I'm not a numbers person, but I keep on my desk a list of percentages that shakes me every time I read it. Did you know that
? Seventy percent of the world's extremely poor are women?
? Almost 80 percent of all refugees are women and their kids?
? Every year, as many as 4 million women and children are sold for the sex trade or to work as slaves?

And consider this all-too-common scenario in the developing world. An unfaithful husband infects his wife with HIV. He leaves, and the young mother becomes sick with AIDS. While her sons continue going to school, her daughters stay home to care for the family. When the mother dies, her property is taken over by male relatives, and her children are taken in by some woman - often a grandmother so poor she can't provide necessities for her grandkids. Many such orphaned girls, uneducated and desperate, become prey for sugar daddies who promise food or education in exchange for sex. Many of these girls become infected with HIV, and the cycle continues. This helps explain another sad statistic: that worldwide, 60 percent of those infected with HIV are women.

I have been shocked to discover how many of the world's injustices disproportionately impact women and girls. Is there anything we can do about this? Is there any hope?

Let me answer with a true story. Barb, a young mother in my church, receives a letter from an organization caring for AIDS orphans in Zambia. She reads the letter to her grade-school son and daughter, and the kids decide they want to raise money for the orphans. Barb comes up with the idea of having a used toy sale, and she helps her kids organize it. All the children in the neighborhood drop off their gently used toys in Barb's garage and help put up signs throughout the community. On the appointed day, kids buy each other's toys, parents buy toys, strangers who saw the signs buy toys. By the day's end, the kids have raised $1,300 for orphans. The next year, they have another sale and raise even more.

Here's another story. The women's fellowship at a poor Nigerian church has an active membership of about 175 women, 90 of whom are widows. So the fellowship starts a "widow's bucket" project. Every time a woman prepares the main meal of the day, she measures out what her family would normally use, then removes a handful of the main ingredient, like rice, beans, or corn, and puts it in her widow's bucket. At the end of the month, she has a full bucket of grain to contribute to the widow's committee at church.

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And here's a story I love. My friend Laurie, a real-estate agent, began volunteering for an group that helps African refugees resettle in the Chicago area. As Laurie became acquainted with many Muslim families from Somalia, she discovered how hard it was for the children to succeed in school because they had to make so many adjustments so quickly. So Laurie retooled her schedule so she could work a four-day week and devote her free time to starting a summer-school program to help these kids catch up in school. Staffed with volunteers, the school has transformed the experience of hundreds of children - and their families.

Each of these stories is about a woman who looked at the pain of the world and said, "God, how can I be your hands and feet in this situation? How can I meet this need that breaks your heart?" Then they pondered, got creative, came up with a plan, and took action.

I call women like these dangerous women. They are women who know they are loved by God and want to share that love. They know who they are and what they have to offer, and they don't let fear deter them. Then they radically engage with the needs of the world and make a positive difference.

If it's true that women are disproportionately victimized - and it is true - then I believe we also need to be disproportionately engaged on the solution side. We need to do what Proverbs 31:8-9 commands: "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." I think that's a great motto for dangerous women.

I keep a file of dangerous women I read about in magazines or the newspaper. What they do inspires me to keep thinking creatively and taking action. Consider these stories:

? With welfare reform legislation pending, a Denver social worker realized that
many recipients of public aid would lose all aid unless they found jobs within two years. But most of them lacked skills that would help them move successfully from welfare to work. She reasoned that the food industry was one area where people with limited skills could find work and move up gradually as skills increase. Working with a local restaurant owner and chef, she designed a 16-week, hands-on course that covers everything from knife skills, food preparation, and restaurant service to punching a time clock and kitchen sanitation. After completing the course, women are placed in jobs that provide benefits, medical coverage, and a living wage. Ninety-five percent of the graduates have stayed off welfare by retaining jobs for more than a year. How cool is that?

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? While on vacation, a 30-year-old woman read an article about the plight of women in the Congo. When she returned home, she tried to rally her friends to sponsor job training for these women, but nobody listened. She decided she had to do something to get her friends' attention. Despite the fact that she was not an athlete, she began training for a 30-mile trail run in Portland. Her goal was to raise enough money to sponsor one woman for each mile she ran, but she raised three times as much. The following year, she organized similar events in Ireland, Berlin, London, and all across the U.S., raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Congolese women.

? The Red Glove Riders, a group of female motorcycle riders, minister to incarcerated teenage girls. Driving their motorcycles into the gymnasium in a prison youth center, the Riders let the girls sit on their bikes and try on "their leather." The teens are intrigued that women could be Christians and still be cool. The Red Glove Riders are also using their Friday night meetings to learn about HIV/AIDS, and hope to raise funds for orphaned or infected children.

I am convinced that women are the greatest untapped resource in the world. We have gifts, talents, skills, and education. In many cases, we have financial resources that women in the past didn't even dream of having. And beyond all this, we have the tremendous power of Christlike compassion.

One of my passions is to mobilize women on behalf of other women. For some, that may mean responding to the loneliness or grief of the woman next door, while for others it may mean providing food and medicine for women halfway across the world. It may mean offering 40 hours a week for a cause, or scattered hours here and there. But whenever we let God break our hearts with the brokenness of the world, make ourselves available, and think and pray creatively, then God can move us into action and form us into dangerous women.

Read more stories of dangerous women at LynneHybels.com.