14 March 2018
In the world

Increasingly Feminine

From Africa to Asia, women are cornerstones of the Church and of society

“If the Holy Spirit is the invisible force of the Church of Africa, women, without a doubt, are the tangible force. Women are more numerous, have more courage, are more dynamic, more active and sometimes more competent. Without women, our churches in Africa would almost be empty, both as a presence and as a force,” said Father Donald Zagore, of the Society of African Missions, to Fides on the occasion of Women's Day.

Father Zagore speaks of the need to “re-invent the theology of women.” This theological reflection, he suggests, “should take its origin starting above all from Marian theology. In Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, she is the woman who in her very being continues to bring the Church into her womb with her spiritual and material dynamism.”

From another point of view, Father Donald continues, Africa has as its ecclesiological model the “Church Family of God […] it is a blessing from heaven sent to make women even more committed since women remain the lung of the family in the African culture. Without women, the family collapses.”

In the same vein of the women’s centrality and of their full exploitation, Caritas launched the “Livelihood” project in Pakistan, with the slogan “Empower Women, Empower Pakistan.” In the last six months, the theoretical and practical training program has taught 240 women and girls to become entrepreneurs. On March 8th, the first 135 women successfully completed the training course with the aim of starting up their own businesses, especially in the area of textiles and tailoring.

The project’s coordinator, Samina Maqbool, told Fides: “The training courses we have organized for these women range in various economic and productive sectors such as candle production, craftsmanship, jewelry production, cutting and sewing, silk screen printing, clothing design and fashion.” Samina Maqbool is herself an entrepreneur and runs a candle-making business at home: “Our program has been very successful, we have trained our women to conduct market surveys and feasibility studies. We have come to meet women's desire to start work at home. 54 girls have already started their activities while other 65 girls have found work in different factories or companies.”

Thanks to the proceeds of these activities, many women can send their children to school or improve the path of their education, with a virtuous circle of human and social promotion.