Monday, March 08, 2010
I decided that I wouldn't bother reflecting on International Women's Day this year. After all, women in Canada have made great strides toward equality and this is reflected in international studies. This country is a good place for women to live in terms of longevity, human rights, post-secondary education and income. Women are now well represented in professions such as medicine, law, education and --yes -- the ministry of more liberal denominations. We have established excellent programs for maternity and parental leave. So do we really need a women's day anymore?
Then I thought about our older daughter, Jocelyn, who has been told, matter-of-factly, that in the field in which she is training men are consistently paid better than women. Through my wife Ruth I hear of the horrendous circumstances many women find themselves in because of domestic violence. There is still a glass ceiling for women in this country. While women can find meaningful employment, it is unlikely that they will reach upper management positions.
Of course in many other countries of the world women are still second class citizens and often have few rights. And it is disturbing that religions, including Christianity in some cases, justify inequality as God's intention and will.
When I read the gospels I find a number of stories in which Jesus has a different, much more open awareness of women than the prevailing culture. As I have said before, he didn't have modern sensibilities, but he opened the door to equality.
So, do you think International Women's Day still makes sense? Will you do anything to acknowledge this day?