CAST Voices Devotion: Gender Equality
By Rolan Gulston
Scripture: Galatians 3:28-29
Today marks the start of ‘Women’s Month’, which commemorates the bravery and determination of the 20,000 women who united to march against the extension of Pass Laws in apartheid South Africa on 9 August 1956. Without knowing the political history of context behind this month, many might mistakenly assume that it was just a randomly-chosen time to elevate and praise women – for being women. “Why not ‘Men’s Day’ and ‘Men’s Month’?” some people ask. This is still a valid question. Empowerment of one group should not come at the cost of devaluing another.
Men and women were, after all, created equal, and it was only through sin that brought about the subordination of one by the other, the message in this being that: love unites; and sin separates.
Love unites us to build relationships with people based on trust, understanding and mutual respect, while sin separates us into thinking that we are in competition with each other. But what is it that we are competing for? Our evolutionary biology might lead us into thinking that we are to compete for limited resources as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did, or that the Natural Law of ‘survival of the fittest’ means that you must constantly outwit and outplay your peers to better your chances of success. In any scenario where this takes place, bonds inevitably grow weaker as distrust grows stronger.
Though it may be unrealistic to hope for a world where genders can be equal in every way, there are steps we can take to close the gap. By empathizing with each other, and not subjecting anyone to conform to gender stereotypes, but rather, encourage each other to explore the many gifts of being human, we can begin to change mindsets that trap us in a system of patriarchy and discrimination, and instead be “one in Christ” as God intended.
1) How do you feel that your gender defines you?
2) How do you envision a gender equal society?
3) In what ways can we help others to move past gender bias/discrimination?