And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”(Genesis 2:21-23)
The creation of the first woman – created by God’s hands! How special! If we look at the Bible’s narrative of creation, we get to see that God brought all creation into being by the word of His mouth – ‘Let there be . . .’
But when it came to creating man and woman, He took special interest to carve them intricately with His hands. Moreover, the Bible says that God created man (mankind) in His image – male and female, He created them.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Men and women are uniquely special – the Crown of all creation. He created them differently with a purpose. Adam was one of his kind and Eve was one of her kind. The union of the two was to bring forth many others of their kinds. Two Adams would not have been able to reproduce, multiply and fill the earth as was God’s command of blessing – “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Neither would have two Eves been able to accomplish this feat. The union of Adam and Eve made the earth teem with the population that surround us today.
This is the genesis of man and woman. God created woman to be the helpmate of man. Generation after generation emanated the various relationships and relationship-roles of men and women that we know of.
God had infused His Spirit into man and woman when He created them. However as sin crept into the bloodline of men and women, a deep chasm arose between God and man. Thus, man strayed away from God’s design, the effects of which continue to multiply by leap and bounds with every passing day.
From an equation of differential equality at the time of creation, today we are at an equation of differential partiality. Starting from the time of birth (or even before birth), discrimination between men (boys) and women (girls) continues to percolate down the generations.
The first Women’s Day was the brainchild of Theresa Serber Malkiel way back in 1909 for demanding basic rights and equality to immigrant working women in America. Today, the person and the idea behind Women’s Day is hardly known. In some parts of the world, this day is a holiday, in some others it is a day of protest, in yet others it is a day of celebration while it is a day of no special importance in certain other countries.
Meanwhile, women continue to be discriminated against. While there is no denying the reality that boys and men are subject to abuse as well – be it sexual abuse or trafficking, facts and figures speak aloud that the frequency and intensity of abuse faced by women across all cultures is way too high. In conservative cultures, boys’ education is given preference over girls’, women are not encouraged to venture out by themselves and marrying off a girl/woman is the greatest goal of parents. Women all over, across all dynasties and civilizations are taken as exploits of war – as sex slaves. Marital rape is not considered a crime in many countries including India and with the tool of sex men try to retain an upper hand over women all along.
In the book, Reconciliation – Karwan e Mohabbat, the authors mention a village in India where no woman turned up to attend a meeting for communal peace and harmony just because the men didn’t think it necessary for women to be there! In another village, women sat on the floor and never on the charpai (cot), where the men sat!
We need to be concerned because this is the society in which you and I are living, and this is the society we will be leaving for our next generation. True that there is a huge difference (in terms of the treatment towards women) between the world into which millenials (those born between 1980-1995) were born and the generations preceding them. However, the overall picture throughout the world still demands attention. Hence the need for a day marked for women to echo it loud and clear that women deserve respect and love – at home, at work and in all social situations.
Of course, this transformation is not to be achieved by a one-day-a-year campaign. This transformation requires a renewal of the mind, which is a continuous process of conscious attitude change. A day marked towards this end makes the effort more pronounced.
Let’s salute the women around us for who they are and treat them with the dignity that is due them. Women have been bestowed with the gifts of grace, compassion, nurture, endurance and resilience by our Creator. Each woman is a treasure trove. “She is far more precious than jewels.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Created in His image,
With a plan that only HE could envisage,
Woman you are precious,
Your presence amazingly momentous.
My Prayer for us: Lord, I praise You for creating man and woman in Your image. I pray that all would come to realize this and treat women with the honour that is right in Your sight. Amen.