s scream and shout that we will not tolerate women being treated as property. We will not tolerate girls as terrorist bargaining chips. We will not tolerate a crazy man deciding that his god has made him an authority on the treatment of women. Let us do something, anything, to bring back our girls.
Boko Haram is a terrorist group receiving training from al Qaeda affiliates, according to U.S. officials. The name means “Western education is sin.” In his nearly hourlong, rambling video, Shekau repeatedly called for Western education to end.
“Girls, you should go and get married,” he said.
We can’t allow him to believe he has a right to be in charge.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Sign the Change.Org Petition: Signing this speaks volumes to those in power. We want them to do more. Tell them so.
Embrace the hashtag: #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS
Use social media to spread the word about the situation in Nigeria. We have all witnessed the power of social pressure. Use your social voice to pressure the government, security forces, and neighboring Nigerian governments to spur them to action. Use the hash tag, #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS. Change your profiled picture to the Bring Back Our Girls picture up top. If you follow RG on facebook. I have it so go and take it from there. Take a photo of yourself and your girls and share it with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls. Ask questions like, what if it were your daughter or sister or friend? Make people think. Make people act.
Learn More: I heard Elizabeth Smart speak the other day. Remember her? The young lady kidnapped from her bedroom and returned to her family after being spotted by some regular citizens? She said one takeaway she wanted for us from her story was to know that ordinary people saved her life. If they had not spoken up, if they had seen her and decided instead to let someone else deal with it, or not rock the boat because maybe they were mistaken or just walked on by, she would not have come home. Ordinary people, speaking up when they see injustice is the often the only way things get done. Learn more. Do more. These are Our Girls.
Say a prayer or two: If you’re the praying type, this idea my sister in law sent is genius. The girls that were taken are reportedly both Christian and Muslim. Start your day each day with two prayers, one Christian and on Islamic. Pray as the girls are praying. Prayer has never hurt.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good (wo)men do nothing.”
Do something. Today. Let’s #BringBackOurGirls
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.