March marks Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on what women have accomplished in the past and the work that remains today to achieve gender equality. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the beauty, strength, and resiliency of a great sisterhood long silenced and rendered invisible by social, political, and economic forces — and yes, even by religion.
As an evangelical feminist, I believe that women are of sacred worth and should be treated as such. But while it’s important to make space to honor and recognize the contributions of women in history/herstory, I also pray that more men will be a part of the conversation.
If we want to lift up one half of humanity (women) to help level the playing field at home, at work, and in broader society, it only makes sense to engage the other half of humanity (men). As we’ve seen with the He For She campaign, it will take all of us to address gender inequality and injustice.
That’s why I echo Eve Ensler’s “Man Prayer” to end violence against women. From domestic violence and human trafficking to female genital cutting and forced marriage, women and girls around the world experience abuse and exploitation at alarming rates. Encouraging men to step up and speak out for and with women is key to achieving gender equality and eliminating gender-based violence.
Violence against women and girls is not only a “women’s issue,” but a human rights issue that affects all of us. We are indeed “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,” as Dr. King said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly.” The abundant life that Jesus offers is deeply connected to the well-being of others. (John 10:10)
For men and women to experience reconciliation and wholeness, we must prayerfully work together for gender justice. Download our free prayer calendar. It’s full of facts and prayer requests to help you put your faith into action to end violence against women.
Share it during Women’s History Month with your sisters and brothers, your sons and daughters. Pray through the calendar as part of your Lenten journey. Encourage your friends and faith community to raise their voices to make violence against women history.
Together, through prayer and action, we can imagine a new way forward for both women and men—for the flourishing of all God’s children.
Elaina Ramsey is Women & Girls Campaign Associate at Sojourners.