Women’s World Day of Prayer this year …

will be at St Mary’s and is on Friday 3rd March at 2.30pm. This World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement led by Christian women who welcome everyone to join in prayer and action for peace and justice.

Every year the service is prepared by women from a different country. Last year it was written by the women of Cuba and was entitled ‘Receive Children. Receive me.’ This year it is written by the women of the Philippines and is entitled ‘Am I being unfair to you’. It has been translated into 1,000 different languages and dialects, to be used throughout the whole world on that day.

Filipino women today are brave and resourceful. They take on the role of breadwinner as they go abroad as service crew, domestic helpers or skilled professionals. Despite having two female presidents, the majority of Filipino women remain poor, and are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The Philippine Constitution provides for equal rights, yet Filipino women in practice are discriminated against and treated as subordinates in the home, in the church and in society. Poverty aggravates the vulnerability of women to violence and exploitation. According to the National Statistics office and the Philippine Commission on Women, one woman in five aged between l5 and 49 has experienced physical violence. Although there are Philippine laws to protect women from violence, implementation of them is limited.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – named locally as ‘Yolanda’ – struck the Philippine islands in the western Pacific Ocean. This is mentioned in the service but you will also hear the stories of a girl, a mother and an older woman, recounting their situations and their hopes and fears. The service focuses on the Bible

story of the workers in the vineyard and what is fair.

It is always a thought provoking service and all are warmly welcome to attend – women, men and children.