For 2007, a special additional logo, While Women Weep 2007, has been designed as a reminder that there is still a need for women to join together in prayerful concern and creative endeavour. The logo recalls the words of William Booth in his last public address: 'While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight – I'll fight to the very end.'
Read Centenary Message
2007 – Centenary of Women's Ministries
The International Headquarters women's ministries leadership team in January 2007. From left: Commissioner Marilyn Francis (Zonal Secretary for Women's Ministries, Americas and Caribbean), Commissioner Lahlimpuii (ZSWM, South Asia), Captain Teresa Everett (administrative assistant), Commissioner Rosemary Makina (ZSWM, Africa), Commissioner Janet Street (World Secretary for Women's Ministries), Commissioner Christina Kjellgren (ZSWM, Europe), Commissioner Arda Frans (ZSWM, South Pacific and East Asia) and Commissioner Helen Clifton (World President of Women's Ministries).
THE Salvation Army is well known for giving women their place in all aspects of life and ministry, including spiritual leadership in the Church. January 2007 sees the centenary of the founding of Salvation Army women's groups under the title 'The Home League'. This work was launched by Mrs Florence Booth in East London on 28 January 1907. Florence and her husband, Bramwell Booth, key leaders in the early days of The Salvation Army, were great activists in the fight against sex-trade trafficking, culminating in the passing of the United Kingdom Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, which raised the age of consent to 16.
Though the original name 'Home League' has been updated in some areas of the world, women's ministries have gone from strength to strength and now have more than half a million members in 111 countries. The emblem, a house on the Bible, has been adapted to many cultures, and the fourfold aims of worship, fellowship, education and service have been immensely empowering to women worldwide.
To mark the centenary of the founding of Salvation Army women's groups, two new inspirational books have been published:
- Seasons, by Major JoAnn Shade, explores the life of women in leadership, drawing on the author's own experience in 30 years as a Salvation Army officer in the USA.
- For Such a Time, by Lieut-Colonel Jenty Fairbank, is a popular biography of the young Florence Booth, by one of The Salvation Army's best-known writers and historians.
Copies of Seasons and For Such a Time can be bought direct from International Headquarters for £4.95 each (postage free to anywhere in the world). Payment may be made only in UK sterling cheques made out to 'The Salvation Army'. Send your order to Communications Section, The Salvation Army IHQ, 101 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4P 4EP, United Kingdom.
Copies may also be bought, in national currencies, from territorial trade departments (use the pull-down menu from the home page of www.salvationarmy.org to find the appropriate address, then contact the trade department for local price details).
Salvationist women delegates at the United Nations
In February 2007, the 51st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women met in New York to discuss 'The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and Violence Against the Girl Child'. In the centenary year of Salvation Army Women's Ministries, Salvationist women delegates from a variety of countries and cultures attended this event. The Salvation Army has signed a written statement prepared by the UN Vienna Non-governmental Organisations Committee on the Status of Women. The statement (available on this website) includes the following recommendations to governments:
- Ensure that law enforcement has adequate resources and training to respond to violence against the girl child, to respond quickly to incidents of violence with compassion, understanding and respect and to patrol public places and streets;
- Provide timely and effective resources and appropriate support to victims of violence, including safe shelter and free access to medical and psychological treatment;
- Introduce and enforce legislation making religious and traditional practices which harm girls illegal, including female genital mutilation, under-age marriage and forced abortion;
- Severely penalise those who benefit from the sexual exploitation of the girl child, including prostitution, sex tourism, pornography, mail order brides and exploitation via the Internet.
The Salvation Army supports these goals.
Report by Commissioner Helen Clifton
World President of Women's Ministries