We are continuing our study through the book “Revelation.” Revelation is a collection of essays that explain through first hand accounts the very real nature of world issues. As I have read through this book, I have seen many ways, in my own life, that need to be worked on. I am glad for such a simple but effective work. It has challenged me and so too, I hope it challenges others to pause, reflect, and act appropriately to these issues.
The next issue that is discussed is woman’s rights. I have to admit once again my ignorance to this issue. In Social Studies, we learned a lot about woman’s rights in the United States. From what I remember, the first woman’s rights convention was held in New York in 1848. During that debate, several resolutions were adopted for equal rights for men and women with respects to voting. In 1903, the WTUL (Women’s Trade Union League was established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women. As we continue through history, the first U.S. birth-control clinic was established in 1916 but is shut down only 10 days later. The woman who began the fight for this clinic, Margaret Sanger, was arrested for her efforts. Later on though, she opened another clinic in New York City in 1923. Her efforts manifested into the now popular “Planned Parenthood” in 1942. By 1935, Mary McLeod Bethune organized the National Council of Negro Women that fought against discrimination, racism, and sexism in the workplace. One of the more interesting dates in women’s civil rights history is the approval of birth control pills by the FDA in 1960. Up until this point, it was not lawful for a woman to use contraceptives. On June 10, 1963, Congress passed the “Equal Pay Act,” making it impossible and even illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job. Finally, as a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court established a woman’s right to safe and legal abortions, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states. In my timeline of history, women’s rights never seemed to be an issue in my mind. Though the laws of the U.S. are not perfect, congress has made great strides in favor of equality for both women and men. From fair pay to a women’s right to choose the fate of a fetus, I have never felt the need to make something like women’s rights a thing of the present. That was until I realized that, across the world, things did not work the way I would expect them to as they do here.
It seems as though much of the other world has not joined with the U.S. in every area of women’s rights. In China, women are not treated well and work in horrible conditions for a small amount of money. The catch22 of the situation is that these women need the jobs to support their families but do not make enough to even support themselves at times.
In Africa, there are women who suffer from an issue called “fistula.” This occurs when the passageway of a woman is not taken care of properly. The results could result in discharging from the bowels and, even worse, loneness from her family because the smell is so horrid. Two million women suffer from this issue that could be fixed with proper surgery and medical treatment but these women do not have that opportunity because they do not have health care or even have the right to go to a doctor.
I am not saying we should all become feminist or something. Feminism is not the answer to this equation. The answer is simple. We must care about how all people, made in the image of God are treated. It doesn’t matter if you are white or black, male and female, U.S. citizen or African or Chinese, Demarcate or Republican. We all have and should be able to enjoy the freedom of equality. It should not be something for a select few. I do not condone abortion in any way. I believe one mistake should not result in another and I personally do not believe that the issue of abortion and women’s rights go together. I might be alone in that manner and that’s fine. That’s another post for another time though.
How can we get more involved in women’s rights: Here are some ideas.
* Educate, Educate, Educate. This is a familiar theme we will see throughout these posts.
* Read and learn the history of women’s rights in the U.S.
* Pray for the women in other countries who do not have basic rights every woman should have.
* Share what you have learned with others.
When we do the small things, God does great big things we would have never expected. This is the way God seems to work. I hope you are trekking along with us through these issues. Even though there is a bunch here to consider, learn what you can do now and start there. Any start is the aright start in the right direction.