Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Women's Day

This is International Women's Day and it is an opportunity to celebrate and ponder many aspects of the lives of women around the world, everything from peril and inequality to strengths and contributions. I laugh when I read that some men huff and puff that there isn't a Men's Day. The way our society is structured it could be argued that there are 364 of them, and this Leap Year, 365.

I remember the Women's Day breakfasts in Sudbury which Ruth, my wife, attended. They focussed on the stories of women of accomplishment, and she found them inspirational. Despite these celebrations we are aware that even in our remarkable society there is still considerable inequality. In fact, the wages of women compared to men doing equal work has gone down in terms of percentage in the past decade.

There are also the sobering realities of domestic abuse for both women and children. Ruth worked as a crisis counsellor at a shelter for nearly a decade. As I've mentioned before a number of her clients were from the congregation I served at the time, although no one around them on a Sunday morning knew. In the three years we have lived here several women have approached her for support, even though this is no longer her work.

We are also aware of the thousands of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in this country, a sobering and shameful reality which the current federal government promises to address. Our United Church strongly supports this initiative and we can only hope and pray that this is a promise kept.

We are going to participate in the walk later this afternoon (4:30, Belleville Library) which is followed by guest speaker, Samra Zafar.

Will you mark this day in any way? If you have children, sons or daughters, will you speak of the importance of women's equality? Is it still necessary to have a Women's Day?

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