It’s international women’s day. In some parts of the world this is a national holiday. For example when I lived in Albania this was a day that was recognised and children would give flowers to women they knew and weren’t necessarily related to- often their school teachers. Why have a day to celebrate women? Some men even get all sulky and demand a men’s day.(STOP PRESS – just been told there is a world men’s day ). Well the simple fact is that around the world women are more vulnerable to violence and abuse than men, women enjoy less power and opportunity than men. Yet women take more responsibility for the needs of others than men. The statistics in the UK and globally are shocking:
Over two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners in the UK
Globally at least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
12 000 women die in Russia alone from domestic abuse each year.
When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 per- cent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
Women do 66% of the world’s work yet make only 10% of the world’s income.
3 Things you can do:
1. Watch and Share
This is a powerful and compelling video about the impact of investing in girls in the developing world. Its 2 minutes long and well worth a look. Why not think about sharing this video on your Facebook wall right now.
We all have opportunities to change the way that women are treated.
Sexism is not someone else’s problem.
Sadly in our country there is still a pay gap between men and women. (Women still earn 15.5% less than men).
There are still sexist jokes and conversations in the workplace that cut women out.
In our entertainment industry its still difficult as a father to find films that don’t have a patronising view of women.
You may be aware of the Bechdel test for a movie:
The Bechdel Test:
1. Are there at least two named female characters in the movie…
2. Who talk to each other…
3. About something other than a man?
There are very few films that meet these criteria. ( Thelma and Louise, Black Swan come to mind but both of these films feature abuse against women and have been written to help correct the sexist imbalance in many films.)
There are things we can chose to say, do or watch that will fight against this.You might want to
If you are a Christian then we believe all human beings are made in the image of God and we have the responsibility and the privilege to demonstrate our love for God through the way we treat other people. If we do not respect women then we do not respect God its as simple as that. Jesus demonstrated a revolutionary respect towards the women he came across -
1. Jesus often used women as role models in his illustrations (Luke 21:1-4)
2. Jesus believed women ought to be taught alongside the men (Luke 10:38-42) rather than just do domestic chores as was the custom.
3. The first person that Jesus told clearly that he was the Messiah was a woman (John 4)
4. God chose the first witnesses to the resurrection to be women (Luke 24:1-8) even though at the time a woman’s testimony was not seen to be as valuable as a man’s.
Pray that all churches whatever their denomination or tribe will demonstrate the same respect, compassion and honour towards women that Jesus showed. That we would model to the world the truth that:
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Pray that the church would model a way of relating to women that will be a taste of the kingdom of God in the world today.
Pray that the church would get involved in fighting against violence and injustice against women.
Pray that the church would play its role of following God’s lead in being a protector of widows and orphans.
You might also want to get involved with Restored an excellent christian charity seeking to end violence against women.