On 8th March it is designated International Women’s Day. On the day there will be a media frenzy, the world over to show women and allies working, planning, marching, protesting and also celebrating what it is to be a woman. Enlightened companies have been demonstrating their equalities policies by sharing videos and activities that highlight their women’s policies in practice. Airlines have had female all female pilot and cabin crews operating their flights. Underground trains are fully staffed by women on the day. A special day for women. Indeed, an exceptional and unique day. And then for the rest of the year?
We are told that societies around the world are changing, that laws are brought in that enable women to do any job they want if they study and qualify. But we know that attitudes and opinions are very different in the privacy of one’s home. Men and women’s mind have been colonised for centuries about the inferiority of women in the public place. Men are supposed to take up their natural place in the public place and women are supposed to take up the private, home space. Sadly, statistics back this up with a recent report that 90% of men and women from around the world have negative views about women in politics, work, and education (United Nations Development Programme March 2020).
We know that laws can make dramatic changes in society but it does not change opinions and feelings that easily. So, what is it that guides our inner most thoughts and feelings? The institution that represents our faith, the institution of our family, both of which feed our perception and understanding of a woman’s place in society. It is interesting that laws that are created, invariably by men, do seem to seek out justice and equality, and yet those institutions of faith and family continue to turn a blind eye to the equality of women. The imposition of man as the deserved leader in the Church, the man as the head of the household are centuries old. How do we break free of those colonised mindsets?
Well, each year we have the most incredible demonstration of women doing their thing on International Women’s Day, out there pushing the boundaries and seeking change, and celebrating change in the public space. But what about those private spaces where those closed and colonised mindsets are found in our families and our Church, how do we change that? We have those conversations with our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers and friends. They, and we become the foot soldiers for change.
And by paraphrasing two iconic sayings, let us be the change that we wish to see in the world as we Rise, we Rise, we Rise.
Women´s Committee Leader
Global Network of Rainbow Catholics