The following is excerpted from an article in The Hill titled, “Only 10 countries consider women equal – that must change” :
“Discriminatory laws affect every aspect of a woman’s life – from where she lives and works, to when and whom she marries, to whether she can open a bank account, inherit property or apply for a passport [not to mention access the courts, in the event of domestic abuse].
In Senegal the decision of where a married couple lives legally rests with the husband. In Jordan only men can be the legal head of a household and in Mali a woman legally owes obedience to her husband…
[I]t is also true that important legal reforms have been made…
In the last year alone, Vietnam removed all job restrictions for women, Madagascar toughened domestic violence penalties, Suriname introduced paid leave for new parents and New Zealand enhanced laws mandating equal pay for work of equal value…The United Arab Emirates removed some travel and movement restrictions and became the first and only country in the region to offer paid parental leave.”
“But the pace of progress has been too slow, too incremental and stubbornly uneven. Women today still only have three-quarters the legal rights of men on average, and only half in the Middle East and North Africa [despite the fact almost all countries on the African continent have ratified the the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and more than half have ratified the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa ]…”
The Bible teaches that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. Genesis describes both man and woman as having been created in His image, and together having dominion over the earth (Gen 1: 26-27).
Male hierarchy over women was not in God’s original design. The first mention of male rule identifies it as a direct result of the fall (Gen. 3: 16) .
The Bible contains several instances of women in leadership roles. These include the prophetess, Miriam, Moses’ sister; the prophetess and judge, Deborah; the prophetess, Huldah; and the queen, Esther. The records of the kings of Judah consistently mention the queen mothers.
God spoke to women, as well as men. Hannah, the mother of Samuel, and Mary, the mother of Christ, are two examples.
Christ had female friends and followers like Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene. Matthew, Mark, and John speak of “many” women at the cross including Mary Salome, the wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John.
Paul relied on the help of women, participated with them in ministry, and praised their efforts. These included Phoebe, Junia, Prisca, Mary, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis.
Women and girls deserve the same rights men and boys enjoy. They deserve equal rights globally. The removal of legal barriers to such equality is long overdue.
 The Hill, “Only 10 countries consider women equal — that must change” by Michelle Milford Morse and Tea Trumbic, 03/08/21, https://thehill.com/opinion/international/542134-only-10-countries-consider-women-equal-that-must-changemichelle-milford.
 UN Women, “Africa”, https://www.unwomen.org/en/where-we-are/africa.
 UN, “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women”, https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/.
 Philip B. Payne, PhD, the author of Man and Woman, One in Christ and a former teacher of New Testament studies at Trinity Divinity Evangelical Divinity School, points out:
“The text…does not say that only unloving male rule is a result of the fall; it says that male rule itself is a result of the fall. Genesis 3:16 uses by far the most common word for ‘rule,’ not a word that naturally brings to mind bad rule. The word is even used for God’s rule, which is certainly not bad rule! Both major biblical Hebrew dictionaries analyze every Old Testament instance of this word and list no negative meaning for it.”
See, Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), “The Bible Teaches the Equal Standing of Man and Woman” by Philip Payne, 1/30/15, https://www.cbeinternational.org/resource/article/priscilla-papers-academic-journal/bible-teaches-equal-standing-man-and-woman.
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