March 8 is International Women’s Day.
It is a good day to celebrate women and work. Because, women labor for a better world all around the globe. They work for the good of their children, families, neighborhoods, faith communities, companies, governments, nations, and the planet itself. Women also still work for less pay, fewer benefits, and with less protection under company policies and the laws in many countries. Plenty of work remains for the world to fully appreciate, honor and respect the lives and work of women.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. “Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there.” How are you working for equality and embracing equity for women in your life and work?
Today we want to lift up and honor the writing, activism, scholarship, and contributions of a few of our favorite women. We celebrate women who choose to raise children. And we also celebrate women who choose to be childfree. We celebrate trans women cis women, queer women and all women are still long for a time when they are seen and welcomed in their fully humanity. Women know who they are! And we will rejoice when everyone else gets it! The more we embrace and learn from the good work of women, the more we change structures and deeply entrenched attitudes. It is time to remove all barriers to the thriving and flourishing of girls and women.
The Beauty of Motherhood by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller and Erin Strybis
Later in March we will be sharing interview segments with Kimberly Knowle-Zeller (she/her) and Erin Strybis (she/her) about their new book, The Beauty of Motherhood: Grace-filled Devotions for the Early Years. Recently, Kim wrote a guest blog for us about the beauty of everyday life, raising children and seeing the holy.
For International Women’s Day, celebrate working moms! Listen to a story about parenting and work as part of one multifaceted vocation. Erin is reading from the forthcoming book. She shares a story of returning to the office after maternity leave. Enjoy and share it with your working mom friends.
The book will be published on March 21, and here at Three Minute Ministry Mentor (3MMM), we are giving away a copy! To enter the giveaway, please sign up for our weekly 3MMM emails. And you’ll be entered to win! You will also receive the 3MMM episodes with Erin and Kim later this month – straight to your inbox.
And preorder The Beauty of Motherhood today! It is a lovely gift for new moms!
More ways to celebrate women, prioritize equality, and #EmbraceEquity
1) Read a review of Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s new book Invisible by Dr. Sue Kim Park. Park says in appreciation of the book, “Kim speaks to those who are seeking to learn more about the history and complexity of Asian American immigrant women and for those Asian American women who may not be aware of or have been questioning their identity. As an Asian American immigrant woman and a practical theologian, I appreciate this narrative into which I can weave my own stories of oppression, challenges, resistance, and victories.” Get your copy of Invisible today!
2) Watch a Ted Talk by Loretta Ross (she/her), associate professor at Smith College, and 2022 MacArthur Fellow and winner of the “genius grant.” Ross is the founder of the idea of “reproductive justice,” and she is a human rights and reproductive justice activist, with many awards, recognitions, and powerful stories of change. Ross will teach you about “Calling In” in a Call-Out Culture.
3) Explore the power of ancestors in doing the work of change. Rev. Sandhya Jha (they/them) will help us to call on our ancestors. Sandyha is a community organizer, anti-oppression consultant, and ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They helped First Christian Church of Oakland convert their massive building into a collective for nonprofits called the Oakland Peace Center. Sandhya’s newest book Rebels, Despots, and Saints is available from Chalice Press.
4) Take a self-paced course to equip yourself for the work of confronting sexual injustices, which are more often experienced by women and girls. Rev. Ruth Everhart (she/her) and I designed a course to equip you for supporting survivors and preparing your organizations to prevent sexual abuse, harassment, assault and other harms. The #MeTooReckoning Self-Paced Course is ready for you to begin equipping yourself today!
More than a Womb
by Dr. Lisa Wilson Davison
Not all women want to be mothers. Nor do they find their identity in childbearing. Neither are they interested in having their work “motherized” as Dr. Lisa Wilson Davison (she/her) succinctly says it in her new book More than a Womb. Society heaps expectation on women-identified people to do mothering work, and to define their lives by whether they have children or not.
In 2019 and 2020 I delighted in working as Lisa Davison’s writing coach. She is a professor of Hebrew Bible at Phillips Seminary. And in our time working together, she completed her new book, More Than a Womb: Childfree Women in the Hebrew Bible as Agents of the Holy. The book traces the stories of eight women in the Hebrew Bible who “are never described as biological mothers, nor are they described as barren” (115). A vast number of women are presented and defined in relationship(s) to men in the stories of the Hebrew scriptures. They are someone’s mother, daughter, sister, or servant. However, major characters such as Deborah, Miriam, Hulda, and Esther, speak, act, and live on their own terms. They are prophets, judges, political operatives, worship leaders, and truth speakers.
Davison says, “When we read with a feminist, childfree, liberative hermeneutic, we can identify the actions of these women as similar to if not the same as roles supposedly reserved for men. Without assuming motherhood for every female character, we discover women who are indeed more than a womb” (114).
I think you will really enjoy learning the stories of these familiar biblical characters (and more who are in the book) from a wise scholar and fine writer. This book is an excellent choice for individual or group Bible study.
Are you a woman who writes?
Maybe this International Women’s Day, you are feeling inspired? Maybe you are searching for a writing coach? Or perhaps you would like to join us for an hour on weekdays at the Writing Table?
Check out these options for individual coaching and membership at the Writing Table. Sign up for the Writing Table for no cost on #FreeWrite Fridays. I would love to see you following your inspiration to make the world a better, more livable place.
More books from Fortress!
Browse and buy titles from Teri McDowell Ott, Jennifer Garcia Bashaw, Susan Dunlap, Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Phillis Tribble, Sallie McFague, and more! Thanks for believing in women, Fortress Press!