Our vision is a world where diverse women and girls are safe and respected, and where women and men share equally in shaping their societies.
We have two dramatic readings today. In the first, Susanna is almost killed for an adultery she didn’t commit, but is saved at the last moment as young Daniel exposes the lies of the elders. In the gospel, Jesus frees a woman caught in the act of adultery, brought to him by those who wish to test him.
In both readings, we see the malign intent of the powerful to crush the vulnerable. The stories recall all those whose voices go unheard, especially those facing injustice because they are women.
Today, women represent the majority of the world’s poor. Globally, they are less likely than men to be involved in decision making, to own land or property, or to have access to education, technology and employment. Violence against women is one of the most widespread abuses of human rights globally, affecting an estimated 1 in 3 women worldwide.
Together with our partners, we are working hard to tackle gender inequality, knowing that women and men have inherent dignity in the image and likeness of God.
Mili Badrunnessa, a network trainer for the Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development, has seen remarkable changes for women as a result of her organisation’s work creating eco-villages:
“Once upon a time, it was very difficult for women, especially young, unmarried women or widows, to get out of their homes and work. Now, many of these women have become BASD members and are happily engaging in permaculture and selling their produce in the markets…being a part of our process has helped them to achieve that independence. Child marriages in our villages have also dropped drastically.”
This Lent may our words and our actions witness to the dignity and value of each member of the human family.
We pray for all women
who have been silenced,
by discrimination, violence or fear.
May women everywhere
be equipped and empowered
to be instruments of change.
Find out more about CAFOD's work on gender justice and inclusion.