Empowering Our Daughters to Break Out of the Box
“Instead of being angry at their implications that I was a woman of low morals who could not be trusted with freedoms, I decided that I would make it one of my life’s goals … to show them that I was capable of more than they had ever allowed me to envision for my future…little did I know … I was embarking on a journey … so far removed from the fate any Pashtun woman is born into.” Saima Wahab
Currently I’m reading through an eye opening and hard to put down book by Saima Wahab titled “In My Father’s Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate.” Saima’s father was kidnapped by the Russians from their home in Afghanistan and she ended up in the Pacific Northwest with her uncles as a teenager. Before he was taken from his family, Saima’s father empowered his daughter and longed for her to go outside the gender roles for a Pashtun woman in Afghanistan. Saima took it upon herself to break out of the gender mold of her culture and be the woman she was ultimately created to be. Her story is an interesting one because it led her back to Afghanistan to be a translator for the US military forces.
As Hillary and I raise our two daughters, one of our goals is to empower them to be who God created them to be. We don’t want them to be held back by gender expectations even those that are present in church circles. God created male and female unique yet culture has created boxes that especially women need to live within. I want my daughters to be empowered to do what they believe God is calling them to do and not be held back because they are women.
Yesterday I took our youngest daughter Norah rock climbing because on the playground and around the house she loves to climb. I wanted to see how she would do on a climbing wall. I wanted her to use her strength to climb the wall and feel a sense of empowerment and accomplishment. Her first climb she went right to the top and loved every minute of it even the challenging climbs. This morning she couldn’t stop talking about it.
How are we empowering our children to discover who they were created to be? How are we encouraging our daughters to break out of cultural gender boxes and become who God created them to be?
If you would like to read more about the challenges for women and Christian gender stereotypes, check out this great blog series by Ed Cyzewski on “Women in Ministry“