International Women's Day, celebrated across the world on 8 March each year, is about celebrating the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women's economic security and equality continue to exist. Bishop Kay Goldsworthy reflects on the global UN Women's Day Theme, 'Empowering Rural Women - End Hunger and Poverty'.
It is now 101 years since the first International Women’s Day was celebrated across Europe as women worked together to achieve greater recognition in society.
Now celebrated around the world, IWD provides for women and men to reflect on progress made in women’s full participation at every level of society, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women day by day.
As we celebrate this day around the Anglican Communion, please pray for women from the Anglican Communion attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, and for the Anglican Observer at the UN. This year’s UN International Women’s Day theme this year is Empowering Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.
The Anglican Church of Australia’s representative, The Reverend Kathy Barrett-Lennard, and women from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA, are meeting together with other women from around the world to learn, to develop friendships across the Anglican Communion, and to share expertise, stories and plans for action.
This reflection comes from a collection of prayers written by Anglican women and girls – perhaps it will form part of your praying today -
I want to hear the voices of women
reverberate around the world
Not the cries of the mourner and the victim only
those too, of course
but also the articulate agendas of women’s passions
for a well, whole and flourishing world.
I want to see women themselves choosing to lead
churches, groups, villages, towns, governments
shaping strategies coming from the bedrock of our faith
that construct the way forward as we solve the critical issues
women care about: poverty, health, education, violence and peace.
I want the women of the local church
to join with women and men throughout our global family
speak with our moral authority; call our family to this holy task
then listen as we hear our sister’ and brothers’ voices
coming back to us as they complete the circle around the world -
enriched by the dignity and imagination of others -
returning to shower us with the love of God.