Women arising within the nations
For decades and even centuries, women in every society have been seeking the same freedom as their male counterparts. To varying degrees, progress has been made and will continue to be made as we band together and support each other. But lately I’m encouraged to see this worldwide movement strengthen in bold, new ways.
I recently read a news report about a petition, signed by more than 14,000 women in Saudi Arabia, seeking that the government free women from the guardianship of men. Their conservative Islamic culture, the report stated, requires that “women must have the consent of a male guardian to travel abroad, and often need permission to work or study.” Their campaign, called #IAmMyOwnGuardian, has exploded on social media and speaks out against the rigidly restricted movement and social life of women in this part of the world. I think these women should be applauded for their bold attempt to gain freedom in a male dominated society, and we should stand with them and support them with our prayers.
There are stories of progress coming from many places around the world. African countries are seeing more women achieve positions in parliament. Lawmakers in India are working to eliminate discrimination against women and have outlawed sexual harassment in the workplace. Even Japan, which has historically ranked low on gender inequality standards, has seen its gender gap decrease in areas of education, health and survival.
There is a certainly a forward momentum of women seeking justice and purpose as never before.
Equality is so much more than changing laws and fighting for justice. There has to be a deep spiritual change. I believe God is saying: “it’s time”. Women, God is for you and not against you, and this movement will continue as a spiritual force for change. The arising of women is fruit of the kingdom of God, because equality was His idea from the beginning. Not sameness, but equality. As men and women cooperate and honour and respect one another, this force for change cannot be stopped.