WEDNESDAY PRAYER FOR THE WORLD, MARCH 29, 2023
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
March is Women’s History Month. On International Women’s Day, March 8, Oxfam brought a delegation of women to Washington, DC to deliver a strong message, in person, to the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. The delegation was demanding that the US take bold climate action and prioritize solutions that focus on the gender inequalities of the climate crisis. The one bringing the delegation was Oxfam, which is a global movement of people, working together to end the injustice of poverty. They tackle the inequality that keeps people poor.
MANTRA: Invocation by Jan Novotka, Roots and Wings, Rising as One.
In the name of our God, Source of all that is;
In the name of Jesus, brother, teacher, and friend;
In the name of Spirit we come,
we come in Truth and Love.
For the sake of all Life, Life within and without;
For the sake of Mystr’y, unfolding in our midst;
For the sake of the Future we come,
we come open to Grace.
FOCUS FOR OUR PRAYER:
Oxfam is working alongside women around the world to build resilience in the face of these crises: creating new irrigation systems in Indonesia, leading efforts to reduce disaster risks in Nepal, organizing critical health care services for natural disasters in Turkey and Syria, and so much more. In addition, while Oxfam is engaged in directly helping people impacted today by the consequences of climate change, they are addressing the root cause of the problem through direct advocacy.
An issue that the pandemic illuminated is how undervalued care work is, and how much of the responsibility for this essential work falls on women and girls. Even before the pandemic, 42 percent of women globally were unable to find employment because they were responsible for all household caregiving, compared with 6 percent of men. Unpaid and underpaid care work perpetuate inequalities, limiting women and girls' opportunities in all aspects of life.
Oxfam has seen how investments in care, from awareness of gender norms to advocacy for policy and an infrastructure around care, improve the well-being of those who provide and those who receive care. Oxfam's 2022 Annual Report.
We pray today for all the efforts that are being made to end gender inequality and to support and value women’s work.
We pause to pray together for the following:
In gratitude for the many women, from family and friends to teachers and mentors, who have modeled for us what it is to be compassionate, independent, positive, and empowered.
In gratitude for foundresses of religious orders and for what their congregations continue to do, like Saint Katharine Drexel, foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (feast day March 3) who is patron saint of racial justice and of philanthropy.
In gratitude for other women who make a difference in our communities and in our world and who are trailblazers in their various fields, like Kamala Harris, leading the free world as the first female Vice President of the United States.
In gratitude for women of strength like the refugee and immigrant women who leave their homes and countries to face untold suffering, in hope of a better life for their families.
Loving God, we thank you for all the cherished women in our lives and in our histories: mothers, sisters, friends and neighbors. God, may women across the globe continue to be empowered, knowing the love you offer. Amen.