Original Research

Women in the Bible: What can they teach us about gender equality?

Christin E. Bøsterud
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2754 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2754 | © 2021 Christin E. Bøsterud | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 March 2021 | Published: 24 August 2021

About the author(s)

Christin E. Bøsterud, Department of Bibliological Perspectives, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


What can we learn about gender equality from the women in Scripture today? Can women in Scripture serve as role models for the women striving for leadership positions and could there be a potential correlation with current-day policies and practices supporting gender balance, and Christian ethical standards? This article, based on the Reformed paradigm, addresses women portrayed in formal and informal roles spanning from leaders, teachers, prophets and other prominent characters – each playing their roles in Scripture. It is argued that despite women often being placed in marginal positions in Scripture, they nevertheless permeate the Bible in narratives on resourcefulness, auto-leadership, and in their place in securing and upholding the Covenant with God. It will be demonstrated how women are presented as necessary partakers in the most significant of biblical narratives, and that their leadership exertion typically has a necessary role in the overarching scriptural scenarios. It will appear that by taking a closer approach to Scripture, we can take inspiration from female biblical leadership figures in most, if not all realms of today’s life.

Contribution: It will be clear that Scripture lends sufficient support to promote full and complete gender equality, whether this be expressed in corporate life, government, or family. The examples gleaned from Scripture will demonstrate how gender equality not only is something that Scripture allows, but also expects.


gender equality; female leadership; auto-leadership; auto-organisation; imago Dei; teaching.


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