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WOMEN

68. The Church as a communion of communities cannot grow if the people who, in the past, were mere passive recipients of pastoral services, do not find a voice in it. Among the most neglected, both in the Church and in Society, are women. The issue that the church in Asia addresses today so poignantly by voicing special concern for women is applicable to our situation in Goa. “In their fight against all forms of injustice and discrimination, women should find an ally in the Christian community and for this reason the local Churches should promote human rights activities on behalf of women. The aim must be to bring about a change of attitude through a proper understanding of the role of both, women and men, in the family, in Society and in the Church, through greater awareness of the original complementarity between women and men and through clearer appreciation of the feminine dimension in all things human. The contributions of women have all too often been undervalued or ignored, and this has resulted in a spiritual impoverishment of humanity” (EA 34).

69. Generally speaking, the current situation of women in the Church in Goa is such that the role given to them at present in the Church is insignificant compared to the role that they are capable of playing and the contribution which they are capable of making to the mission of the Church and the renewal of Society. Although many women are involved in parish activities, they feel alienated that they are not given their rightful place as equals in the male-dominated Church. Women continue to face many problems at home, in their workplace and in society. Any empowerment of any member of the family, woman included, needs to be done in the context of the family and with reference to the roles she/he ought to exercise in this basic institution.

70. Gender injustice has been, and is, one of the greatest scandals that can be laid at the door of humankind. It has long ago infiltrated every institution, including the Church, and anyone who speaks of renewal must, of necessity, face this reality and address it with new eyes, with the eyes of Jesus, the eyes of God. To be gender sensitive means an openness to redefine roles, a radical change in attitudes, and an equitable sharing of responsibilities.

71. The role assigned to women within the Church in Goa today needs to be widened through participation and responsibility in community affairs and decision-making.

72. Recommendations

 

  • 72.1 A SPECIAL CELL should tackle the various issues and problems concerning women at the parish level.
  • 72.2 Programmes for the empowerment of women and women associations need to be organized in collaboration with existing NGOs.
  • 72.3 Special attention should be paid to illiterate women and those belonging to the backward classes.
  • 72.4 At all levels of our educational system and Christian formation (including in the Seminaries) there should be gender sensitivity and study of women’s issues should be promoted. Denunciation of evils such as rape, violence against women, dowry, and amniocentesis should be part of our prophetic mission. A serious effort to avoid any type of gender discrimination should be made in the planning and execution of any activity, beginning with the family, and extending into parish community and society at large.

Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.
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