I just spent a week being reminded of the incredible injustice of the global economy. The harsh reality that “where you live [does] decide, whether you live or whether you die.” (U2)
For poor young women in Thailand the choice is clear and alarming. Back breaking labour all day in rice paddies to earn $1 a day or soul destroying labour all night servicing the insatiable lust of white middle-aged men (who look a lot like me) to earn $50 a day.
These are the choices that would have faced my 18-year old daughter had she been unfortunate enough to be born into a Thai village. As it turns out she is lucky enough to live in middle-class London where she earns $15 an hour providing child care to families in our neighbourhood. If she worked the 12-hour shifts her contemporaries do in Thailand then she would earn $180 a day.
I am left with disturbing questions: How is it possible that the life and soul of an 18-year old can be valued so differently? What will I do about it? How will I shift the global food system that devalues poor farmers and day labourers? How will I train my boys to never become those men that fuel the system? How do I use my position of influence and power to shift global indifference and ignorance?
It’s not good enough to rescue a few girls from grinding poverty – we need to shift the entire system and revalue them all.