Friday, March 08, 2013

International Women's Day


This is International Women's Day, a celebration or recognition I thought might be relatively recent, and a result of the feminist movement of the 1960's. What do I know? IWD began in 1911 and in 1913 it was set for March 8th -- a century ago today. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. In several countries it is a national holiday, and in many others there are special events. While we were living in Sudbury Ruth, my wife, attended a number of Women's Day breakfasts which featured prominent female theme speakers.

Our culture has come a long way toward equality between women and men since the world portrayed in a drama such as Mad Men, and as a husband and father of two daughters I appreciate that within Canada they have tremendous opportunity. I am part of a Christian denomination which ordains and commissions women and in which laywomen can fulfill every role that men have traditionally taken on.

We aren't there yet when it comes to equality, even in this wonderful country.  A conclave of cardinals, including Canadians, is choosing a new pope in Rome and all of the participants are men. The Canadian in the running is happy with the status quo on the ordination of women.

Ruth works as an outreach counsellor for a women's shelter and I am relieved that she will soon leave that role after nine years because of the toll listening to stories of physical and mental abuse has taken on her. It is ugly stuff.

We see that girls and young women are still objectified in our society and often participate because of the social pressure.

Elsewhere in the world women are often treated as chattel or attacked or denied education.

This is a good day to remember stories from the gospels, including the Samaritan Woman, in which Jesus sees women as children of God, not as second class citizens.

Any comments on this day from your perspective? Will the readers who are teachers reminds your students? What about your hopes as parents of daughters? What do you teach your sons about women?


1 comment:

Nancy said...

Many a discussion takes place in the education world on the rights and responsibilities of all humans. Race, sex, religion, etc doesn't matter, we are human.

We are not in class today, - start of break. (smile)

Our daughter is spending the day taking a babysitting course. When I dropped her off, the room was about equal guys and girls- nice to see that the guys are taking the care of children seriously as well. It is hoped that our daughter will understand that she should be treated as an equal in everything she does. As parents we hope and pray that we give our children the tools they need to stand up for what is right.