Remarkable Women in the Bible and in Our Nation’s History
March is National Women’s Month. It is celebrated every March of each year as part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day.
The following are the legal bases for the annual celebration:
Proclamation No. 224 s. 1988 declaring the first week of March each year as Women’s Week and March 8 as Women’s Rights and International Peace Day.
Proclamation No. 227 s. 1988 providing for the observance of the Month of March as Women’s Role in History Month.
Republic Act (RA) 6949 s. 1990 declaring March 8 of every year as National Women’s Day.
The theme from 2017-2022 is “We Make Change Work for Women.” It focuses on women empowerment as an active contributors to and claim holders of development. This pursuit of development is also anchored on the commitment of “Malasakit at Pagbabago” or True Compassion and Real Change.
Some of the Remarkable Women in the Bible
This season is a suitable time to talk about the remarkable women of the Bible as well women’s role in the history of our nation, as mentioned above.
Ruth the Moabite was an example of unfaltering faith and courage. After being widowed in Moab, she decided to stick around with her mother-in-law and became a believer and follower God for all her days, believing he would provide for her. Her name means “comrade” or friendship. The book of Ruth gives the details of her connection to the people of Israel, to king David and ultimately, to Jesus – she became an ancestress of David and the royal house of Judah (Matt. 1:5).
Rachel was an ancestress of Israel, wife of Jacob, mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She was the younger daughter of Laban, the Aramean, the brother of Jacob’s mother; so Rachel and Jacob were cousins (Genesis 29:10). Rachel waited patiently to marry Jacob after being deceived by her father, who tricked Jacob into marrying her sister Leah. God heard her prayers, and although she was childless at first, she became the mother to Joseph and Benjamin.
Hannah was one of the two wives of Elkanah, an Ephraimite who lived at Ramathaim-zophim. She visited Shiloh yearly with her husband to offer sacrifices, for there the tabernacle was located. Hannah desperately prayed for a son, and promised that she would dedicate his life to God. When God came through, she kept her word: She left her son Samuel to be raised in the temple (providing her son wisdom along the way). Hannah’s faithfulness never faltered (1 Samuel 1:1-28).
Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in the book of the Judges in the Old Testament. She is known for being a compassionate leader. She was also prophetess and became a leader of her people in times of national distress. We can read her story in the book of the Judges chapter 4.
Queen Esther showed great courage by telling the Persian king about a plan to assassinate him, and later, a plan to have all the Jews in Persia killed. With the power of prayer and bravery, she saved her people.
She was a Jewish orphan, who became the queen of Xerxes, in some respects the greatest of the Persian kings. She was brought up at Susa by her cousin Mordecai, who seems to have held a position among the lower officials of the royal palace. Vashti, Xerxe’s former queen, was divorced; and the most beautiful virgins from all over the provinces of the empire were brought to the palace of Susa that the king might select her successor. The choice fell upon the Jewish maiden.
Soon after her accession a great crisis occurred in the history of the Jews. The entire people was threatened with destruction. The name Esther is forever bound up with the record of their deliverance. By course of action which gives her a distinguished place among the women of the Bible, the great enemy of the Jews destroyed, and her people were delivered. We can read her story in the book Esther in the Old Testament.
Mary of Nazareth
There are six women in the New Testament named Mary. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is by far the most important of them. She gave birth to Jesus, the savior of the world, when she was just a teen, as the angel Gabriel announced to her. She lived in the town of Nazareth in Galilee, where she was engaged to be married to Joseph, a local carpenter.
It was revealed to her that, while still a virgin, she would become pregnant. This would come about through the direct creative power of God’s Spirit, so that her son would be unique (Luke 1:30-35).
She came from the town of Magdala in Galilee and was known as Mary Magdalene, a faithful follower of Jesus. She became a follower of Jesus early in his ministry, when he had healed her of evil spirits (Luke 8:2). After being healed by Jesus, she traveled with Him and witnessed his crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Three of the Remarkable Women in Philippine History
There are so many remarkable women in our nation’s rich history but I will mention three of them here.
She is known as “the first Filipina to lead an uprising against a foreign power.” Silang was a fearless Ilocaña warrior who assumed her husband’s role as commander of rebel troops after his assassination in 1763. She rallied fighting forces (including the native Itneg people) to carry on the war against Spain in their home province of Ilocos, launching guerrilla attacks against Spanish garrisons — attacks that caused Spanish soldiers to fear her name.
Gabriela Silang (1731-1763)
Tandang Sora (1812-1919)
Her real name is Melchora Aquino, was fondly called the Mother of the Revolution. She was a single mother who managed the farm left by her deceased husband while raising her six children. Tandang Sora earned her nickname after taking care of Andres Bonifacio and other Katipuneros in 1896, risking her life as she provided them with food and nursed the wounded. Her bravery was best displayed after she was arrested by Spanish authorities, who subjected her to grueling interrogations in hopes that she would reveal the location of the Katipunan hideout. She refused to give in and was deported to Guam under the decree of Governor General Ramon Blanco.
Given the title Ina ng Biak-na-Bato, Trinidad Tecson was the first-ever Filipino woman to undergo sacred rites of Sandugo. In addition to that, she fought alongside many male generals during the Spanish attacks and even nursed numerous Katipuneros back to health.
She was later awarded the title, Mother of the Philippine Red Cross, for her efforts during the Spanish occupation.
Happy Women’s Month to all the Women of the world!
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