I remember how much of a shock it was to my then young daughters when they learned that there has never been a woman president. They now are voting age, but that shameful fact of American history remains unchanged.
It is a shameful fact that, 17 years into the 21st century, women are paid only 80 percent of what men are paid for the exact same positions and jobs.
Consider that the new Senate study group appointed to design health care for the entire country is composed of 13 white men and no women or people of color. This despite the fact that, because of employment discrimination, women and people of color are the ones in this country most likely to no have health insurance or to be cared for inadequately.
Clearly the “powers and principalities” just don’t care. Women and people of color might have the annoying opinion that health care is a human right, not a commodity to be sold at a staggeringly high profit.
Lest we be so narcissistic to forget that the majority of women don’t live in this country and suffer even more for their gender, I probably should point out that:
- Fifteen million girls under the age of 15, mostly in Africa and South Asia, will be forced into marriages this year.
- Violence against women is epidemic and in many countries not a crime.
- Within the past year in Saudi Arabia, one of America’s chief allies because of their oil, a 19-year-old woman was gang raped and then, because she dared to speak to the press about it, she was given 200 lashes and six months in jail.
- Just last month, the U.S. discontinued funding for the Global Women’s Health Agency, which works to address the fact that, globally, women have far less access to healthcare.
- Some estimates suggest that there are more women and children in slavery in the United States today than before the Civil War.
We must rise up and cry out against gender injustice, and I believe that people of faith have the greatest obligation, not just because we are called by scripture to do justice, but because sexism too often is rooted in and supported by religion.
Rev. Michael Piazza