Over the decades, the objective of Women’s Day celebration has evolved and embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect and love towards women. For the Catholic Church t his day provides with an opportunity to reignite, inspire and realize women’s empowerment in and for a society that Jesus envisaged. The Gender Policy of the Catholic Church in India has given us another milestone to realize this dream by implementing the Policy at every level.
The theme of the International Women’s Day 2017, Be Bold for Change, is trying to find ways to make a more gender-inclusive world. Jesus was bold enough to challenge many centuries of Jewish law and custom. He consistently treated women and men as equals. He violated numerous Old Testament regulations, which specified gender inequality. He refused to follow the behavioral rules established by the three main Jewish religious groups of the day: the Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees.
As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai in her famous speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday, in 2013 said; “ One child, one pen, one teacher, one book can change our world.” Malala, who in 2014 became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace prize, remains a staunch advocate for the power of girls’ education despite the Taliban’s threats. BBC Radio 3 announced that it commissioned the composer Kate Whitley to set to music the text by her, as part of programming for International Women’s Day on 8 March, 2017.
Empowering women in India is very necessary to bring gender equality or we can say that gender equality is very necessary to empower women. Men should not understand that women are made only to handle household chores or take responsibility of home and family. Instead, both men and women are responsible for everything of daily routine. Men too need to understand their responsibility of home and family and all other works women do so that women can get some time to think about themselves and their career. Women should also identify their strengths and abilities, and move towards a world of empowerment.
Gandhiji said, ‘Intellectually, mentally, and spiritually, woman is equivalent to a male and she can participate in every activity.” Indian woman is emerging out of their conventional role, realizing their unlimited potential and have begun to take major role in all walks of life. More importantly their role in family building and society development is stupendous. India is fortunate to have had many great women like – Annie Besent, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, St. Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla, Kiran Bedi, Pratibha Patil and many more in the Indian Corporate sector who have proved to be more than a match. Their contribution to society in whole and to women in particular is invaluable.
Happy Women’s Day 2017!
(The writer is Secretary, CBCI Council for Women.)#(Published on 06th March 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 10)