"For most of history, Anonymous was a Woman." - Virginia Wolfe
There are three major holidays that women are obligated in time-bound commandments within Jewish Law - By Chanukah, Purim and Pesach (Passover). Each time, the reasoning given is that they were part of the miracle ("Af hei'n Hayu B'oto Ha'nes").
Regarding Pesach, the Gemara (Pesachim, 108a-b) mentions that reasoning regarding the four cups of wine and Rash"i comments on the spot that in the merit of those women in Egypt the entire Jewish nation was redeemed. Their deeds and merits had a direct causal impact on the exodus and binding of the Jews together, as the American national anthem so aptly puts it, "one nation, under God."
Personally, I love that our history does not just use the label of "Anonymous" in the place of women (though it does sometimes bug me when the impact of various female role models and leaders is under-stressed or glossed over). And yet, most of the Egyptian decrees primarily affected men (eg. death of firstborn men, and by many accounts the field-labor of slavery).
I would like to take a moment here and recognize a debt of gratitude due for all the hard work that women -past and present -put in to make Pesach the experience it has always been. From their actions that merited our freedom to the tremendous work preparing the home and all of the different food items and aspects of the seders. If it were not for their unrelenting hard work, we'd have never had the original exodus and Pesach, nor would we have any Pesach Sedarim the way we do year after year.
For myself in particular, I must extend my tremendous appreciation and thanks to my own Mother, who manages to make the most delicious food of the year, every year, in addition to putting together amazing seders. I would be remiss if I left out her charoset -it was worth coming out of Egypt just for that alone -and I wish I could have it all year 'round. Sure, I often help with setting up, with Divrei Torah and invigorating the seder experience for myself, my immediate and extended family as well as our esteemed guests. But that's my little part, and what my Mother and other women throughout the Jewish communities in the world do to make Pesach possible gives others (like me) the freedom to enrich and enjoy an amazing evening and holiday.
Swinging back around, I also appreciate that despite how men may have experienced more oppression in Egypt, the women did absolutely everything they could -in their relationships and their observance -to help their men. What dedication! Their work leads to our freedom -physical and spiritual at the very least -and not just at the time of slavery, but in every generation.
To me, these reasons very well explain why women are obligated to partake in the commandments -in a very important way, it's their party! The fruit of their labors, even though we men reaped much of the benefit.
Also, I think there's a beautiful idea buried here -that we should fight (not with each other, but rather) as one to achieve rights and freedom regardless of gender or our differences. It is a message of unity, and I think the process of women working so hard (in whatever ways they could) to achieve freedom for (both themselves and) the men who were so harshly oppressed was precisely the process that bound us as one nation.
Have a wonderful Pesach,
Chag Kasher V'sameach!
(Side-note: Perhaps it was that same process that bound the American nation together in fighting for freedom. And would very well explain the idea of "one nation, under God.")