Okay, I am far from a feminist. In fact, in looking at the International Women’s Day Website (http://www.internationalwomensday.com/default.asp) I realized I really, personally care less about many of the issues. Maybe this is only because, generally, I am treated equally. Yes, there are thousands of arguments: I might get less pay, I do more housework, I can’t rule the world. But feminism is not my thing.
First of all, to be clear, the Bible does say that the woman is under the authority of man. Yet from this we can easily tangent into a discussion about the verses in the Bible that seem to downgrade women. There are a lot of views on those scriptures, and no matter what your opinion is and whether we’d even agree, there is no way this could ever be used to support oppression towards women. Personally, I think its a good thing for women to be under man’s authority, when fathers, husbands, and church leaders guide in love, laying their lives down. Its one more load of stress taken off my back. I can still have equal say, equal choice, but I don’t have to worry about answering about stuff I am emotionally embedded in, I can ask my husband for help. Or my pastor. They make a decision and, whew.
Christians sometimes forget to protect the value of women in fear of getting too liberal-feministic. That’s a shame. When Christians shy away from women’s issues, and no men step up to the plate on our behalf, the Church does not represent God. It also looks pretty crappy to the rest of the world and is used as justification to oppress women more, even if subtly. Here are two Bible verses to give us some godly perspective:
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
1 Corinthians 11:11-12
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
So, from the perspective that we all come from God, are eqaul with one another, and are NOT independent of each other, Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s move forward, valuing and protecting women! As even though feminism isn’t’ my thing, there are a couple of things that are- oppression and poverty both are some things that really need to be fought against. And women have a hard time in this world in both regards. Check out the following statistics:
- Females in developing countries on average carry 20 litres of water per day over 6 km
- Globally women account for the majority of people aged over 60 and over 80
- Pregnant women in Africa are 180 times more likely to die than in Western Europe
- 530,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth each year
- World population hit 6,872,741,131 on 1 January 2009
- Of 1.2 billion people living in poverty worldwide, 70% are women
- 80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women
- Women own around only 1% of the world’s land
- AIDS sees women’s life expectancy of 43 in Uganda and Zambia
- 5 people are added to the world’s population every 2 seconds
- Women are 2/3 of the 1 billion+ illiterate adults who have no access to basic education
International Women’s Day. (2010). “Gender Facts.” Retrieved March 7, 2010 from http://www.internationalwomensday.com/facts.asp
• An estimated 500,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes each year, more than 90 percent of them in the Third World.
• 100,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions, almost all in the Third World.
• The World Health Organization estimates that seventy million women, most of them Africans, have undergone some form of female circumcision.
• In 1991 bridal dowry disputes led husbands and in-laws to kill more than 5,000 wives in India.
• Approximately 855 million people in the world are illiterate (almost one-sixth of humanity); two-thirds of them are women.
• Of the 1.3 billion persons living in absolute poverty, 70 percent are women.
IN SOUTH ASIA
• One of every eighteen women dies of a pregnancy-related cause.
• More than one of every ten babies dies during delivery.
IN NEPAL AND BANGLADESH
• One in every five girls dies before age five.
• Approximately 25 percent of the twelve million girls born each year die by age fifteen.
Point: As difficult as life may be for the vast majority of humanity, it is even more trying for females.
Note, this last set of facts is dated 2006. Source: www.undp.org, UNDP 2006 Annual Report.
(Viotti. 2009. International Relations and World Politics, 4th Edition. Pearson Custom Publishing p. 18.2.1).