March 8th is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to globally celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.
I’m assuming that many in America have not heard of this day. I hadn’t either until a group of women from a church I was working with in Uganda went to celebrate it. I learned it was a day to celebrate women and the beautiful things they contribute to the world. It’s a day for equality, love, and justice. Things that, I think, the Church should be all about.
So this Women’s Day I am opening up the conversation to the Church, if you believe in the following things, you should be talking about #womensday too.
So without further ado, these are the reasons Christians should be talking about women’s day.
1. Because inequality exists.
Most of you have heard of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was shot in the face by the Taliban because she fought for her right to an education.
The Taliban had banned education for girls in her region of Northwest Pakistan, so Malala spoke out against the Taliban and in favor of girl’s education in her region. One morning while boarding a school bus, a gunman asked her name and proceeded to shoot the 15-year-old girl in the face three times. She survived and lived to tell her story, going on to write a book promoting girl’s education. Malala later said, “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.”
In many cultures worldwide, girls are discouraged or even banned from getting an education. Two-thirds of the world’s uneducated children are girls. According to Educatinggirlsmatters.org,
“Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.
There are compelling benefits associated with girls’ education:
Reduction of child and maternal mortality
Improvement of child nutrition and health
Lower birth rates
Enhancement of women’s domestic role and their political participation
Improvement of the economic productivity and growth
Protection of girls from HIV/AIDS, abuse and exploitation.”
Inequality still exists folks. I’ve seen it firsthand in numerous countries and cultures. The more we talk about it, the more we can do about it.
2. Because sub-human views of women are socially acceptable in some cultures.
Worldwide, rape is a very real threat. It is estimated that in the United States, one in five women will be raped during their lifetime. One in five, and this is coming from a country where equality is meant to be valued above all else.
Statistics in other countries are a lot harder to come by because rape is underreported, if reported at all. Many victims worldwide face death, violence, or ostracism if they speak out, so they keep quiet. There is one rape, however, that most people have heard about.
On December 6th, 2019 in New Delhi, India, a 23-year-old student was gang-raped on a public bus after the assailants had beat her male friend. She later died of horrific internal injuries. The story caused international outrage and many began to protest rape.
However, rape is only a symptom of a much more pervasive problem. In this case, the rape was committed because women are not seen as equals in Indian culture.
The rapist himself said, “A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good.”
Because the student was not doing “housework or housekeeping,” he saw rape as a justifiable action.
Women must be seen as equals or rape and violence will continue to be a reasonable response to women who are not behaving as they “should.”