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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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International Women’s Day: Inclusion comes from the heart

Like most children, I had a fair few career aspirations: a tennis player, a teacher, and a princess, to name three examples. Some were realistic, others a bit more far-fetched…

Blessed with an excellent education, the opportunity to try my hand at creative and sporting pursuits galore, good food on the table every night, and parents who encouraged me to dream big, the world felt like my oyster. Perhaps naïvely, it never crossed my mind that I’d be excluded from a field of work or deemed unable to make decisions about my finances or health because I was a girl.

But tragically, this isn’t the case for many women. And that’s why this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘inspire inclusion’. To show solidarity with the campaign, people are posting photos of themselves on social media making heart shapes with their hands to promote the idea that ‘inclusion comes from the heart’. I think this is a beautiful, prophetic statement: true inclusion does come from the heart – it comes from a heart that desires and pursues the good, God-given pattern imbued in creation.

In the beginning, God created male and female; equal but not identical, together they reflected his likeness (Genesis 1:26–27). Thousands of years later, in a patriarchal society which didn’t recognise the legal or spoken authority of women, Jesus radically declared that both women and men can inherit eternal life. Because, in his kingdom, there is ‘… no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28). Therefore, when we see women discriminated against or treated poorly, we must take action and join in Jesus’ work to restore the pattern of male and female that was imbued at the beginning of time.

Misogyny and microaggressions are systemic, so it’s a daunting task. But nevertheless, there’s so much we can do to bring biblical inclusivity to our workplaces, families, and communities. If you’re in management, review your hiring processes, policies, and workplace culture. Are you creating an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can flourish? And whatever your age and stage, if you witness a woman being belittled in any setting – be that a boardroom, bus, or bar – will you be a mouthpiece for truth and justice and call it out? Let’s live as kingdom people now – championing and supporting women for the good of those around us and the glory of God.

Sophie Sanders

Marketing & Communications Lead, LICC 

To mark International Women’s Day, we compiled the stories of five inspiring women who’ve forged careers in typically male-dominated sectors, advocated for women’s economic empowerment, and promoted the creative and artistic talent of girls. If you missed it, you can read the full article here. 

 

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