Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2013

What I said last year still holds true. We shouldn’t need a day to celebrate women or to remind ourselves that discrimination based on gender is not how things should be.

jan carson_0A few months ago I asked where are the modern day prophets? Well, I’ve found a few and they are women.

The first is Jan Carson, speaking at AskWhatNow’s stimulus event on Faith and Arts in Belfast – a well spent 10 minutes watching this. (Click here or on the picture)

The second is Rev. Heather Morris. A lawyer friend told me about this talk that she delivered at the Annual New Law Term service in Dublin. Speaking to a congregation that included visiting judges from Northern Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales, as well as political leaders, members of the Irish judiciary, An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and the Diplomatic Corps she was a prophetic voice:

Faithful Christian living in whatever our sphere of work and influence demands that we address the hard questions, there are so many we could choose–

what do we do when our national character has become defined by aggressively defensive self interest? Faithful Christian living demands struggling, asking questions of a culture dominated by consumerism and asking the deeper questions of what has led to this? Demands that we listen to voices often disregarded and unheard. I remember very well listening to a young woman one evening as she courageously spoke in church about her life. She was a single Mum, living on benefits. And to good church people who from time to time asked “how can those Mums afford to give their kids those trainers, when I can’t”; she said “my kids do have designer trainers; we do have a Play Station and lots of games”, and then she talked about why. Because she said I want a stable life for my kids, I want them to have a Mum and Dad and a garden, but I can’t give them that, and I feel bad about that; but I can get then trainers– even if that means I have to move frequently to avoid debt collectors, and I will do whatever I have to in order to give them that. Commitment to the disturbing uncomfortable Son of God means prayerfully asking “What have we done which has built a society where self esteem is effected by the shoes we wear and the bags we carry?”

Allegiance to Jesus demands listening, demands holding back from the easy answer or the glib response that points a finger. Listening to Jesus may mean humbly being willing to name falleness, humbly naming where we have gone wrong. It demands a wholehearted commitment to Jesus who is the Lord in every sphere – for Jesus is not part of a collapsible morality that we can put into our pocket and pull out when we want it and ignore when we don’t. Remember Jesus is the Son of God, who simply speaks Peace and it comes to pass.

Sheryl WuDunn’s TED talk on our century’s greatest injustice is well worth watching.

International Women’s Day – Let Freedom Ring!

I have a dream that one day our little children will not be judged by their bodily appendages but by the content of their character.

Let freedom ring!

Not just because today is International Women’s Day but every day. Let strong men stand up and allow there to be strong women. Only when women are liberated to be the people God has called them to be – given full expression of their gifts and abilities, with male and female working not in subjugation but partnership can we see the image of God in humans fully realised and made flesh.

In too many places women are still not being given their God-given dignity and respect. Even in the church…

We shouldn’t need a day to celebrate women, to fight for the rights of girls to be educated, or to remind ourselves that discrimination against women is not how things should be. Every day should be a day when we celebrate the dignity, gifts and abilities of each other across the globe and where each of us has the strength and courage to empower others to flourish, to be confident, to be strong, and to be all that they can be.

I am grateful for the influence of many strong talented and gifted women in my life. It also grieves me that many of those women were denied the opportunity to demonstrate some of those gifts and talents by men who were too weak and afraid to allow them to flourish. If women are to flourish then as men, we need to stand up and play our part. This is one small step in that direction…

I leave you with the words of 2 women:

Sheryl Sandberg on TED – Why we have too few women leaders

Claire  – Burning heart opens can of worms

Get involved practically in different ways with Tearfund, Oxfam or the Sophia Network.