Jesus values women. As he walked the earth, Jesus went against the accepted cultural beliefs and practices concerning women. He taught women who desired to learn, and he acknowledged women as reliable witnesses. He healed those who were sick. He even protected a woman caught in adultery. In John 4:7-29, Jesus spoke publicly to a shunned woman of a despised ethnic minority and offered her the gift of eternal life.
In much of India and Nepal, women and girls are considered a burden. Millions of girl babies have been aborted, smothered or starved to death because their families want sons instead of daughters. Many girls are sold by their families, and others are dedicated to the temple to serve as prostitutes so that their families do not have to feed and care for them.
India is the fourth most dangerous place on earth for women. Around 100 million women and girls are involved in prostitution, and 50 million were "missing" in the last century because of female feticide and infanticide. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 12,000 Nepalese girls under 16 years old are sold into slavery in India, the Middle East, Hong Kong, China and other countries every year.
Domestic violence, cruelty to widows, child marriage, dowry deaths, trafficking, rapes, and sex-selection abortions are cultural practices that are destroying lives in India and Nepal.
Indian and Nepali leaders are trying to improve the lives of women, but the task of changing cultural practices and worldviews is enormous. Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, has introduced women-only buses in an attempt to reduce sexual harassment on public transport. India has recently built 500,000 toilets in homes and plans to add many more to better the quality of life in the country, where 600 million people do not have access to adequate sanitation.