Literacy key to preventing coercion of women

By April 16, 2013

India (MNN) — It looks like women are being exploited yet again in India.

MNN has often shared about women who are hoodwinked into human trafficking. Now, many women are selling their bodies as incubators for American couples who can't have kids.

CBS News made U.S. audiences aware of the issue in a recent two-part series. It investigates the trend of American couples seeking cheaper surrogacy rates in India, where expenses are less than a quarter of surrogacy costs in the U.S.

Lindsay Ackerman of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India says, "The driving force behind this seems to be just the incredible poverty that millions and millions of families in India are living in."

It points to a bigger problem in the world's biggest democracy.

"Most women in India are not educated," Ackerman explains. "They are never sent to school, and this is one of the ways that they are [trying] to earn an income for their families."

Whether women are tricked into selling their bodies for sex or surrogacy, it can all be prevented by one simple thing: education.

Mission India is preventing exploitation through their Adult Literacy Classes. Over the course of 52 weeks, women are taught to read and do basic math, as well as how to start a home-based business. Curriculum is based on the Bible and biblical principles, and women are learning about Christ–many for the first time.

"It costs just $30 for one person to enroll," Ackerman says. That one-time cost covers an entire year of life-changing classes.

Click here to support a woman's education and change the trajectory of her family's lives.

Ask the Lord to protect women in India from harm. Pray that many will find Christ through these Literacy Classes.

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