Recent reflections have invited us to see where and how God exists within our one, human family.
It also challenges us to change. To grow. And to create a more just society.
I would like to focus this reflection on women, specifically the injustice and inequality women face in all parts of our world (as well as those who identity as non-binary and those members of the transgender community).
As one familiar example, consider the pay gap (women earn 80% of what men are paid (may be even worse)) although they are often more educated.
You can read more here https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.asyousow.org/blog/gender-equality-workplace-issues%3fformat=amp
Consider also the #metoo movement and the misuse of power. Is this acceptable for our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters? It isn’t acceptable for anyone.
I am blessed to be surrounded by strong females, non-binary, and transgender individuals, in my personal and professional life. They have done, and continue to do, hard things.
I have also seen loved ones, colleagues, and friends survive oppression- both in spoken and physical actions, as well as in systemic and structural issues.
Bottom line- dignity is often not upheld because of gender. There is enough research and heartbreaking testimony to support these claims.
I think of Jesus on the cross, praying to God saying “forgive them for they do not know what they do,” in speaking of those who persecuted Him.
This cannot be said of us.
We are informed, we are aware. We know what we do- we may just not want to see it.
We must be different as God’s creation to create a more just society and to reflect God’s love.
So what can we do….
First, we can be informed. Be more aware of the facts, even if they make you uncomfortable.
Second, observe. Pay attention to how others and how you may treat people differently. Even on a subconscious level, be more aware.
Third, speak up and change. If you see someone treated less than, say something.
In the same way, if you act poorly- apologize. And learn from this experience.
Fourth, pray for conversion of heart. Pray for the courage to act with love and in response to hate. And pray with gratitude for the heroic nature of so many who are/were oppressed in society because of their gender.
As one final thought, to close this reflection, please take a few minutes to watch this video link titled “I can do hard things,” capturing the heroic actions of women as well as raising awareness to the “greyness” of life: https://youtu.be/rb67fKALxnw