Women: Underpaid, Overburdened A Mother’s Day reflection on the contradictions of their responsibility and reward
Another issue is that it is still true that relatively few women have been allowed to pastor churches.
For example the Catholic Church would not ordain a female priest. How then do we expect the “Mary Magdalenes” of the world to change our society if the sanctuaries that is supposed to give them credibilty do not see them worthy to lead worship in churches?
President Obama just nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed, she will the third woman on the court’s history.
This dismal court record shows that we are a long way from balancing the scale of gender equity and justice.
The late Dr. Dorothy Height, who led the National Council of Negro Women, stood out in the battle for civil rights because she would not take a back seat and believed steadfastly in fairness in all areas. In a world where men have long dominated, Height showed that women can be effective in leading mass social movements.
Height’s memory is linked to the Civil Rights Movement because she epitomized the millions of women who looked up to her leadership as an exmaple of what they could do in their own lives.
The World Economic Forum released a report in March showing that companies in the U.S., Canada, Spain and Finland lead the world in hiring the largest number of women in management and entry level positions.
Yet the report discovered that women still are behind in pay compared to their male peers. It is reported that women in the United States still make 70 cents to every male’s dollar.
That, like society itself, must change.
Equity cannot be selective.
And the battle is not over according to Ayana Ife Iyi who is organizing “Heal a Woman, Heal a Nation” conference to take place May 22 at the Aisha Shule Academy in Detroit.
“Equal pay for women will never be a reality,” she boldly stated. “We are in a patriarchal society and until men recognize that women offer a mountain of information and skills, not as their equal but as their very capable partner things will remain the same. Brothers, you don’t have to be intimidated by the sister that brings it. We are only seeking balance and from that, fairness. Women have to constantly reinvent themselves in order to survive. There is no such thing as job security.”
Iyi said Mother’s Day should be everyday.
“This man-made holiday fattens the wallets of the various greeting card companies, the restaurants and florists. Do I enjoy the attention that I get on this day? Yes. But come Monday there is a sink full of dishes from Sunday that I will ultimately end up washing. The sacrifices of women will only come into focus when the balance is restored on this planet. How do we do that? Dialogue, honest and open communication.”
Iyi also pointed out that one of the biggest issues facing women today is domestic violence.
“As a self-defense instructor for women, I see a lot of violence because I’m paying attention,” she said. “Men today are feeling emasculated and in turn try to find their manhood in abusing the very women that should be precious to them: His woman, child, mother and sister. This has to stop. I teach women that you don’t have to be the victim, that you can protect yourself. Self-love is self-defense.”
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