So. Today Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s Day. What do you think about the current state of play where women’s equality is concerned?
The Bible is and is not the best place to start. Both Old and New Testament come from an age and culture where the male dominated society was the accepted pattern and no one really challenged it. And yet curiously God breaks through those patterns speaking through women as well as men. In the New Testament a writer like the Apostle Paul feels no need to challenge the accepted norm of women having their head covered in church and being obedient to their husbands but also gives thanks for women who are his fellow workers in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We might interpret it this way that men and women are equal in the eyes of God but not equal in the eyes of society. Does this mean there is a gap between God’s understanding and ours? Do I actually need to answer that question?
50 years ago the Church of Scotland Ordained women to the Eldership of the Church. At the time it was a huge leap forward. And since then women have also been ordained to the Ministry. On the face of it the Church looks like it is practising equality recognising that God works through us all, men and women alike. Wasn’t it a woman who was the first to receive the news of the resurrection? And then all the men – the disciples – received that news from the woman. OK. They didn’t exactly believe what the woman told them, women not being regarded as reliable witnesses at that time!
So on the face of it the Church looks like its setting a good example and yet… I have colleagues, female colleagues in the Ministry, whose experiences would suggest that equality is a distant dream.
What’s your thoughts on the equality issue?