Why is International Women’s Day even a thing, in the 21st century? Here are a few reasons: misogyny, domestic abuse, violence, rape, social and economic disadvantage, coercive control, FGM, honour based killing, poor access to education, child marriage, inadequate healthcare, death in childbirth, lack of affordable childcare, glass ceilings, objectification, harassment, everyday casual sexism, and plain old prejudice.
And of course to think of us as a homogenous group is a mistake. Some people are very fond of saying ‘Women think… Women like… Women want…’ But we are not all the same. Some of us are white; some of us are well educated. Among us are women of colour, disabled women, economically and educationally disadvantaged women, gay women.
Some of my sisters face unbelievable barriers to being taken seriously and considered on an equal footing with men, and in accessing the education, healthcare, and employment opportunities which they deserve. And sure enough, as women, we are not equally represented at all levels of religious organisations, the commercial sector and civil society here in our advanced Western economy, let alone in other parts of the world.
The theme for this year’s IWD is Embrace Equity. This theme recognises that not only is the playing field not level, but that there is still a huge amount of work to do in creating a culture in which women can flourish and fulfil their God-given potential.
Women and men are created in God’s image. Women are not a mistake or an afterthought or lesser beings. We are equally loved by God; equally valued by God and equally saved by Jesus Christ.
- The Rt Revd Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading
Truly and fully ourselves
The Revd Laura Wheatley Downs, reflects on ministry as a female priest, her calling to ordination, and the role of women in the church for International Women's Day 2023.
Watch Laura's interview | Read more from Laura
There is no limit to what you can do
Dr Anna Thomas-Betts shares her reflections on lay ministry, early faith influences, and the role of women in the church for International Women's Day 2023.
Watch Anna's interview | Read more from Anna
Our eNews on Wednesday 8 March was a special edition for International Women's Day. You can read that here - don't forget to subscribe if you like what you see!