International Women’s Day

A reflection on women’s rights

In Jesus’ day women were treated as second class citizens.

They existed in relation to the men in their society as daughter or wife and had no existence in their own right. They were to walk behind their husbands, were barred from the synagogues when they were menstruating and when allowed to enter were required to stand behind a screen.

Therefore, it is extraordinary the number of occasions in the Gospels that Jesus challenges the gender norms of his time.

He teaches Mary as a disciple, recognises the greatness of the widow who is giving two meagre copper coins as an offering and engages in lively dialogue with a Samaritan woman who very quickly goes out to evangelise!

A prayer for IWD

Lord, God,

Help us to see past gender stereotypes to embrace your loving vision where all are cherished.
Enlighten us so that we may perceive our own hidden greatness and that of others.

Liberate us so that we may reach beyond the constraints of cultural norms which may restrict us.
Guide us so that we may choose that which is better, rather than that which is expedient.

Give us eloquence so that we may speak out for all who are oppressed.
Give us courage so that we may stand up against injustice.

Give us creativity so that we may find new solutions to old problems.
Give us vision so that we may see the world as you see it.

And give us wisdom so that we may become instruments of change.