International Women’s Day – 8th March 2016

“What she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” (Mark 14:9)

We read these lines in Mark’s Gospel at the anointing of Jesus’ feet, by a woman, while he sat at the table in the house of Simon the leper. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus upholding the dignity and status of women. He was conscious of the disparity that existed between men and women in society and the discrimination that women endured. This week, while we make the special effort to celebrate the role of women in society, we do so painfully aware of the gender disparity that still exists in the world today. The female child in many parts of the world still doesn’t have the same opportunities as her male counterpart. Women have long borne the pain and shed silent tears behind closed doors, but they have also stood up, shattered the proverbial glass ceiling and demanded that they be recognised and acknowledged for who they are and what they contribute daily to the basic fabric of family and society. The power of women has been long recognised. Today we have women leading in all spheres of life – family to local communities, politics to economics, sports to education, social justice to environmental activism.  Let us take a moment this week to acknowledge the committed, inspiring and encouraging women in our lives, be they mother or sister, daughter or wife, aunt or grandparent, friend and companion, caregiver and nurturer. Aung San Suu Kyi rightly maintains, “The empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” Let us remember Berta Cáceres, the Honduran environmental rights campaigner, who was assassinated last week for standing up for the rights of her people and the environment. Let us remember the four Missionaries of Charity sisters who, along with fifteen others, were so brutally murdered in a home for the elderly and the disabled in Yemen.   WATCH: One Woman CONSIDER: Taking the Pledge for parity READ: LISTEN TO: