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International Women’s Day: Jesus cares for details

This International Women’s Day we’re praying for all women and girls to experience justice and equality. Take a look at how some BMS World Mission partners are championing just that.

The community centre on the Greek island of Lesbos seeks to welcome refugee women and treat them with dignity.

Her documents had finally arrived. It was time to leave the Greek island of Lesbos and seek a better future in another country. On her last morning on the island, she walked into the community centre for women where she had been volunteering and spoke to BMS partner worker Haniele.

“Since I met you,” she told Haniele, “I’ve been asking myself questions like ‘why are you so worried about offering the best for the women?’ and ‘Why are you caring for the details like keeping everything organised and clean?’”

“I am here because God has called me to leave my country to share my love with women like you,” Haniele said. “I also believe that Jesus, the Son of God, would be here doing this for you nowadays. And Jesus cares for details. He cares for you, so in the same way we care for you and all the women that come here."

The woman was speechless. She said, "now I understand why you do this. In my life, I've met a lot of bad people. I didn't believe that good people exist anymore. But here, all of you are good. You treat me like family, like my sisters, and I would never imagine that I would meet people like you in Lesbos." Those were her last words in the centre. They hugged each other and cried together.

Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the strength and resilience of women and girls around the world. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of gender discrimination, and to pray and call for gender justice. According to the United Nations, women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food yet earn only ten per cent of the world’s income and own less than one per cent of the world’s property.

A few thousand miles away, our partners in Bangladesh are empowering women by raising up the next generation of women leaders in churches. Thanks to your support, our partner Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid) have encouraged the Bangladesh Baptist Church Federation to train eight female volunteers out of 20 to lead Bible study groups. Women were not allowed to join in with ministry in rural churches, but now they have started preaching on Bible topics.

APBAid not only encourage women to teach in Baptist churches, but also raise awareness of gender discrimination. On Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day, women will be sharing in churches about how to prevent child marriages. Several churches are also organising a health and wellness programme to provide healthcare services tailored to the needs of women and girls.

The Indian social reformer Sarojini Naidu once said that if you ‘educate your women, your nation will take care of itself.’ Across the border from Bangladesh, our partner the Baptist Church Trust Association in India are putting her advice into practice by starting literacy groups for marginalised women. Many of these women live in extreme poverty because they are from ‘untouchable castes,’ and are not included in mainstream education.

Marginalised women in India are awakening to their God-given potential.

The project is called ‘Jagriti,’ which means ‘awakening’ in English. Women are taught to read and write, and they learn skills like sewing, which they can use to start small businesses and earn an income. God is awakening the women to the talents that he has given them. Through your prayers and support, Indian women are not only lifting themselves out of poverty, but also their families and communities.

Whether it’s keeping a community centre organised and clean, or providing healthcare services that are tailored to the needs of women and girls, our partners know that Jesus cares for details. It turns out that the long journey towards gender justice starts with little acts of kindness.

Author: Chris Manktelow

Published: 20/07/2024

How to pray

Your faithful prayers and generosity help our partners treat refugee women with dignity, amplify women’s voices, and empower women with the education they need for a better future. If you want to pray for BMS’ gender justice work, then why not sign up to the BMS Prayer Guide today?

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By completing this form, you are confirming that you are happy for us to contact you. You can change your mind at any time by emailing supporterservices@bmsworldmission.org or phoning 01235 517638. We will never sell your data and we promise to keep your details safe and secure. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

For more details on how we use and protect your data, visit www.bmsworldmission.org/privacy