On my days away last week I read an interesting biography of Frances Partridge. Frances has been called the last of the Bloomsbury Group, outliving most of them by many years. The complications of Bloomsbury were reflected in her life, in short she met and eventually married Ralph Partridge, who at the time of meeting was married to Dora Carrington, who were both lovers of Lytton Strachey - she joined the 'menage et trios', which came to an end with the death of Lytton and suicide of Dora. I leave it there! Anyway one of the most shocking facts in the book was that Frances went up to Newnham College, Cambridge in the 1920s, but wasn't awarded her degree until she collected it in her 70s (she died a few years ago aged 101).
Hundreds, if not thousands of women, were not given the degree to which they would have been entitled before the 1950s. The issue here was a system which didn't believe that women needed an academic qualification, either for work or a career (a career!) or for the satisfaction of earning it. Now what a change there has been in education here in the last fifty years - women professors, vice chancellors, lecturers. Still across the world today, a world still governed and ruled mostly by men, women are denied an education.
Many girls in developing countries find it hard, and therefore it is important that organisations such as Christian Aid and its partners raise the awareness of the importance of educating women. As a woman educated in the same way as men for 17 years of my life I happily give £1.70 to educate another woman today. I am also very much aware today that the fight for the recognition of women in other spheres of western life goes on and that, even in such a modern age, we still have a long way to go before we have justice and equity. Not necessarily for the sake of women themselves but for the sake of God's kingdom.