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The Salvation Army Supports International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is a global day of recognition and celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past, present and future.  Every year on March 8, thousands of events are held throughout the world to empower women and celebrate their triumphs.  The United States designates the whole month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, said, “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.  Unfortunately a large number of people of every tribe, class and nationality think otherwise.  They still believe woman is inferior to man.”  That demonstrates the strong commitment of The Salvation Army to Gender Equality.  One day, as General William Booth surveyed his great Army, he commented, “My best men are women!”

Lt. Eliza Shirley

Lt. Eliza Shirley

The first successful work of The Salvation Army in the United States rested on the shoulders of a 17-year old girl.  On October 5, 1879, Lieutenant Eliza Shirley held the first Salvation Army meeting in America in Philadelphia. Initially, only a few Philadelphians were attracted to the meetings, but by January, 1880, the work had expanded so much that Eliza and a young Philadelphian girl opened a second corps.  Shirley wrote to General Booth begging for reinforcements, and the work of The Salvation Army spread throughout America.


Evangeline Booth

Commissioner Evangeline Booth

“Evangeline” Cory Booth, the seventh child of William and Catherine Booth, was given command of The Salvation Army in the United States in 1904.   As National Commander, she was largely responsible for The Salvation Army’s volunteers who served as chaplains and “Doughnut Girls” during World War I.  For The Salvation Army’s work during the war, in 1919 Evangeline was awarded the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal by the President of the United States.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!  Make every day International Women’s Day.  Do your best to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.  For more information about International Women’s Day, click here.

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