Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day (in the Middle of Women’s History Month).  In Monrovia, Liberia 400 women leaders (including two heads of state, Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada [i.e., official representative of the Queen], and Ellen Johnson Shirtleaf, President of Liberia–Africa’s first female elected head of state or government) are meeting to work for women’s human rights.  The world is better off with more women leaders. Yes, there are terrible women politicians, but, on average, men screw up the world far more than women do.


March 8, 2009 - Posted by | human rights.


  1. In our zeal to castigate bad politicians, we must never paint the good ones (men and women) with the same brush. I commend women who seek to serve their fellow human beings and do so with character and dedication.

    Comment by Paul | March 8, 2009

  2. This is a day to seek new ways of being in the world. Surely we are close to a time when violence will no longer serve as a viable response to international and domestic differences. One would hope that more leadership from women would result in a more peaceful world.

    Comment by edsundaywinters | March 8, 2009

  3. That’s one of my hopes, Ed. BTW, it’s good to hear from you, old friend.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | March 9, 2009

  4. Are we close to a time when violence will disappear or decrease substantially ? That is debatable, but I hope that we are close to peace in the world. Would more women in positions of power and responsibility propel us into a better world ? Again it is problematical, but we should give it a try. There are no simple solutions to these complex and seemingly unending problems. Wishing for peace is the easy part of the equation. Working for peace and achieving it are the difficult parts and do we have the tenacity to keep to the goal ?

    Comment by Paul | March 9, 2009

  5. Paul, the reason I think that more women’s leadership would to a better world (other than the obvious fact that it would automatically be a world of more gender equality) is not because women are sinless or any less corruptible than men. They are obviously just as sinful and just as corruptible. But women have usually been disproportionally affected by violence, war, and injustice. So have children and women have historically been the primary caregivers of children–and still are most places in the world, even in most marriages in the U.S.

    Women have seldom started the wars or pogroms or massacres and they have never used mass rape as a weapon (Bosnia in the ’90s, Sudan and the Congo currently), routinely sexually mutilated their male children in order to keep them chaste (as much of Africa practices female genital mutilation–removing young girls’ clitoruses–in order that sex give them no pleasure and so not tempt them to unfaithfulness!). Unless forced to by the men in their lives, women have seldom prostituted their children or beaten their spouses. They have usually had to clean up after all these male-initiated messes.

    I think women’s historical and current experiences gives them, AS A WHOLE, different perspectives and priorities that would be good for the world. Individual women have been monsters–even women with power. Women have often thought that they had to repress all of those specifically female experiences and perspectives in order to rise to the top in systems created by men–and so lost any chance of reforming or subverting those systems.

    Nevertheless, while electing far more women is not a magical cure, it certainly seems to be to be a step in the right direction. Usually, if there are two good candidates for an office, I find myself leaning first toward the female one. (Obviously that is not the ONLY consideration or I would have supported Clinton over Obama in the primaries instead of vice versa.) This inclination probably comes from growing up in a female headed household and increased when I married a feminist preacher. It has more than doubled since I have become a part of DODO: Dad’s of Daughters Only. 🙂

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | March 9, 2009

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