You might be wondering about ProjectWOW, and thinking, “What’s the deal with these women?!” Well it’s OK girlfriend, we’re not femi-nazis. We’re not burning bras. It’s kind of simple really – we just love Jesus, and we love our daughters. We’re not against men. We’re for women.
But you might need to know a little more about our world to understand why you should consider joining to be a voice for change with us. We’re not interested in building entitlement. We’re interested in social change - not just for our own sake, but for our daughters, and for women across the world. We’re starting a movement.
But why?? Let’s rewind a little. You see, in the 1990s, Amartya Sen famously estimated that 100 million of the world's women were missing. Although many people tried to disprove this claim, the figure still stands.
His figure was worked out on the normal boy-to-girl ratio of new births, versus the present day population ratio in much of the world. There’s no doubt in most researcher’s minds that there are millions of missing women in the majority world, including China and India.
Although some of these losses are due to maternal health care, that alone doesn’t account for the full number. And therefore, most explanations include the fact that in many societies, male children are believed to be better contributors to the family, in economic but also in social terms.
At the turn of the millennium, governments and development agencies around the world decided to come together to form eight goals. It was clear in the year 2000 that the situation of women (particularly the girl child) around the world needed a lot of attention.
It’s now 2015, and while there have been some steps forward, most of these goals are still unmet.
While women in the first world famously are decrying feminism, women in other nations around the world are dying of preventable diseases, suffering from lack of nutrition and losing children to famine and war.
And the lingering question for many is why? Why couldn’t we mobilize the world to care more about women?
The answer many development agencies have come to, rightly or wrongly, is “because of religion”.
But when it comes to Christianity, this is a misunderstanding.
In the Christian story, women are significant. They are beloved by Jesus. They are treated as worthy in a world that may say otherwise.
Every woman Jesus encountered, he placed value upon. Mary continued to play a significant part in the story even after his miraculous birth (Luke 2: 41-52, John 2: 1-11).
Women who the world deemed promiscuous or adulterous by the law (Deut 22:22-24, John 7:53- 8:11) were embraced, and forgiven. Those demonized (Matt 15:21-28), and from the wrong ethnic group (John 4), were met with grace. Jesus invited them into His story.
We at ProjectWOW know that women often serve, lead and grow in different ways from men. This is not just because women have different bodies from men (although they do – duh!!) but because their stories are often very different, formed by their own experiences, and also by society’s different norms and expectations.
What excites me is that there are women worship leaders all over the world who are modeling feminine leadership. They are grappling with their culture, pastoring their people, and modeling alternative ways forward.
These women are modeling the message.
Surely these women as leaders of their local congregations are well placed to meet Millennium Goal #3, “to promote gender equality and promote women”?
You see, the story is always bigger than us. We just play one part in it.
At ProjectWOW, we believe that it's time for empowerment. It’s time to shake off the disappointments, and even the joys of the last season, and move the church forward.
As we begin to place our eyes upon Jesus, and become more like him, we will value the things he values. And we will begin to see the things of our world fade away. And that can only be a good thing.
Here’s to the church of the future, and reports coming in, “We would have been missing girls except for the clear and resounding message from the church that we were too valuable to lose.”