03/08/2010, 00.00
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The Church's commitment for Indian women

by Nirmala Carvalho
On International Women's Day, the Bishop of Agra Recalls the continuing and widespread activity of the Church to ensure women’s dignity and tehir rightful place in society and the Church itself. Examples of Mother Teresa and St. Alphonsa.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "The focus on the dignity and role of women in Church and society in India is an important priority in the ministry of the Church. Over the past 100 years since the founding of the International Women's Day, which falls today, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) has commemorated the equal dignity of women in the Church and in society. " In an exclusive interview  with AsiaNews, Archbishop Albert D'Souza, Archbishop of Agra and Secretary General of CBCI, explains the increasing role that women play in Indian society and the commitment of the Church against discrimination.  

Bishop D'Souza recalls that "the Indian Church has been blessed with the gift of two women who are very important, St. Alphonsus and the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who are  clear examples of the role of women. While on the one hand in India, we have a Women President, and women in powerful leadership roles in other speres, sadly we also have women of the marginalized groups such as dalits, tribals, backward castes and minorities suffer much due to poverty, ill-health, lack of access to literacy and appropriate knowledge and lack of hygiene and potable water.. The Indian Church is ever more committed through our educational, health and social ministries to empower this section of women to bring them into mainstream of society and use our resources to work towards elimination discrimination against women."  
"The Church has been spearheading several initiatives to bring about positive changes in the life situations of women and girls . From the time of the early Christian missionaries who placed emphasis on the education of both girls and boys, through its multiple interventions in the fields of welfare, education, health and the empowerment process to organize women, the Catholic Church has played a prominent role to improve the status of women. "  
"Today, Woman's Day, the Indian Church will continue to inspire, motivate, coordinate and monitor the empowerment of Women in the Church and Society. May Mary, our Mother, model and guide, lead us to be authentic disciples of her Son, in realizing His Kingdom in the context of our beloved motherland India”.  
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