For centuries, women were second class citizens, valued less than men. In ancient Israel, inheritance rights flowed through male descendants with only a couple of exceptions. In the Roman world, infants, usually daughters, were often abandoned on the city garbage heap to die. However, women’s status was not always inferior. Women in ancient Egypt had the same rights as men. A woman’s rights varied based on her social class, but not on her gender.
In self-governing countries, women did not receive the right to vote as early as men. New Zealand was the first self-governing country to recognize a woman’s right to vote in 1893. Although several different states in the United States recognized women’s voting rights earlier, the U.S. Constitution was not amended until 1920.* However, women have still experienced discrimination of different kinds since then.
The equality of women has been a teaching in Christianity from the first century, though not always practiced. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) Paul asserted that gender and other distinctions do not change our access to God. All who believe in Jesus share in his blessings and promises. All form one body in Him.
Today, thank God for creating people as male and female. We are all precious in his sight and share equally in salvation.
*”Timeline of women’s suffrage,” Wikipedia, last updated December 28, 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_women’s_suffrage
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