Identified in December, 2019, a local outbreak of respiratory infections in Wuhan, China had culminated into a global pandemic(Covid-19) as declared by World Health Organization (WHO) affecting the whole world. Ever since, the world has experienced a rapid growth of new cases, deaths and recoveries each day. Countries all over the world have activated emergency plans, guidelines and measures as to how best they could handle the disease, restricting its further spread and transmission. For instance, awareness interventions on wearing masks, social distancing, travel restrictions, home confinement among others.
In Nigeria, the extended family system impacts so much on communal life. With the advent of COVID-19 a lot of hardship is being experienced by families. People most affected by the lockdowns are the poor and the needy together with workers who live on daily wages.
In most places in Nigeria, only markets and shops selling food items were allowed to open initially thereby leaving the generality of the people working/doing business in other sectors of the economy vulnerable.
The deadly coronavirus pandemic that took everyone by surprise is no respecter of persons and appears to be testing the faith of many. In these testing times, we must neither falter nor take our eyes of faith off the “almightiness” of our God. The painful reality of Covid-19 proved to the world that there is a creator, God almighty. For sure our God is mightier than the virus that has changed our lives in several ways. Like the two women who visited the tomb of Jesus after his resurrection, women have learned to leave their comfort zones and take the lead in reshaping and redirecting through positive action.
In Line with our Resolution 4 “ Let us Educate to Respond to the call to Holiness” Catholic women in Malawi throughout its 8 dioceses, put in place deliberate efforts to organize retreats and workshops so that Priests and other facilitators can guide, accompany and teach us on our journey to holiness.
Uganda with the equator running through it and laying between the tropics has got tropical forests and savannah grasslands. We used to experience rain twice a year, February – March and about August – September. However, due to climate change, the seasons have changed making it difficult for farmers to plan for their farming.
The Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) in the Archdiocese of Blantyre on Friday last week, cleaned Ndirande Township in Blantyre City as part of Earth Action Initiative on the environment.
The cleaning exercise in Ndirande Township follows a call to action in the face of the plastic and toxic waste crisis the environment has witnessed.
Inspired by the Christian mandate of evangelization according to Mark 16:15, Vatican Council II challenged the Catholic Church to take its role of evangelization seriously either through Catholic Action Groups/Movements/Associations/ Organizations or on individual basis for every baptized person is a missionary. Similar sentiments were advanced during the African synod of 1967 as well as the African Laity Council meeting held in 1971 in Ghana. In Malawi, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, through the Bishops in 1972, wrote a pastoral letter titled ‘You also go and work in my vineyard’ (Mt 20:4a) in which the Bishops reiterated the need for the Catholic lay faithful to evangelize.
We, FFBKEM of Madagascar, have been experiencing the theme "women of WUCWO carrying living water for a world thirsty for peace" through awareness- raising sessions on the various violence currently being experienced by children and young girls in our country (work inadequate at their age for children, sexual violence including abuse of close relatives or early sexual intercourse for young girls). We took advantage of World Youth Days, JMJ Mada 9 from 08 to 14 October 2018, which took place in Mahajanga, to expose the problems related to this violence and to propose the related solutions.
The Catholic Women’s Association is a movement of over 30,000 women across the entire country with representation from over 42 ethnic and cultural backgrounds. As a community, the theme of the organization’s activities across the region is to support the local community to thrive, to meet basic needs and to provide encouragement in times of need and bereavement, helping the members in spiritual growth through prayers and sharing the word of God.
May 13th is the day of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO). The date recalls the anniversary of the founding of the Organization in 1910. This year, Les Mamans du Monastère du Mont Febe joined the celebration.
"Let us take care of the family in difficult situations, especially its most vulnerable members."
At the end of the great Assembly held in October 2018 in Senegal, we, the women of WUCWO, decided to "bring living water" to the different spheres of life.
Themes ADFCAC works on in Guinea Conakry:
• integral ecology
• "the family in its most vulnerable members."
This recently concluded General Assembly opened my eyes to a number of things, however, the most important of all was the initiative of women around the world gathering together as Catholic Women from different backgrounds. I was really impressed about the discussions and sharing the cross cutting issues women all over the world face in their day to day life, especially living as Catholics.
The "Mamans Eucharistiques du Monastère," a diocesan association of Cameroon, present at WUCWO Meetings since its affiliation to this worldwide Christian organisation in 2011, welcomed the priority adopted at the Dakar General Assembly on "the call to holiness."
After the one in Fatima in 2014, God gave us the grace to celebrate our GA, a sign of our commitment as women and mothers, through our various activities and actions that are reflected in the paths laid out by Pope Francis. In fact, Pope Francis' encyclicals are a guide for our lives.
Please find below a report by the Uganda Catholic Women's Organization on domestic violence.
Violence against women in Uganda is predominantly domestic. And in its reference as Domestic Violence, is at epidemic level worldwide. Recent statistics in Uganda shows that 30% of women or one of every three women is a victim of physical and or sexual domestic violence at least once in their lifetime. The majority of victims experience multiple assaults rather than just one. A 2006 study by the Uganda Law Reform Commission indicates that 66% of men and women respondents had experienced domestic violence (CEDOVIP 2007). However, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics report published in 2007 68% of ever-married women aged 15-49 years had experienced some form of violence inflicted on them by their spouse or intimate partner. Physically their bodies are bruised and emotionally they become unstable. To make matters worse, many of those in marriage get infected with diseases such as Sexual Transmitted Infections mainly HIV/AIDS. Most women are not to blame but their abusive relationships or unfaithful partners.
WUCWO GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN THE FRAMEWORK OF POPE FRANCIS MAGISTERIUM
DAME PATRICIA NWAUBANI, CWO NIGERIA
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2032-2040) (2049-2051) states that “it is the duty of the Magisterium of the Church to preach the faith that is to be believed and put into practice in life. This duty extends even to specific precepts of the natural law because their observance is necessary for salvation”.
The formation of WAWATA 40 as a unifying Body of all Catholic Women in Tanzania for the promotion of their contribution and participation towards their development, the church and society came at the wake of Second Vatican Council’s reflections on the female condition which came at a time when the role of the woman in recognizing the existence of a feminine question, and to move from the mere recognition of the dignity of the woman to her involvement in civil and social life.
During the pan-African conference held in Nairobi last November, the problem of land grabbing, a real challenge for African countries, was discussed.
Marie-Madeleine Mwifi Bodibatu
Branche Feminine Bondeko Democratic Republic of Congo