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From the editor's desk 6 October

The War Cry comments on the new Doctor Who and role models

Would the first female Doctor provide girls with a role model of a strong woman?

QUITE some time has passed since the big announcement about Doctor Who. It was back in July last year that the BBC revealed Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.

On the day of the announcement, Jodie described her excitement at being asked to play ‘the ultimate character’ who is ‘reinvented on screen’ and at being ‘the first woman in that role’. The show’s new head writer, Chris Chibnall, predicted that she would bring ‘loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role’, and the BBC’s controller of drama, Piers Wenger, spoke of ‘the powerful female life force she brings to the role’.

As people reacted to the announcement, occurrences of the word ‘role’ were soon joined by ‘role model’. Would the first female Doctor provide girls with a role model of a strong woman?

Jodie Whittaker said that being cast was ‘completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be.’

In this week’s issue of the War Cry, author and museum director Diana Lynn Severance writes about some strong women from history.

Their place was not necessarily – according to the stereotype – in the home, but out and about reforming prison life or establishing schools and hospitals. They refused to be boxed in and their accomplishments included revolutionising nursing and sheltering Jews during the Second World War. They were also all Christians.

Like everything else on planet Earth, Christianity does not have a perfect record in its treatment of women. But Diana argues: ‘It’s interesting that wherever Christianity has gone, the condition and position of women have improved in society.’

Women such as Elizabeth Fry, Pandita Ramabai and Corrie ten Boom pushed to change lives for the better.

As such they could be role models for girls and boys and women and men everywhere.

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