By: Jackie Costello
I am finding it so interesting how the business books I am reading keep tying back social issues like cheap labor, human trafficking and child marriages to make a point. That just proves how this is COMMON KNOWLEDGE. Human trafficking exists. Cheap labor and sweat shops exist. Child marriage exists. There are people all over the world stuck in this common yet horrible cycle of poverty.
Today’s blurb is from 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall in a discussion when he was traveling abroad.
“The first place Smriti took us was to the Kalighat temple, home of Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, who is always depicted with a decapitated head in one hand. Calcutta is named in her honor.
We headed up the street into the Red Light District, a bazaar of dingy buildings, pock marked pavement, milling crowds and vendor stalls. Smriti took Tannah’s hand and I walked with Cuyler. Every block or so, Smriti would bump into someone she knew, usually a prostitute.
This being a different culture, it was not immediately obvious to me which women were on “duty”. I knew for safety’s sake that Smriti was sidestepping the seedier boulevards. She vaguely alluded to what we were avoiding by not going there.
We met a lovely slender, girl with sharp features. She looked about Cuyler’s age. We greeted her, and she and Smriti spoke for a bit. Smriti said, “She’s recently married.” The girl seemed awfully young for that. As we walked on and later had dinner, she explained to Tannah what that actually meant.
“These women come from Bangladesh or West Bengal. They come to here and join the sex trade because of their poverty. While they’re entertaining clients in the night, their kids go out and get food and supply their moms with whatever else they need to support the business.
“That 13 year old married girl you met- her husband is 20-30 y ears older than she is. They marry young to much older men because they’ve got zero money and the man’s got cash.”
Oh I see… he’s her sugar daddy.
Smriti adds: “As these women stay involved in this work, they become very cold and hardened.”
We finish eating, buy a gift for Laura back at home and return to our hotel.
Tannah says to me, “Hey, remember that ‘Half your battles were women for you before you were ever born’ thing?”
“Dad, I GET it. Can we go home now?”
Half those girls’ battles were LOST for them before they were ever born. That, along with the chaos and screeching horns and grime and dingy flats- kinda makes the stairs in the Paris Metro station that reeked of urine a lot less dreadful.”
Because women in developing countries do not have opportunities for dignified work, they are forced into the sex trade. Or if the girl’s parents aren’t making enough money to take care of the child, they are selling her to her husband so that they will have money to take care of their other children.
Child marriage is considered when there is one or more party under the age of 18.
“Each year 12 million girls are married before 18. that is 23 girls every minute. Nearly 1 ever 2 seconds!” (source: www.girlsnotbrides.org)
Child marriages trap girls in a cycle of poverty. It is gender inequality that prevents girls from proper health, education, and opportunities they would otherwise have.
One way to help is to donate to end child marriages in a specific country of your choice here https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/take-action/
Another, speak out about this. Share the facts posted here https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/take-action/
This is an international problem. And as always, you can make a difference when you speak out about it.
Lastly, you can shop fair trade. “Apparel is one of the top industries plagued by human trafficking.” – Kelly Heinrich