The Interfaith Peace Project continues its ongoing observance of the International Women’s Day, March 8, by sending out a reflection on the eighth of every month. We invite you share in this effort by sending any articles or information concerning the voice of women that you would like to share to:
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
THE FULL MEASURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Continuing to Honor International Women’s Day
May 8, 2022
The Interfaith Peace Project strives to live and work as if every day is International Women’s Day because it is. We are continuously alarmed by the harm done to women. Afghanistan and Ukraine are the latest examples of women suffering because of antiquated religious ideas and the absurdity of nationalistic expansionism. Frequently unjust laws are passed without regard to the health and well-being of women and girls.
All of us must work to insure the full human rights of every woman and girl otherwise the human rights of all people are endangered. We offer you two quotes for your reflection and consideration.
“Governments know well what is needed to uphold the human rights of women and girls. Those who support them, including donors and investors, must insist that the relevant authorities act now and decisively – regressive laws must be repealed. Essential services must be provided. Girls and women must have equal access to education and employment. Gender-based violence must be condemned and protections from it be strengthened, not weakened. Targeting of women human rights defenders must cease. No society can afford or should ever tolerate such erosions of dignity for more than half its population. There can be no excuses for failing to govern justly and fairly for women and girls,” said Agnès Callamard (Amnesty International).
Our second brief quotation from Margaret Mead concerns the hope and the courage necessary to bring about real change in the World, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
People can lose hope In times of uncertainty and political unrest. When courts are politicized, the rights of people can be compromised. The history of women and their quest for equality based on their dignity as persons testifies to the courage and creativity of individual women. Jill Biden summarized the uncommon courage of women in her statement for International Women’s Day (March 8, 2022): “Women have never been silent, but women have been silenced. That’s because our voices are powerful. When we raise them, we can tear down injustice, topple tyrants and demagogues and shatter the shields of oppression.”
Now more than ever we need to hear the voice of the women who witness and work for the justice that brings peace, the intelligence that brings wisdom, and the courage that lifts up the poor and oppressed.