This means that major changes in womens political activities, other than exercising their right to vote, have been long in coming. Today, women are struggling to gain equal participation in political office alongside men. Of interest is the use in over 41 countries of parity quotas and quota laws to achieve political gender balance. Responding to strong pressure by womens organizations, gender quotas have appeared in many new constitutions, like the one of Rwanda, and recently in the constitution of Iraq. This means that a certain number of parliamentary seats are reserved for women. The seats are distributed among the political parties in proportion to the number of seats awarded in parliament. In South Africa, a municipal law stipulates that 50 percent of all candidates for the local office have to be women. India in 1992 enacted a 33 percent policy to reserve seats for women in Parliament and throughout the State Government. The final effectiveness of this policy is unknown, but so far, as many as one million women have gotten an opportunity to enter institutions as members and office bearers; many more have participated in elections and as campaigners for state legislatures. Most dramatic has been the change in the landscape of local politics. In some cases, women for the first time have sat with village leaders, and sometimes even had a turn heading village affairs.
Significantly, subordination of women to men is not appliedby the Scriptures to secular society in general. The fact thata woman may be over a man (such as a woman foreman, professor,police officer, judge, or premier) does not violate this conceptof headship and subordination. The biblical material deals specificallywith the relationship of men and women in the home (physicalmarriage) and the church (spiritual marriage).
The CTCR thus concurs with the conclusion of the MissouriSynod's 1985 CTCR report: "Since the life of every Christianis to be characterized by obedience and submission on some level,any demand for 'rights' and 'power' is inappropriate. The Commissionbelieves that a more precise understanding of the Biblical teachingabout the service of women in the church will move further reflectionon the topic to its appropriate level�how all members of thechurch can serve our Lord and one another within the order Hehas established. On this level there is no thought of inferiorityor superiority, of rule and domination, but only of our Savior'swords: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greaterthan his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who senthim. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them'(John 13:16-17)."
Whatever work Christian women (and men) do, therefore, itis not to cultivate favor, win praise, gather merits, attainstatus and honor, exert power, or appease God. It must not beused to realize their fondest dreams, to seek personal fulfilment,to make ends meet, to derive satisfaction, to pursue happiness,or to justify themselves. Christ, after all, does all these thingsfor us by the work He has done. Because He has achieved all thisfor us, our work has another purpose: "[W]orks should bedone freely and for no reward, to the benefit and advantage ofour neighbor, just as the works of Christ were done freely forus and for no reward."
No one's work or office or talent or calling, as such, isto be despised or coveted. Some Christian women do not do churchwork; they all do�and not only those women who have a particularoffice entrusted to them or are members of a women's group, butalso those Christian women who change dirty diapers at home andwash the dishes or who carry out their duties as an employeeat an office or a factory. The work of the Christian woman mustalways be seen in light of her calling in life.
Steve, One of these days I will have to pick your brain about suffrage in Australia. It is my understanding that the situation there was somewhat analogous to that in Canada, that women could vote in Federal Elections before they necessarily had the vote in all local elections. Wasn’t 1911 the date for the latter? There was a famous suffrage leader born in Bowden, South Australia who grew up in and around Adelaide named Muriel Matters. She went to England, joined the Women’s Freedom League, and made quite a name for herself. There is a Muriel Matters Society in your country that has about 300 members. I received a nice letter from the Society’s general secretary, Frances Bedford, who, coincidentally, is an MP representing the district called Florey! You never told me about this!
Chris–This was one of the many commercial ceramic products that was issued during the period. It was not an official piece, although it was probably quite a popular one among suffragists. It comes in three colors (blue, white, and brown) and several slogans. There is a companion dog piece. The cat appears to have been sold in both England and America. Even though not an official piece, it had a number of sales as evidenced by the number of surviving examples, and is a nice centerpiece for any collection of suffrage memorabilia. Congratulations on picking up a nice item!
Ken, Hopefully our future F/F/F website will work as well as this one of yours does. Thinking of Suffragette Memorabilia … I would surmise that here in Australia there wouldn’t be much of a likelihood of such an area of collecting existing. Since, with Federation of the colonies which became Australia in 1901, also came the right (in fact the obligation) of all white males and females to vote. (Later political advances brought the vote to the Aboriginals (of both sexes)).
I have just started collecting suffrage memorabilia, I recently
purchased at auction a 4″ high cat with Votes For Women along
the bottom, would you be able to tell me if they where purchased by the suffragetts to raise funds.
Concerning the Role of Women � The primaryconcern when considering the role of women in the church is howindividual Christian women (and men) serve in that office Godhas entrusted to them. In the domain of the home, a woman iscalled by God to specific divinely instituted offices that aman cannot fill�the office of wife and mother. On the otherhand, there are two offices in the home that a woman cannot hold;namely, that of husband and father. In the domain of society,a woman may be called by God to many and varied positions thatare not divinely instituted and, therefore, notlimited to men or women; for example: teachers, police officers,bank presidents, custodians, etc. In the domain of the church,a woman may be called by God to many and varied offices of a"diaconate" nature that are also not divinely instituted and thus open to both men and women; for example:organist, Sunday School teacher, trustee, professor, committeechairman, etc. On the other hand, the one divinely institutedoffice in the church�the office of the public ministry�is limitedto qualified men.
Thesis 10 � Christian women, as well asmen, are to serve our Lord according to the gifts and abilitieswith which He has blessed them and in that station in life inwhich He has placed them (Prov. 31:10-31; Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Cor.3:5-9; 7:17; 10:31; 12; Gal. 6:10; Col. 3:17; 1 Peter 4:8-11;AC XVI.5; SC IX; Large Catechism, I.103-178, 199-221).
What a nice comment! Thank you for taking the time to write. I would love to hear from you how the lesson went. If there is anything I can do to provide more in the way of background information, please let me know. One of my peeves is that too little attention is paid to the suffrage movement at both the secondary and the college levels. Kudus to you for bringing this part of our American heritage to the attention of students.