"I insist on the equality of women with men. Every officer and soldier should insist upon the truth that woman is as important, as valuable, as capable and as necessary to the progress and happiness of the world as man."
General William Booth,1908
In the United States, the nineteenth amendement to the constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified on August 18, 1920. In marking the 90th anniversary of this historic occasion, you may be interested to know that from it's earliest days, The Salvation Army heralded the equality of women.
Catherine Booth, wife of The Salvation Army's founder William, was known to preach sermons dealing with social injustices including the deplorable conditions that many men and women worked under in London.
One of the first national commanders of The Salvation Army's work in the United States, Evangeline Booth, responded to the 1906 San Franscisco earthquake by essentially giving away the entirity of the army's operating budget for that year. Her response to baffled reporters: "God will provide." And He did.
Women helped form the very roots of The Salvation Army. Today, it may seem archaic to imagine a time when this was not the case. But there is great value in remembering this heritage. It's also important to know that this principle still guides The Salvation Army as it continues it's work in hundreds of countries around the world.
"Some of my best men are women."
General William Booth