|Two thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education.||On average, women in the labour market still earn 24 per cent less than men globally.||In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 per cent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.|
Source: United Nations
The Salvation Army believes that all people are of infinite and intrinsic worth and each person is a precious being, male or female – they are equal in the sight of God and loved by him. Discrimination on any basis, whether it be colour, race, tribe, religion, age, disability or gender was unacceptable to Jesus and therefore is unacceptable to his followers. Abuse and exploitation in any form is directly opposed to Jesus’ command to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Luke 10:25-37), the principle by which we are called to live.
William Booth’s famous ‘I’ll fight’ speech, includes the words: ‘While women weep as they do now … while there remains one poor lost girl upon the street … I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end.’ Whilst the world has changed since his time, many of the problems that he faced are still around. Nevertheless we can look to the progress made since the early days of The Salvation Army, and of the time Luke's gospel was written, and draw inspiration and hope as to what is possible. Through God's guidance, we can see big changes happen.
May we recognise the universality of God’s love, and may it inspire us to make great steps forward in achieving true equality for both genders. Pray that God may help us to recognise the barriers in society that we may not yet see. May we stand against these in all their forms. Pray for world leaders with responsibilities in this area.
- Pray for change - check out our prayer point suggestions above
- Take part in the HeForShe campaign
- Challenge discriminatory attitudes around you - from gender stereotypes to employment practices and assigned roles
- Consider raising money for a charity, like World Vision, who work to support gender inequality victims and provide training and education
- UN Women
- HeForShe campaign
- Statement from the Salvation Army Focus Group on 'Empowering Men and Women to Work Together'