A NEWS RELEASE
From Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
Winnipeg, 2 March 2007--The following is the text of a statement to the Church from Ruth Vince, Executive Director of Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) and Raymond Schultz, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC):
This church is committed to being In Mission For Others. The theme is popular and has had wide-spread affirmation in our church. Where we run into trouble is when the people we do mission for are also the people we are with. Doing mission with others, away from us, seems easier to embrace than those who are more familiar. That’s why we need a special emphasis on International Women’s Day.
Women live and work alongside men and children all over the world, yet many of them experience prejudicial treatment simply because they are women. We in the ELW and the ELCIC have travelled to every continent as part of our work. Everywhere we go, women are paid less, more often assaulted and more easily ignored by law enforcement authorities than men. The same issues, relative to our standard of living, are true in many communities in Canada.
As Canadians we can celebrate the strides that have been made regarding women’s involvement in society, including the church, over the last 100 years. There are however vulnerable groups often hidden in the landscape of Canada. Women who are slaves in the sex trade; the abused; aboriginal women who find violence and issues of poverty overwhelming; immigrant women who don’t speak English and remain in their homes with children as their husbands find employment and even still those who are not paid equitably to men for the same work.
We also have seen that poor women, organized with help from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), accomplish the most community development in poverty-stricken areas. Women in India have developed self-directed credit unions through which their penny savings can bankroll home-based businesses. Even though women are often denied the same access to education as men, women in many parts of the world are the best line of engagement for health education, community economics and mutual support. And it is often the women of our churches who show the most commitment to nurturing the faith and acting out the gospel in daily life.
Women are among the Others for whom we are in mission. Observing International Women’s Day is one way to hold up this population as the recipient of God’s love and grace.
For information on Canadian initiatives, please visit the following web site: http://www.womensequality.ca/iwd2007.html
For more information, please contact:
Ms.Trina Gallop, Manager of Communications
302 - 393 Portage Ave. Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6