By Martha Awinoh
What does International Woman’s Day mean to you?
A day to commemorate the wonderful being called Woman. A Day to remember the heroines who fought for the liberation of Women and have gone ahead into eternity and for those who are still advocating for change in church and community. A Day to reflect on what it means to me to be a woman and what I can do with my Sisters to lift others up and out of the doldrums. It helps me to plan for the year. For instance, I had the privilege to meet the Moslem Women in one of the communities where we work. We had three hours of deep conversations and the way forward for us all. It was historic. We have the voice to speak. We have the mandate to stand tall in the gap. It’s not a choice nor a favor.
What does it mean to be a woman in the part of the world and society you live in?
Generally, or to a large extent, the trend or tradition of women being held in not too high esteem still prevails especially in traditional communities. On the other hand, It depends on the level of education, family ties, or social circles one finds themselves in. Some are privileged and have a voice to speak out, but a majority find themselves on the fringes still…voiceless, quite a patriarchal society.
Which woman in the Bible inspire you? How can you relate her character in today’s challenges faced by women within your local community, and globe?
I would say four women actually inspire me: Pharaoh’s Sister who raised Moses. She knew he was a Jew, a foreigner, but she raised him as her own with all the privileges of a prince. Inadvertently preparing him for God’s work. The second is Rahab, who society frowns on due to her profession but whose instincts helped her to save her family. What talents and gifts do we have and what do we use them for. The two others are Ruth and Tabitha. These women sacrificed their energy, provided and braced societal hurdles to achieve their goals to save. In today’s world, Women are faced with similar challenges in the communities I work, especially in the rural communities but they brace the storm to do what they can do to save and serve others in their own small ways.
What woman’s themes are impacting you most greatly in your home or work?
“Celebrating the past, planning for the future “(1996) has been my all-time favorite because it was what drew my attention closely to Women’s issues, and compelled me to keep track of our worth. For me, all the themes over the years have emanated from this plan to transform the world for a better future for women and the girl-child.