The issue of women’s equality has been much in the news over the years.
In the issue of pay, I just do not understand why, if a woman is doing an equivalent job, why they are not paid accordingly? The Government is now getting firms to declare whether this happening or not. But, as usual, the many small firms seem to be exempt. If we do not start with them, by the time they get big, the culture has been embedded. As a nation, we should be demanding that women get equal pay – for if they do not, it shows what we think of women. I would have thought that if equal pay is not paid, it is also sexual discrimination. And when it comes to recruitment, we need to re-think the way we sift applications so that we avoid discrimination based on gender and race. Maybe personal details should be detached from the sections on qualifications and experience so that those who decide who to interview do not know whether they are female or not? Employers also need to help change the culture in which men and women only do certain jobs, when either sex is capable, if properly trained, to do any job depending on their talents and experience.
The Church has much to learn with regard to equality of the sexes. The Scriptures quite clearly sees people ministering according to their gifts and talents, not their sex, so women should be encouraged to use their them in the service of God, whether in the boardroom, leading a church or in creative activities. With regard to families and ‘headship’ there are many views. I personally believe, in my understanding of the Scriptures, women are equal in the sight of God. So, therefore, just as everyone cannot be a leader, the husband should become the ‘leader’ in the home because he is responsible for the welfare and protection of the family, but done in a submissive way, working alongside and with his wife. So, I see that the husband and wife are submissive to each other.
When it comes to working, I believe that one parent should work full-time, so the other can look after the child (aged 0-5). Then, when the child is aged 5, the parent looking after the children could work part-time, making sure they are around when school is closed. As to what happens when the child reaches secondary school age, the parent might want to work full or part time, depending on how much support the child requires on a day-to-day basis. The reason for these suggestions is so there is regular parental support and input during the child’s crucial development, as that sets them up for how they do in adult life. Children need love and modelling from both parents. As women seem to be the usual one who has the children after a divorce, so we need to instil in men their responsibilities, especially in secondary schools towards women and children. Notice I said ‘parent’. So, it could be either parent, not necessarily women only. This might mean downsizing where they live, and their possessions, so that relationships are developed. It is also important for another reason and that is so that the parent working full-time is around at children’s bedtimes and has time to go to events in which their child is involved as well as doing things with both boys and girls.
Although men are raped, it is mainly the women who have to suffer this abuse. This can only be tackled in a multi-pronged way – dealing with alcoholism and other addictions, developing relationship and budgetary training in schools on how to relate to each other and support one another, especially in difficult situations, and making sure that employers pay a decent wage with good working and healthy conditions. Young ladies need to be careful what they wear, so as to not send out wrong signals. I know it is up to the man to control his urges, but women need to dress not to impress, but more to be smart and take care of their body. Women do not need to draw attention to themselves – they should be secure in their own identity and not worry of what others say or have a need to follow the latest ‘fashion trends’. God loves everyone as a unique and special individual.
On the issue of feminism, there are many strands, but I would want to say that women should see men as an essential part of society, as much as men should see women in the same light. Both should come together to find ways of helping each to treat everyone in a loving way seeing them as equal as you are.