Deborah and her Daughters

Long, long ago there were four ways societies reacted to women with leadership gifts. There were those who reacted to women leaders like the people of Israel reacted to Miriam – taking advantage of their skills to bring liberation and life to their people, but never being acknowledging them with official leadership roles. There were some in which the only option women leaders had was to act like Jael – making the most of every opportunity to act with stealth behind the scenes to do the things that acknowledged leaders are too visible to do. In too many societies women have suffered the fate of the exploited and brutalised women at the end of the Book of Judges. Women whose voices have been silenced by abuse. Women whose life-giving contribution to their communities was cut short by violence. And at some rare high points in the history of humanity, women like Deborah have been recognised for their leadership and invited to bring life and hope to their communities: when women of competence, confidence, courage and conviction have not been dismissed, silenced and abused but sought out, honoured, believed and followed. Long ago. And ever since. Which sort of society do you want to live in?