International Women’s Day - 2018
Press for Progress
The theme for the International Women’s day - 2018, ‘Press for Progress’, invites us to continue our efforts for the cause of gender parity more ardently and enthusiastically. It is a fact that there is a gradual progress in the attitude and mindset of people towards women and their role in the progress of society. Yet, gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes. India is called Bharat Mata, not Bharat Pita, the Church is called Mother Church not Father Church; we love and respect woman as a mother, as a sister, as a wife and as a daughter. Then how India on earth became a dangerous place for women to reside in, and why or how women are not enjoying equal opportunities in the Church and society? The world after 6 pm is rejected for the average of Indian women.
Sometimes it is an irony that women are equally responsible for all privation that a woman has to face. There are women who are a travesty to their own kind and do not let the other women come out from the stereotypes and taboos; so, an inclusive transformation in the way of our collective thinking is important. Through purposeful collaboration, each one of us can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to the development of the society and nation.
St John Paul II wrote on the occasion of the Marian Year 1998, “the Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the ‘mystery of woman’ and for every woman for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity,….in and through her that the greatest event in human history– the incarnation of God Himself-was accomplished”.
In the book of Esther, Esther did not have a high profile. She was an orphan, a refugee; she did not have an encouraging atmosphere or opportunities. The social status of women was not at all favouring. The male dominancy was at its heights. We see the king’s words ‘every man should be lord in his own home’. In such situation Mordecai appeals to Esther to use her power and influence to save her people. Esther takes her life in her own hands and goes to see the king and plead for her people. The role of Christian women, in times like these, is to use our power and influence as torch bearers, just as did Esther.
“How beautiful to think that the first appearance of the Risen Lord took place in such a personal way! That there is someone who knows us, who sees our suffering and delusion, who is moved by us, and who calls us by name” – Pope Francis. Jesus chose a woman to be the person to whom he first appeared after Resurrection. He did not appear to John whom he loved more, not to his mother, if so, John might have come to know; instead he appeared to Mary Magdalene who became the Apostle to the Apostles.
In light of our ongoing efforts to encourage women and girls in the Church and the world, we celebrate Women’s Day and praise God for women like Esther, Judith, Mary Magdalene and others who made a great sacrifice and took a risk at a time when women were just treated as less fortunate in the society. God has mandated us to be helpers and given us all the tools that we need to make the world a better place.
CBCI Council for Women Wishes you all a very vibrant celebration of International Women’s Day!
Sr. Talisha Nadukudiyil SD, Secretary, CBCI Council For Women