Wednesday, March 08, 2017

International Women's Day: Will you #BeBoldForChange?

Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. 

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman”

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, International Women's Day can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity. That's why the theme for this year, "Will You be Bold for Change (#BeBoldForChange)?" promotes intentional actions to try to improve conditions for women around the world. Goal 5 of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development is to achieve gender and empower all women and girls.

"Each one of us...can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity," say the organizers of International Women's Day (IWD), Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over."  IWD offers you a number of opportunities and suggested actions to Be Bold for Change

There are other initiatives to commemorate International Women's Day. ONE is putting attention on the need to provide education for girls around the world, and CARE is urging us to consider the role that women around the world play in daily life through the Walk in Her Shoes campaign.  We covered both of these campaigns a couple of days ago.

JustFaith Ministries offers this resource to commemorate International Women's Day,  inviting us to reflect he diverse voices and experiences of ordinary and extraordinary women : the progress made affirming the life and dignity of women, the changes still needed, the hope and courage of women past and present.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis offered a special greeting on Sunday for “all the women throughout the world who are seeking, every day, to build a more human and welcoming society.” Pope Francis continued with a “a fraternal ‘thank you’ for all those women who, in a thousand ways, bear witness to the Gospel and work in the Church.”

We celebrate some of the activities that are happening here in our country.

In the colonias of South Texas, women are connecting, educating and empowering one another to champion concerns such as safety, lighting, voting rights, citizenship pathways, infrastructure and drainage, and education.

In the Archdiocese of Seattle and the dioceses of Portland and Yakima Women’s Justice Circles have empowered more than 4,000 low-income women to work together for change in their communities.

In Ohio ten congregations of religious sisters work together to educate and advocate to prevent and end human trafficking in their state.

In Oakland, Parent Voices Oakland, a CCHD-funded organization, helps parents, mostly mothers, address issues that impact families and children.

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