Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

SSND striking the Break the Bias Pose

#BreakTheBias that keeps us away from risking innovative responses as educators in a rapidly changing world impacted by technology and globalization or ‘globalcolonization’ as some social analysts see it. Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.

Awake, O powerhouse of faith! Awake, O woman you are born to take everything that God has bestowed upon you. Everything God has filled in your heart. The tremendous strength to win the hearts. The amazing shower of love that you inspire. The unbelievable art of making everything true, unlock the power that God has given you, prove your worth, prove your existence. These are words that prescribe a woman’s wonderful image of God. To learn more, visit:

SSND striking the Break the Bias Pose

God gave us all that we need as women to achieve so much but inequality, hardship, abuse, discrimination and poverty stare us on our faces each moment and discourage us from being that which God had made. Many may say that the world have made great progress against poverty in the last few decades. To what extent is that real? Many millions of women and girls are still trapped in lives of hardship and fear, by discrimination and abuse.

A true life story is told of a 15 year old girl who never started basic education at the time she was supposed to. At the age of two her mother died and she was sent to live with her aunty, where she never found life easy. She was never sent to school but left to do house chores, like, babysitting etc. She missed the opportunity to receive basic education at the earlier stage till the age of 15 when her father and siblings found out what she was going through decided to come for her. When she expressed her desire to go to school, her whole family were surprised to learn that she never went to school all these years.

SSND striking the Break the Bias Pose

They told her, she cannot make it in school because of her age, rather she should get ready for marriage; after all, as tradition demands ‘a female child is meant to be a house wife’ they said. She was courageous and kept her hope to be educated alive. She began her basic education career at the age of 15 in basic five. Although she never found it easy, she never gave up even when she was called, “mama (old woman) in basic 5” by some of her teachers and some fellow students in her school.

Perseverance helps a lot and time after time, we have seen how women who can get an education, earn a fair living and enjoy independent lives, leave poverty behind and bring their families and communities with them. They transform the faces of the mountains of the gender inequality, oppression, poverty, violence and injustice.

We remember this story told of a woman…

Changing the Face of the Mountain

…A woman who had just returned to her village after a while stopped one of the villagers to ask: “When did all this come about?  What happened to the bleak and barren mountainside of my childhood?”  The villager replied:  “Do you remember the strange old woman who lived here, the one who would wander up and down the mountainside?”  It was she who planted all these seeds.  She went out every day, intent on her sowing; believing all the while the results would bear fruit.”

The woman did recall the image of this old and bent figure from her childhood.  At last, she understood the meaning of those words: 

“I am changing the face of the mountain”

(An African proverb adapted by Sisters Joan Marie Van Beek and Carolyn Masicha, SSND)
(Read the full story)

This is an inspirational story that always calls me back to reflect on what I do as a woman in the face of 21st century to activate and revise the old thinking about a woman or a girl. I can change the face of the hardship, violence against women and break the bias on women by becoming a voice for the voiceless. The 2022 International Women’s Day theme: Changing Climates: Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow, recognizes and celebrates the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are working to change the climate of gender equality and build a sustainable future. Harnessing the skills and knowledge of women to conserve our natural resources and create a healthier, more social, ecological, sustainable planet, is central to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Women and girls face greater vulnerability and exposure to disasters, and conflicts, and yet they remain largely left out in developing solutions and their capabilities are often under-utilized. The most impacted – women, cannot be excluded, they are also a critical part of the solution.

SSND striking the Break the Bias Pose

There are many ways we can shine a spotlight on activities encouraging and uplifting women to pursue goals without bias or barriers; we can forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated; acknowledge digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology; assist women to be in a position of leadership to make informed decisions about their health; celebrate women athletes and applaud when equality is achieved in pay, sponsorship and visibility.

How can you join an activity or show your support for women and girls everywhere, who are standing up and changing the climate for gender equality, contributing today for a more just socio-ecological sustainable tomorrow?

Is there any activity you undertake? For example, you may be considering: holding an event, launching a social media campaign, making a video, speaking at a local school or Church, collaborating with the media etc. You may consider joining or create the campaign #BreakTheBias where you minister.

O mother, O sister, O wife, O woman, O girl,
Relinquish, what holds you back,
The obligation is onto your shoulders,
To show the right path to those who have lost their way,
The responsibility to take forward the message of God,
Is onto your shoulders,
You are the one, who can make the difference,
If you obey the voice of your heart,
You can conquer the doubts that put you down
For you will for sure transform,
As with each passing day, God within you increase!
Women’s Day Prayers, #4

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