Alliance Justice and Compassion resources and promotes the local and global ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada that seek to bring wholeness and well-being to people made vulnerable by circumstances of poverty, disaster, and injustice. May the stories and thoughts inspire the reader to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

International Women's Day...For Many, Not Much to Celebrate

On March 8th the world is encouraged to celebrate International Women’s Day.  As I reflect on the reality for millions of women around the world, my heart is saddened for the fact that so many suffer injustices.  It is experienced in various forms such as: trafficked into the sex trade, prohibited from going to school, held in illiteracy, raped and abused,  forced to work in unsafe environments, chained in slavery, or even what might seem trivial, in light of the aforementioned - not allowed to drive a vehicle or to play sports.  As I have traveled and been exposed to many different cultures, it has become apparent that the only hope for these women is that Jesus would transform the worldviews of those that perpetrate these injustices. 

Worldview is defined as the way that someone sees and understands the world, especially in relation to their religious or political beliefs and ideas.   One aspect of a distorted (or sin affected) worldview sees women as second-class citizens, or even worse, valued less than property or animals – not worthy of having rights.  This ideology is one factor that precipitates unjust treatment.   Justice, from a biblical perspective, ensures all people are treated with dignity and fairness because all people are made in the image of God.

As I consider the ministries happening every day either by our global teams or local churches in Canada, I am encouraged by those that are intentionally ministering to girls and women that suffer injustices.  Whether offering literacy classes, vocational/skills training, maternal health education, goat-loaning, micro-economic opportunities, participating in the Defending Dignity initiative here in Canada (; as we are implementing these kinds ministries, we are ultimately reflecting a biblical worldview of Jesus’ love for and value of these individuals. 

So this month, as I think about the enormous issues women face in our world, I am motivated by Jesus, who declared, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  (Luke 4) As we continue Christ’s ministry of demonstrating and declaring this Good News, it is my prayer that the hearts and minds of the oppressors will also be transformed and that women who experience these injustices will truly be free!   

1 comment:

  1. Great work Joanne! I look forward to following what God is doing through justice/compassion ministries in the Alliance.