Graham sent out this encouragement today to our staff and students:
Today is International Women’s Day, and I would like to take this occasion to particularly thank and bless the women of SILA, staff and students alike.
The story of SILA is marked with the contributions of women – not only in their academic and professional roles, but also in their contributions to the lives of the precious people around them. And the same can be said for Wycliffe Australia, and throughout cross-cultural work around the world, from the days of the early church.
So we give thanks to God today for the women of SILA, their presence alongside us in the journey, and all the amazing ways that they contribute to our community and organisation.
We are reminded too on International Women’s Day that across the globe women and girls face significant challenges. Poverty places women and girl at greater risk and marginalises them, preventing their full participation in society.
As a reminder, here are some stark truths about the reality of being a women in this world:
- Women make up approximately 70 percent of the world’s poor
- Two-thirds of people unable to read and write are female
- 11.4 million women and girls are in forced labour
- 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical and sexual violence
Even as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are also challenged to be in prayer, and to seek to encourage and support women and girls in our own community and across the world.
The words of Psalm 72:12-14 are a most appropriate prayer for marginalised women and girls: “He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.”
Join me in giving thanks for the women in our community, and in prayer for the women in the communities of the world that SIL seeks to serve.