Who are the special women in your life, past and present, who you hold in your heart with the highest esteem? And when they have faced hurtful, unjust experiences, which issues have most compelled you toward prayer and action?
Lutheran Peace Fellowship’s Women’s Initiative was created in Fall 2013 to support people of faith who want to protect and affirm women and girls. For March 8, International Women’s Day (Theme: Inspire Change), LPF has launched among its Women’s Resources a new action guide, “Nurturing Peace: the Gifts of Women.” Ideas, quotes, and many weblinks are offered to honor and inspire action with faith-based and community groups.
International Women’s Day, a time to honor all women, began during the Industrial Revolution as labor movements rallied for women’s rights. (In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay and the right to vote.) By 1911, marches and strikes in Austria, Denmark Germany and Switzerland led to the founding of the Day.
Later the movement took on the cause of peace as well as women’s rights. When a demonstration was organized in 1915 in Bern, Switzerland to urge the end of World War I, women on both sides of the conflict turned out.
In 1975, the United Nations began sponsoring International Women’s Day. (Theme: “Equality for women is progress for all.”) Issues of focus have included rape as a weapon of war; sexual assault; domestic violence (603 million women live in countries where this is not considered a crime); and physical/sexual violence (up to 70% of women in the world reporting this in their lifetime).
Please join us to inspire change, stop violence and nurture peace with women.
— Lily R. Wu, LPF board member for the LPF Women’s Initiative