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Celebrate International Women's Day this year with inspiring women around the Communion

03 March 2014

You and your church can mark International Women's Day this year with the Anglican Alliance's latest resource, which celebrates women around the Communion and sets out ideas for your community to empower women and inspire change. 

A new resource is now available for churches and communities across the Anglican Communion!  

To mark International Women's Day on 8th March, we are telling the stories of remarkable Anglican women around the world who have inspired change and transformed their communities. 

A Bible study and links to tools and resources are also provided, as well as ideas for your church and community to get involved. You can mark International Women's Day by thinking about the women you know who work hard to inspire change.  And over the coming year your church and community can encourage women and girls to access the skills and education they need to fulfil their potential. 

Across the Communion, women are instrumental in development and are reaching out to their communities in innovative ways.  

Rhoda Kwashi, from the Diocese of Zonkwa, Nigeria, has written her story for the Women's Day resource.  She said, "As a young girl, growing up was a big struggle because my parents were not well-to-do and were not educated.  As their children, we were all involved in their work.

"Sometimes we had to be sent out of school because they could not afford to pay the fees.  As a result of that, I had to do some work to raise money to pay my school fees ... There were a lot of challenges that could have discouraged us (me and my siblings) from going to school.  But we were determined to change our story and be better off than our parents. 

"As a pastor's wife, I and my husband served in many congregations in Kaduna diocese for 19 years. I worked with women and girls who had lost their self worth and could not do anything because of where culture had placed them. 

"Coming to the Diocese of Zonkwa as a Bishop's wife, I saw even more vulnerability amongst this group.  I considered where I started and where I am now, and I became even more determined to be an influence among women and girls to bring about change and be an instrument of change - I hoped this would inspire them to become instruments of change also."

Rhoda is now known as "Mama Diocese" for her care and encouragement to the communities she serves.  Her full story can be seen in our resource.

Elizabeth Marahora, a school teacher in the Solomon Islands, has also shared her story.  She said, "I find it very challenging but very rewarding when there is a positive change in a student's learning behavior. It is encouraging to see pupils with enthusiasm to learn in the class and how they build their skills for a better quality of life and as future citizens.

"Our role to reach out is not that easy. However with understanding we have to move forward in decision making and make positive contributions at every level."

With the Anglican Alliance's latest resource for International Women's Day, you, your church and your community can come together to celebrate the women who are making a difference and inspiring change.  

If you would like printed copies of the resource (in English) please contact us at: anglicanalliance@aco.org

The resource is also available in Bangla. 

Picture: Layton Thompson, Tearfund.