The Common Good

Blog and Preach to Honor International Women's Day This Sunday

Each year on March 8 the world takes time to observe International Women's Day. It is a day dedicated to the celebration of women's social, economic, and political achievements worldwide. In the United States, this official day of observance is rooted in women's efforts to campaign for rights to work, vote, and hold public office, culminating on March 8, 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to sweatshop conditions and child labor. In the early 1910s, the concept gained recognition in the international community and grew momentum as women across Europe continued to fight for the right to work and protest against ensuing world conflict.

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This year March 8 falls on a Sunday. I know Sundays aren't typically big blogging days since they are days when we take time to focus on our faith. But for that reason, I think we should make an effort this year to bring our faith to the celebration of IWD. So I'd like to suggest a joint synchroblog/synchrosermon observance of the day for Christians. Too often in the church not only are the voices of women not heard, but the stories of biblical women remain untold. But the Bible is full of inspiring examples of women faithfully following God and making a tremendous difference for the kingdom. So this year on International Women's Day I invite men and women alike to take the time to explore the lives of these great women through a:

Synchroblog - On March 8 post something on your blog about biblical women. This could be your experience (or lack thereof) with learning about these women, a reflection on the life of a particular woman, an exploration of the ways women led in scripture, or a midrashic retelling of the life of one of these women. Have fun with it, push yourself to discover new things, and let's tell these stories together.

Synchrosermon - These stories of women are rarely told from the pulpit, so I encourage those of you preaching or teaching on March 8 to include the stories of biblical women in whatever you do. The church often won't hear about these women or learn from their example unless pastors and teachers make a deliberate effort to dwell on the mothers of our faith as much as they usually dwell on the fathers.

It's not difficult. This isn't like other negative or angry IWD blog endeavours I've seen (and participated in) in the past. It is simply a way to positively encourage women and let women's voices be heard.

So if you are interested in participating, leave a comment here so I can post the list of participants. Feel free to promote this among your networks as well. And thanks for helping women continue to have a voice.

Julie Clawson is the author of the forthcoming book Everyday Justice (IVP 2009). She blogs at julieclawson.com and emergingwomen.us.

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