Girls and women are transforming the world. Will the church support them?
Educating women is the most effective way to combat extreme poverty, slash child mortality rates, and build healthy communities. But first a girl must navigate the minefields of childhood and adolescence. Will she get pregnant or finish her education? Will she be trafficked or taught a trade? Will she be abused by authority figures or equipped for leadership?
From Risk to Resilience weaves the stories of young women between the ages of twelve and twenty-one into a tapestry of hope. Author and gender justice advocate Jenny Rae Armstrong illuminates dangers common to women and girls around the world: gender-based violence, child marriage, healthcare gaps, and damaging social attitudes. She also delves into narratives of women in Scripture, examining theologies of oppression that contain and crush women’s potential, and theologies of shalom that lift women up.
Drawing on resources from the gender justice movement and from heroines of the Bible, Armstrong offers a stirring call to action, with practical ways that churches and individuals can help girls around the globe thrive.
In this concise yet far-reaching volume, Armstrong (Don't Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket), teaching pastor at Darrow Road Wesleyan Church in Superior, Wis., eloquently advocates for better societal and theological treatment of women, beginning with Christian churches. The concepts throughout the book are introduced with personal anecdotes, drawing from Armstrong's experiences growing up in Liberia and the United States, as well as her work as a pastor and with girls in East Africa. Highlights include her analysis of the plight of teenage girls in Africa, who face extreme logistical challenges to education, and her diagnosis of the modesty obsession she believes currently dominates many contemporary Christian communities. Always grounded in firsthand experiences and a wealth of statistics, Armstrong's critiques are trenchant and engaging. She also provides biblical stories to theologically reinforce her arguments that women deserve greater empowerment. With lean, practical prose, she easily demonstrates the Bible's message of equality and the deep influence of women on the history of Christianity. For anyone invested in uplifting girls and women around the world, Armstrong provides practical tips for getting involved. For readers not yet invested in her cause, Armstrong's passion and convincing will be a clarion wake-up call.