What Should Christians Think about Gender Equality?

Here is a thoughtful presentation by Emma Watson, who has become a U.N. ambassador for a special cause. See what you think of it.

My own views include the following points: 1) men and women are indeed created equal, not because they are exactly the same in nature and all functions etc. but because they are both created in the image of God. They are equally beings of sacred worth; 2) gender matters in a variety of roles we play both in the family and in society; 3) the notion of equal pay for equal work should be obvious. There should not be inequality of pay for the same work regardless of who is doing the work. This is simply a fairness issue.; 4) I reject the notion that a woman or a man has an inalienable right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. I especially reject this notion when it involves the very life of another human being, for instance an unborn child, but I would also reject the notion if it involved any kind of harm to another human being who was already born. My freedom ends where someone else’s life begins. Period. 5) the basis of gender equality cannot be the biologically false notion that gender doesn’t matter when it comes to any and all roles we might play, nor on the false notion that the actual gender differences between men and women can and should be minimized, ignored, or considered irrelevant regardless of the role or function one is discussing. This amounts to a fundamental denial of the goodness and importance of gender difference, which is something to be celebrated not minimized or denied. Maleness and femaleness are said to be integral to being in the image of God, not just one or the other gender. 6) roles in the physical family should not be confused or fused with roles in the body of Christ. The latter is determined by who is called and gifted by the Spirit to perform what ministerial function. In the case of the physical family, obviously there are some roles which are not interchangable between men and women, for example giving birth or breast feeding. In short, there needs, from a Christian perspective, to be some balance in the discussion of the equality of men and women, neither neglecting the importance of gender difference, nor neglecting the justice and fairness issues when it comes to work. At the end of the day though it is the ‘we are created equal’ statement which comes quite specifically from a Biblical world view, and implies a good Creator. In other words, we should not even have the discussion of equal pay for equal work outside the context of the theological foundations for such a discussion. Sameness in all respects and in all possible functions is not the basis of equality between men and women.

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