Definition: Purdah is the practice of the seclusion of women from public observation by covering their bodies from head to toe. It is also a state of social isolation, which confines women to their homes.
Purdah is frequently carried to such extremes that women suffer from softening of bones, eczema and ulcers due to lack of sunlight.
In Bangladesh, woen have been attacked with acid because they were brave enough to be seen in public, transgressing the traditional boundaries of purdah.
Purdah includes the restriction of women's access to medical care.
A portion of the book: "As Nailah entered the world, mourning and disappointment were all around her. Rejection was written all over their faces. Her father's pursed lips, silent curse; Grandmother and the other women's rigid shoulders, frozen in silence, heads bowed, looking at the ground; Uncle kissing father's cheek, holding him by the shoulders, whispering; Grandfather, with tears in his eyes. Nailah's birth was a disaster because she was a girl.
Mother's faceless face, covered in dark cloth ; another passage and another birth awaiting Nailah. A covering to surround Nailah like the placenta that followed her out of her mother's body like a shadow, that once held her, hid her from her family's expectant view. A layer to shadow her whole life behind walls meant to protect her modesty and the family's honor, behind closed doors and separate chambers. A new skin to cover her skin, to hide it from sun, from wind, from roving eyes, the unchaste. A dark layer to hide her tears and the smile few will ever see." ( 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless)
The oppression that these women face is beyond anything I can imagine. The rejection from the whole family , just for being a girl? How can it be? The way Satan has permeated this society with these evil traditions is frightening. Oh Father, that you would send your light into these dark places. That the light of your love would bring release for the captives that you would reveal your love and perfect plan for their lives. That they would know just how much you love your daughters. That doctors in these lands would speak out against these practices. I pray you would open the eyes of the men in this society to see just how precious and valuable women are to you. That these women would see themselves as you see them. Oh Lord, begin to break down these strong holds that soon a generation of women would be able to feel the sun, wind, and rain upon their faces.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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