Women are Human Beings

Rising Team - Wednesday, January 28, 2015
by Heena Gandhi
My name is Heena Gandhi and I’m an intern with Rising International. I'm 22 years old and studying Anthropology at UCSC. My dream is to go to graduate school to study Public Health, and to specifically focus on health policy to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to receive health benefits. 

I grew up in San Bruno, California and have been living in Santa Cruz for the past four years while attending UCSC. My mom is from Gujarat, India. She had an arranged marriage to my father at the age of 21, and wasn’t able to make her own decision about wanting a proper education. This was because her parents wanted her to get married and start a family. It’s hard for women to stand up for their rights, especially in a country like India, where families already have plans for you. For these reasons, I take my education seriously, and want to make my mom proud of me for graduating from college, since she did not have the opportunity to do so.

Finding Rising International was a true gift because it really opened my eyes to the different kinds of conflict women all over the world are constantly dealing with. I continue to learn so much from Carmel and the rest of the team. Women need to stick together no matter what, and encourage one another when there is discrimination. 

My blog series is about my journey learning about human trafficking. My hope is that it motivates you to contribute to ending it. Thank you for reading it! 

Women are Human Beings

After watching the Not My Life documentary, I was in utter disbelief. I was not that aware of human trafficking, and how it is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world (32 billion dollars), second only to the drug trade. According to the documentary, and for those of you who do not know, human trafficking is in fact slavery. There are an estimated 29 million victims all over the world, and human trafficking exists in every country on earth. There was one woman in this film that really touched my heart when she said, “you feel like...you're not even a person.”

It is very important for everyone to learn about human trafficking because while we can see it happening in other countries, (such as India), it is indeed happening in the United States as well. Women are human beings. We are people, and it is not in any shape or form right for us to be stolen from our families and stripped of our dignity. I’m learning that human trafficking is something not to be ignored. If you, or anyone you may know, are victims of human trafficking, please call the hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733). 
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