On August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified and granted all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. One hundred years later we have still not passed the Equal Rights Amendment in this country. The reasons are complex. Women are not on a par with men in spite of all the advances that have been made. The question for us here is not only political. Our church too still adheres to a strict patriarchal system. As a result of all this, the gifts and wisdom of half of the population are not shared equally among all. The question is, “Why in the 21st century, with all we know now, are we, a community of the gospel, still living out of a patriarchal belief system when we should be in the forefront of upholding the equal value of each person?”
That all may be one.
As parents, grandparents and teachers teach girls to see themselves as equals with unlimited possibilities. Teach boys to see girls as equals with unlimited possibilities .Do not give life to limiting stereotypes for either boys or girls.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
The human being is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God.
Pope John Paul II
What is new about this moment is that, for the first time in Christian history, masses of women in the Church are silent and invisible no longer. We are coming in from the cold, envisioning the Church in a way beneficial to all. This, I am convinced, is the work of the Spirit of God.
The Christian marginality of women has its roots in the patriarchal beginnings of the church and in the androcentrism of Christian revelation.
Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone’s responsibility.
Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.
I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
B. R. Ambedkar
We must reject not only the stereotypes that others hold of us, but also the stereotypes that we hold of ourselves.
We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.