Have Women Achieved Equality?

Women are in the House of Bishops, they hold positions of authority in the Church and outside of the Church, one even ran for President. So, have we come a long way? Maybe. Are we there yet? By no means.

Currently, women hold very few positions of power. When you think about CEO of major companies, women account for less than 5%. Women are still afraid for their lives, afraid to report crimes and are expected to accept their fate, whatever it is, because “they were asking for it, looking for it, dressed like that, went back to their hotel room, drank, stayed out late, work in that industry, etc.” The list of “excuses” for why women are attacked is endless. Imagine if someone who was robbed was told that they were asking for it because they wore tight jeans, and the perpetrator got off because the victim wore tight jeans!

A woman becoming the Presiding Bishop is amazing, but it does not wipe out the day to day sexism that women see. How often when referring to a professional, we say he instead of she. Are we surprised by a male church administrative assistant, and ask, “your new Rector, what is HIS name?” Do we look at headlines that say “jealous ex kills former girlfriend”, as if jealous is a justification for murder. Does the headline ignore the fact that the jealous ex may have been abusive in the past, or that the former girlfriend was trying to flee? Or simply, that he should not have killed her, regardless of the paper creating some ridiculous justification.

Women continue to be treated as objects, women continue to be not seen as viable candidates for positions of power, women continue to be disbelieved in the media, and in life. Women are blamed for what others do to them, not given agency over their own bodies, and treated as if others know what is best for them. So, in reality, women have not achieved equality.

Maybe it is time to stop fooling ourselves. Maybe we need to understand that gender bias training is needed, and so is some understanding that women are equal to men.

In this vein, we ask you to support Resolution D016 Seeking Truth, Reconciliation and Restoration which seeks, amongst other things, to “authorize the establishment of a Task Force for Women, Truth, and Reconciliation for the purpose of helping the Church engage in truth-telling, confession, and reconciliation regarding gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence against women and girls


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