I share the widespread recognition that gender equality and the advancement of women are crucial for social harmony and the spiritual well-being of persons. Women hold up half God’s world. Quakers can have a quiet pride in the achievement of Quakers from earliest times in advancing women. Let us give thanks for the work and example of Elizabeth Hooton, Margaret Fell, Elizabeth Fry, the women of Greenham Common and the contribution of female Friends past and present in all walks of life. Quakers offer an example of how gender equality strengthens faith and practice.
In the UK, according to findings of the London School of Economics, there has been progress in dealing with gender-based inequalities of power and position but such progress has not been sustained and there are fears of regression. Internationally, the United Nations and progressively minded groups and agencies work for women’s rights and against femicide and gender-based violence. Let all stand against practices which harm or degrade female children, deprive them of the right to education or which generally demean women. Quakers will want to commend the work of authorities and individuals acting against cruel, discriminatory or depersonalising gender-based practices, which cannot be allowed to hide behind religion or culture.
On the question of the unique philosophical status of the person, I intend to blog separately on personalism and Quakerism