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Percussionist Kavisa Mutua, founder of an all female percussionist group in Nairobi Percussionist Kavisa Mutua, founder of an all female percussionist group in Nairobi 

International Women’s Day 2020

“Women make the world beautiful; they protect it and keep it alive.” Pope Francis made the remarks on International Women’s Day, last year. The Holy Father also urged women to build peace with love.

Fortunate Nyambo – Vatican City

Once again, on 8 March, the world celebrates International Women’s Day. All over the world, this day is celebrated as a focal point in the movement for women's rights.

#EachforEqual

The theme for this year’s celebration is #EachforEqual. A theme that seeks, among other things, to encourage women all over the world to recognise that they can make a difference and bring about gender equality in the world.

But then it is also a day when women across the globe come together to celebrate each other’s achievements without regard to divisions of nations, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political barriers.

Challenging stereotypes

Tracey McClure is President of the association, Women in the Vatican -known by its Italian name, ‘Donne in Vaticano’. The association, Donne in Vaticano, was officially launched in 2016. What initially started-off as an idea for a support group of women, in the Vatican, has become an association that is outward looking and responsive to suffering in the world.

Asked what this year’s theme means for her, Tracey – a senior journalist, producer and broadcaster with Vatican media spoke about the importance of challenging stereotypes.

“I see it as an individual reflection. #EachforEqual is the moment for us to challenge stereotypes and bias that we see every day, not only in the place of work but also in our daily lives. It should help us work together as women to improve and celebrate women’s achievements in many different areas,” she said.

Humanitarian gesture to Mozambique

When Pope Francis travelled on his Apostolic Voyage to Mozambique, between 4 to 6 September 2019, Donne in Vaticano sent to the vulnerable children of Mozambique, school supplies, clothing, notebooks and backpacks, pencil cases, pens and pencils. The gesture of solidarity was channelled through an organisation known as, Reencontro: A Mozambican association that has been working to alleviate the plight of orphaned children by providing access to basic services and social assistance through community-based care. The association says it is currently assisting over 7, 000 children in Southern Mozambique.

Challenges

With regard to some of the challenges that women all over the world encounter, Tracey believes that the negatives stem from a general lack of respect for women’s dignity across societies.

Another challenge simply has to do with acknowledging the work women do. It would be good, for example, to see more women -religious women included- given due recognition for the work they do for the Church.

07 March 2020, 14:22