NASHVILLE — World Help Vice President Noel Yeatts spoke at Q Women conference Wednesday morning in Nashville, highlighting the condition of international women and issuing a challenge to American women to stand up for the rights of those with no voice.
An international humanitarian with more than 20 years’ experience working with impoverished communities, Yeatts explained how poverty and modern slavery intersect.
“The greatest injustice of poverty is that it robs people of their choices,” Yeatts said. “And women are impacted the most.”
This deprivation of choice is one of the root causes for the daily discrimination and inequality women face worldwide. Yeatts challenged this status quo, saying women have the inherent right to choose to rise above, to choose their dreams and to choose life and freedom.
During her talk at Q Women, Yeatts told stories of women and girls she has met in South Asia who have lost their freedom to sexual slavery. One of her most poignant stories focused on India’s Banchara community, where centuries of tradition force 12-year-old girls to enter into prostitution to provide for their families and, often, to pay for their brothers’ dowries. Over the past few years, World Help has launched clean-water projects, provided funding for the first church building in one of the community’s villages and built a safe home for girls who want to leave the sex industry, resulting in both physical and spiritual restoration to the Banchara people.
“While they may not have a choice, I do have a choice,” said Yeatts, challenging the Q Women audience to stand up for the rights of women worldwide. “I can choose to simply look the other way and ignore the suffering and injustices happening every day all around the world, or I can choose to live my life awake — awake enough to make a difference.”
As part of her involvement in Q Conference, Yeatts will be moderating a Q Ideas panel on the “Rise of Women,” Thursday, April 27. She will be joined by bestselling author Ann Voskamp, justice advocate Bethany Hoang and Amani Mustafa, a former Egyptian Muslim who was persecuted by her family because of her conversion to Christianity.
Friday morning, Yeatts will participate in a Q Women breakfast panel with author Lysa TerKeurst, Fashion and Compassion founder Celeste Bundy and Q Women founder Rebekah Lyons. The panel will be hosted by Fashion and Compassion, a socially conscious fashion store that donates its net proceeds to organizations and ministries around the world.
In her capacity as vice president of World Help, Yeatts advocates for women trapped in sexual slavery and marginalized by poverty and gender inequality. Her work has led her to launch freedom initiatives in Thailand and India, maternal care programs in Ethiopia, and a vocational training school in Rwanda, among other international projects.
Also at Wednesday’s Q Conference, World Help launched Freedom Friday, a new campaign to fight sexual slavery. The campaign calls individuals to take a “one-night stand for freedom” by giving up one Friday night’s entertainment and donating its monetary worth to help girls trapped in sexual slavery find freedom.
You can visit www.freedomfriday.com now and sign the online pledge to take this “one-night stand for freedom” scheduled Friday, May 19.
Noel Yeatts is an advocate for social justice and humanitarian needs around the world with more than 20 years of experience. She is an author, speaker, and the vice president of World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization.
World Help is a Christian humanitarian organization committed to serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. Since its inception in 1991, World Help has delivered humanitarian aid to more than 79 million people in 70 countries.