In one of the many slum districts I visited, the level of sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls was truly horrifying. In the face of such extreme suffering, the goal of getting back into the classroom can seem at times a little trivial, but it is a crucial part of rebuilding a normal life. There are towns all over the world like São Luis, where girls are often little more than runners-up in the human race.

And to make matters worse in this era of financial instability, girls are fed last and least. As copulation equals population, an unplanned pregnancy means joining a giant missing persons bureau. And who is missing? The girl with potential – the girl she was BC (Before Childbirth).


One doesn’t need to go to Brazil or any developing 3rd world country where resources are next to nil to witness the last and least feeding of girls. This approach of feeding girls (and women) last is quite common amongst Asian’s,  whereby the men get the pick of the crop, the first servings of hot food and the mere women…well they’re resigned to eating left overs, food that has gone cold, incomplete meal platters (since its in the other room or finished entirely) and scrape the bottom of the pan for the morsel of food remaining.

It’s disgusting. It has nothing to do with taking “pride” in serving the men first -what there is to take “pride” in knowing the men have full stomaches whereby the girls have little to eat is incomprehensible unless there is an obvious bias. It is blatant patriarchy and against the spirit of good faith. What sort of mothers, fathers and brothers knowingly can gorge on food whilst their daughters/sisters are left hungry?

I’ve been to functions where the women and children are told to eat first (as often the kids are wailing for their hungry stomaches) and the men second (not being left to eat scraps either, but served hot food) but of course these things only happen in events where its more “proper” and “right” to do this .

In their own homes however its a different story. One face for the world, and another entirely for indoors.