Women + Collaboration = Powerful
When I reflect on Women’s History month, the women who were part of the suffrage movement and fought for our right to vote immediately come to mind. It’s probably because watching the movie Iron Jawed Angels left such a deep impression on me. It’s hard to imagine what those women went through to gain the right to vote for women. Alice Paul, Lucy Burns and other women continued the work that Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady and Lucy Stone started to gain women’s right to vote. They sacrificed their time, their comfort, their resources and worked together to persevere through extreme hardship and opposition. They endured imprisonment and being force fed during a hunger strike. Thanks to their dedication, the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920—131 years after the first election.
When women work together in collaboration while leaning on their faith, amazing things are possible. Just take a look at a couple of stories of women in the Bible who worked together to encourage and support one another for a greater cause.
Ruth and Naomi: Ruth sacrificed the comfort of remaining in her own land near her family with what seemed much better chances of finding another husband to support her mother-in-law Naomi and go to a land she did not know where she would be seen as a foreigner. God blessed Ruth’s work and brought her a husband, Boaz, and is in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Women who followed Jesus: While we don’t know the names of all of the women who followed Jesus, it’s clear that they worked together, learned together and encouraged each other when things were especially hard. Luke 24:10 names some of the women who went to the tomb on the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus to tend to the body. Those women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, along with others. Those women were instrumental in the work of spreading the gospel.
As a well-known African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: […] Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
WiM’s word for 2023 is TOGETHER. We understand the power of women working together guided by their faith to combine their skills and ideas, and support and encourage one another. I have personally witnessed and experienced the power of releasing our own agenda, seeking the Lord and partnering with like-minded women in our mission.
Our partnership and collaborative work with the Polished Network has paved the way to delivering the