Society for Humanistic Judaism Supports August 26 as Women’s Equality Day and Condemns Gender Discrimination
As Humanistic Jews, we believe in the cardinal principle that all human beings are equal in worth and that gender is no exception.
As Humanistic Jews, we understand that gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but also an issue of justice, safety, peace, security, and economic advancement in all nations around the world.
Women all over the world should have the same rights and privileges as men, including legal protections, roles in decision-making, access to healthcare, equal pay, educational opportunities, and career choices.
As Humanistic Jews, we deplore religious fundamentalism or any belief system that results in the discriminatory denial of women’s rights all over the world, whether through limited or nonexistent educational opportunities, forced marriages, domestic violence, inadequate healthcare, limited reproductive freedom, political disenfranchisement and under-representation, or restricted career prospects.
As Humanistic Jews, we denounce rape, sexual assault, forced prostitution, trafficking, female genital mutilation, and all other forms of subjugation that women and girls are forced to endure in so many countries around the world simply because of their gender, and that denigrate their humanity and belittle their worth as individuals.
As Humanistic Jews, we believe that education is the cornerstone of gender equality and that violence directed at those who seek or support education for women must be categorically condemned.
As Humanistic Jews, we recognize that progress has been made in the United States since 1920, when female citizens obtained the Constitutional right to vote, and in Canada since 1919, when women in all provinces except Quebec obtained the right to vote. However, the promise of the franchise has not resulted in equal voice, role, and representation in government. And many of these gains in terms of rights are currently being undermined. Restrictions on reproductive freedom, continued pay differentials in some sectors, lack of adequate healthcare for conditions affecting women, and a dearth of resources to combat domestic violence, among other factors, contribute to a gender gap in women’s opportunities and status. Much more progress needs to take place both in North America and around the world to ensure full equality between men and women.
Therefore, be it resolved that:
- The Society for Humanistic Judaism wholeheartedly supports the observance of Women’s Equality Day on August 26 to commemorate the anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women to vote;
- The Society condemns gender discrimination in all its forms, including restriction of rights, limited access to education, violence, and subjugation; and
- The Society commits itself to maintain vigilance and speak out in the fight to bring gender equality to our generation and to the generations that follow.
— August 2013