International Women's Day

"Because our founder showed particular concerns for justice toward women, we commit ourselves to be involved in ministries and action which affect the contemporary situation of women in the church and in society." (CSJP Constitution 22)

Today is International Women's Day. In fact, it's the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day. The upcoming issue of the justice journal I edit is all on the global status of women, so I've been reading lots. We still have a long way to go to real gender equity and an end to violence and discrimination against women. But there are also things to celebrate.

Did you know that this year, the UN formed a new agency dedicated to gender equity and the empowerment of women? As UN Women's Executive Director Michelle Bachelet says, "We are here to serve half the world." Read more at www.unwomen.org.

On the first International Women's Day in 1911, only 2 countries allowed women the right to vote. Now that is essentially a universal right (and one that more women need to exercise!).

But we also know that every 90 seconds a woman dies in child birth or due to complications of pregnancy. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and sexual violence is increasingly used as a "tool" of war. The disturbing stats can go on and on. Rather than list a litany, I'd like to enlist your prayer.

Join me in praying for gender equity and an end to violence against women. May the day soon come when we can say to women and girls who have been oppressed, in the words of Jesus to the woman healed of her 18 year infirmity in the Gospel of Luke, "Woman, you are set free."

So be it.

No comments: