Bangalore, 8th March, 2020: The Women’s Commission of the Archdiocese of Bangalore celebrated the International Women’s Day with much grandeur at Paalanaa Bhavana, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. The hall was packed with almost 400 ladies coming from all walks of life and from different parishes of the Archdiocese.
The Chief Guest of the day and the keynote speaker was Ms. Faye D’Souza, a well-known Journalist and a News Anchor. The day’s program started with a prayer by Elaine Menezes, and lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries and watering of the sapling to make the presence of Women’s Commission felt perpetually in the garden of Archdiocese.
Msgr. S. Jayanathan, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, touched upon the Women’s role as described in the Scripture. He said Jesus Christ is the foremost proponent of Equality, giving the reference of the woman at the well in Samaria. He expressed how Jesus instructed women breaking stereotypes.
Rev. Fr. Cyril Victor Joseph, Director of Paalanaa Bhavana, spoke about achieving the gender equality, as dreamed at the Beijing declaration, 25 years ago. This year’s theme “Each for Equal” talks of supporting and upholding each other with the past, present and future generation which encompasses people of all genders, he reiterated that the church is keen to empower women and men in this journey towards equality. He also stated that there is no church without women.
The Chief Guest Ms. Faye D’Souza spoke on the topic ‘New Age Woman’. She expressed how freebies are given on this particular day while women are forgotten the rest of the year. She sought that women want equal opportunities, equal wages, equal respect, and dignity even if it is for one day of the year. Faye also stressed that women are always in service for others at home, outside and in the communities. More often than not women are expected to stand up for themselves. She expressed that both men and women should engage in the struggle for gender equality. She also said that women should support other women to achieve this objective. The gathering witnessed live sharp talk of Faye that used to be on TV News Channel formerly.
Mrs. Donna Fernandez, another speaker, spoke on the day's topic ‘Each for Equal’. She emphasized the struggles of women and raised the reference to the present scenario across the country where the CAA and the NCR seeks to prove ancestry which would be most challenging for women and children especially those who are widowed, separated, unmarried, orphaned. She urged the women to remember that this is another freedom struggle where we need to be in solidarity with people of all religions.
The celebration culminated with the Eucharistic Celebration concelebrated by His Grace Most. Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore. The Archbishop emphasized the strength of women and urged them to continue to stand with the Church in working for the upliftment of less privileged women, the poor, the needy and those in prison. His pep talks to the ladies is a boost for all the women to improve their presence and involvement in all spheres of Life to achieve the objective of ‘Equality’. The Archbishop also apologized for the wrong that has been done to Women in the Church.
Mrs. Lorna Lobo,
Secretary, Women’s Commission