The Bible book of Judges tells of Deborah, an outstanding woman living in Israel, when the Israelites had been in captivity for twenty years. Deborah was a prophet, or seer; one who perceives reality as spiritual. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy defines prophet as, “A spiritual seer; disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth” (p. 593). Deborah must have seen beyond the male-dominated society and female repression of her day, to be aware, to some degree, of the reality of God’s spiritual creation, where none is repressed, and no group dominates another.
Chosen as the fourth and only female judge over the captive Israelites, Deborah was reportedly fair in her judgments and respected in her dealings with others. Moreover, she was a warrior who stood side by side with the captain of Israel’s army and was instrumental in leading them out of bondage. Consequently, Israel had peace for forty years. Deborah was also a poet. In her victory song, despite all her achievements, it was her role as “mother” that she focused on. Judges 5:7 says she called herself “a mother in Israel.” Interestingly, this remarkable woman’s story is not as well known as many of her counterparts in the Bible who were male.
In a bid to right such imbalances globally, March 8 is annually recognized as International Women’s Day, dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements. In the United States, March is designated Women’s History month. Furthermore, several countries choose the last Sunday in March as Mother’s Day. Despite this, in many cultures around the world, women still play a subordinate role to men. And while considerable progress has been made to institute greater equality, vocal advocacy and agitation for women’s rights, fairness, and equal opportunity are still needed. This may involve demanding equal pay for women in the workplace and other activities such as sports, for example.