Friday, 11 March 2016

Celebration of International Women’s Day
8 March, 2016

The Commission for Women, Vasai Diocese celebrated International Women’s day on 8th March 2016. The event highlighted the atrocities and crimes against the Church andwomen in particular.   The event sparked off with a peace rallyfrom ChimajiAppa ground to St. Gonzalo Garcia College with almost 800 women and men, shouting slogans and raising their voices against increase in the type of violence on women in the Church.
The rally was followed by a short program on the college grounds.  The Lamp was lit by Fr. John Fargose, Chancellor of Vasai Diocese, Adv. Audrey D’Mello from Majlis, Sr. Natalia Sequeira (SRA) from Mumbai, Sr. Hilda Fernandes, Director of Commission for Women and Ms Clara from Papdy Sr Hilda, welcomed the participants.
A heart rending prayer dance was performed by the girls of Maria Sadan, Nirmal followed by a short skit put up by the women from the different Parishes of the Diocese on their refusal to cow down to violence in the Church.
The chief guest Adv. Audrey D’Melloemphasized that women should be treated with respect and dignity in all spheres.  She enumerated the laws to safeguard women’s rights and ensured that these are properly and timely executed to ensure justice to the women and reiterated the role of the Church in meting out this justice.  She also focused on the rising intolerance towards minorities in India at this point in time.
Sr. Natalia Sequeira shared her experiences while working in the mission stations; how she had bravely confronted the attacks on the missionaries and the ever challenging scenario in which a Christian woman is called to testify and stand witness.  Fr. John Fargosealso spoke strongly against attacks on the churches in India and on the women and exhorted each one to collectively raise a voice.  He pledged his support and commitment to alleviate crimes against women in his own milieu.
Ms. Briliana Lopes, the staff of Sakhya delivered the vote of thanks, followed by the singing of the National Anthem.