Bengaluru, March 9: Women’s Commission of Bangalore Archdiocese has celebrated Women’s Day on the occasion of the International Women’s Day at Palana Bhavan, Bangalore on March 8. A day in a year is dedicated for Women globally to remember their role in the society and appreciate them.
Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore invoked the blessings of the Lord during the concelebrated Eucharist. Dr Machado also wrapped up the day’s programme with his words of wisdom. The Archbishop pointed out the strength of women and urged them to continue to stand with the Church to work for the upliftment of less privileged women, the poor, the needy and those in prison. His pep talk to the ladies was considered a boost for all the women to improve their presence and involvement in all spheres of Life to achieve the objective of ‘Equality’. The Archbishop was humble enough to apologize for the wrong that has been done to Women in the Church.
Msgr S Jayanathan, Vicar General, Archdiocese, touched upon the Women’s role in the Church as described in the Scripture. He observed, Jesus Christ is the foremost proponent of Equality, giving the reference of the woman at the well in Samaria. He expressed how Jesus instructed women breaking stereotypes and she was the first woman evangelist who brought the entire village to listen to Jesus. He stated that there is no Church without women.
Fr. Cyril, Director, ACC (Archdiocesan Communication Centre) spoke about generation’s equality in 25 years since the Beijing declaration.
This year’s theme ‘for equal talks’ called for supporting and upholding each other with the past, present and future generation which encompasses people of all genders. He reiterated that the Church is keen to empower women and men in this journey towards equality.
Faye D’Souza, the key note speaker, spoke on the topic ‘New Age Woman’. She expressed how freebies are given on this particular day while women are forgotten the rest of the year. She sought that women want equal opportunities, equal wages, equal respect and dignity even if it is for one day of the year. Faye also stressed that women are always in service for others at home, outside and in the communities. More often than not women are expected to stand up for themselves. She expressed that both men and women should engage in the struggle for gender equality. She also said that women should support other women to achieve the objective. The gathering witnessed live crisp talk of Faye that used to be on TV News Channel formerly. A packed hall of people of all walks of life greatly appreciated her talk with clapping.
Another keynote speaker, Ms. Donna Fernandez, spoke on the topic ‘Each for Equal’. She emphasized about the struggles of women and raised the reference to the present scenario across the country where the CAA and the NCR seeks to prove ancestry which would be most challenging for women and children especially those who are widowed, separated, unmarried and orphaned. She urged the women to remember that this is another freedom struggle where we need to be in solidarity with people of all religions. The thrust of her speech must have made every woman present in the hall to join the march and fight for women’s presence and identity that is lacking today.
Brinda Adige, the energetic joint secretary of the Commission and a social activist emphasized the need for women to be given positions of decision making in all spheres. This would be a huge step forward in the journey towards making ‘our homes, workplaces, churches and communities more safe and just for all.’
Priya Francis, also a joint secretary, moderated the question and answer sessions
The afternoon session was a mixed programme of exciting talks and entertainment.
Another speaker, Annice Paul, spoke about “Breaking the Stereotypes”.
Ms. Edwina Pereira, another speaker, spoke on Child abuse and what would be the role of a woman as a mother particularly to educate the child and bring equality in the gender at home front. She also touched upon the sensitivity that a mother can alone understand thereby practice of not being partial towards the children in their rights.
The long day of speeches gave an insight for the ladies, which was well balanced with a swift entertainment. A dance & Skit was staged by Medical Mission Sisters that imparted message on gender equality.
The lucky draw brought smiles on the faces of the ladies as they won exciting gifts. The gifts were sponsored by Titan Company Limited and Modi Care.
The stalls exhibiting and selling variety of products brought in more life to the event.
The programme was planned methodically by the organizing team and animated meticulously by Ms. Michelle Pinto who welcomed the dignitaries such as chief guest of the day and the keynote speaker, Faye D’souza, a well-known Journalist, ‘bold & beautiful’ as generally considered by those come across her besides all others.
The credit for the mega event was given to the 400-strong Women from across various parishes of Bangalore and to the entire team of the Women’s Commission of the Archdiocese. One among the team members included Ms Veena Serrao who helped prepare the overall event of the Women’s Day programme .
Earlier, the day’s programme began with a prayer by Elaine Menezes and lighting of lamp by the dignitaries and watering of the sapling to mark the presence of Women’s Commission perpetually in the garden of Archdiocese.
The main event Co-ordinator, Elaine Menezes, proposed a vote of thanks.
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