I have always been happy to be a girl. Aside from being able to wear colorful clothes, hats, ribbons, and shoes, I was excited at the life flowing in me and the potential of bringing a human life into the world. What a great gift we women are blessed with!
Yet, born into a patriarchal society, I was aware that men were not going to hand me my equality on a platter. I claimed my rightful and equal place in society by tapping into my stree-sakti (women power) and by allowing the feminine face of God to take precedence in my thoughts, words and deeds, slowly and strategically liberating my imagination from the confines of the patriarchal world view. I emulated my father, the epitome of equality, my mother, with her indomitable spirit, my teachers and other great women of the past and the present.
I also thought deeply about our gifts. Women are committed to and are concerned for others. They know how to restore, revive, and redeem, taking pride in boosting the happiness and well-being of everyone, not just their own family but Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole world, which is one family). Women endure, preserve, sustain, assist, nurture, educate, inspire and counsel. Women have strong shoulders that bear the weight of the world, and yet those same shoulders are soft enough to cry on.
Like nature, women are patient, sensitive, caring and capable of unconditional love. With their ability to read the signs of the times, and the stirrings of the Spirit, they are capable of creating a new humanity, leading from the front, with exemplary gumption and grit. Drawing out the good in others, their beauty is reflected in their souls, in their caring and in their kind words.
Why then are women the target of foul language and violence, perpetrated by men and women who were carried in the womb by their mothers for nine months? Setting aside for a moment the rest of her gifts, is a woman’s ability to create life not sacred?
I have always felt proud and blessed to be a woman. How about you, my dear sisters? This International Women’s Day 2022, let us celebrate the girl child, empower her with equality and imbue her with her well-deserved self-worth.
Dr (Sr) Mudita Menona Sodder RSCJ
February 12, 2022