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International Women’s Day March 8 2018

Catholics urged to focus on the needs of rural women in the light of this year’s challenging theme “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives” for International Women’s Day.

This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women have dominated headlines and discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change. 

Bishop Michael McCarthy, Bishop Delegate to the Council for Australian Catholic Women, said “Jesus always respected the dignity of women. The theme of this year’s international invites all Australians to acknowledge women’s dignity as well as their knowledge and expertise, and to empower women and girls so that they can survive and thrive.”

The Council for Australian Catholic Women is urging Catholics to educate themselves about the specific disadvantages that affect rural women and act for justice ahead of International Women’s Day March 8 2018.

Council for Australian Catholic Women chair Lorraine Barker said.  “We are particularly concerned about the rights of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. Yet, on almost every measure of development, because of deep seated gender inequalities and discrimination, rural women fare worse than rural men or urban women.”

John Ferguson from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council said, “In Australia, the impact of disadvantage can be exacerbated for women in rural and remote locations where employment opportunities are scarce, welfare and health services are limited, and where family and social support networks can be stretched due to the tyranny of distance, population decline, for example where younger generations are moving to metropolitan areas, and the loss of social infrastructure.”

Churches and other faith-based groups around the world will be using the International Women’s Day to underline their shared commitment to empowering women.

The Council for Australian Catholic Women provides advice to the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry about the inclusion of women and their participation in the Catholic Church in Australia.

Its mission is to increase the number of women in decision-making, leadership and ministry roles in the Church. The Council coordinates mentoring and leadership development programs especially for young women.

Parish Resource for IWD 2018 (PDF)