Finally, some good news about women! On Monday, the Church of England finally voted to ordain women as bishops. 25 years after the Episcopal Church ordained Barbara Harris as the first female bishop in the US, history was made in England today. England appoints their bishops, whereas we elect them, but some women may be appointed as soon as 2015.

I have been reeling from what has seemed like a very bad string of news for women and girls. The front page article in Sunday’s NY Times, was about college girls wishing they hadn’t come forward about their sexual assaults on campus because of the horrendous treatment they received from the leadership at their schools as well as the ostracism from fellow students.  And then on Monday, Malala Yousafzai, the now 17-year-old who was shot in the head by the Taliban for being an advocate for educating girls and women, writes an impassioned plea in the Post not to forget the 200 girls still being held captive by Boko Haram in Nigeria. All of this on the heels of the revelations about the epidemic of sexual assaults in the armed forces, two young girls being gang-raped and lynched in India, the backlog in the US of rape evidence kits, and the recent decision by the Supreme Court to deny women contraception coverage if it offends the religious beliefs of employers. I mean, what century are we living in?

I have been deeply concerned that my 22-year-old daughter will face more oppression and injustice in her lifetime than I have in mine. I am aware that it is not news that women have always been treated like second-class citizens. But the level of violence against women seems to be more vehement or is it that we’re just hearing about it more? July 14 was Malala’s birthday. Her wish is that “we all raise our voices for those under oppression, to show our power and to demonstrate that our courage is stronger than their campaign of fear.” Good going Church of England! Now let’s put pressure on Nigeria. Those girls were kidnapped from their school because they see education as an opportunity to better their lives. If someone kidnapped 80 American girls, there would have been outrage and a swift recovery. Please, let’s make Malala’s wish come true.  

What is your prayer for women and girls?