God has created all people in his own likeness. In God’s eyes each person is of equal worth and importance. Jesus treated everyone – women, people with disabilities and infectious diseases, people of other races, people practising sex work or people committing fraud – with equal love and respect. He tells us to love and respect other people.
God created men and women to work alongside each other. It is really important that women have equal rights to education, healthcare and work. They should have equal opportunities to participate in how their communities are run and in choosing their political leaders. However, the situation in many countries prevents women from having equal rights. Although women carry out 2⁄3 of the world’s work, they earn only 1⁄10 of the world’s income and own only 1⁄100 of the world’s property (United Nations). Two thirds of the people unable to read and write are women. These inequalities make it very difficult for women to participate fully in society and in politics. This means that the church and the wider community, do not benefit from the many gifts and abilities that God has given women.
- Read Genesis 1:26-2:1. In this first story of creation in Genesis, we read of how both men and women were created in God’s image. Men and women were created differently in order to reproduce and fill the earth. Both were given equal stewardship of the earth’s gifts.
- How easy is it to consider God as having both male and female characteristics?
- Was there any difference between the stewardship roles that God gave to men and to women? Why are they so different today?
- What roles do women play in our church? Could they be given more responsibility?
- Men own 99% of the earth’s property. Why is this? Can we do anything in our own community to improve the balance?
Articles 1, 2, 7, 19 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights