Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy International Women's Day, Cameroon-Style -- Day 14

French Phrase of the Day: ce que femme veut, Dieu le veut (forget the pronunciation today!); in honor of International Women’s Day, here’s an interesting French proverb that means, essentially, “what a woman wants, a woman gets,” but literally means, “what a woman wants, God wants!”

Face of the Day: Dr. Catherine Akale, Regional Missionary with Women, Children, and Youth, General Board of Global Ministries, UMC: Dr. Akale is a great person to have upstairs; she’s not officially part of the Mission, since her work takes her all over the continent of Africa, but she has helped launch the women’s work in Cameroon and we rely on her for support all the time! She always has a smile on her face, and is eager to answer questions. She’s particularly concerned about women’s welfare, and thus, tries to support their efforts to become self-sufficient through various business endeavors. For more information about some of her work, read this 2006 article from New World Outlook.

Cameroon Fact: Here’s some stats about Cameroonian women (based on 2006 census): the median age of women is 19; men slightly outnumber women in all age groups EXCEPT above the age of 65; the fertility rate is 4.39 children per woman; the life expectancy of a woman is 51.34 years, compared to 50.98 for men; and the literacy rate of women is 73.4%, compared to 84% for men.

Mission Challenge of the Day: Become an advocate for women’s ministry in your church, whatever that means in your context. Are women involved in every area of the church’s life, or are there some “good old boys” networks still at play? Do women help lead worship? Are they allowed to use all of their spiritual gifts -- preaching, teaching, leading? If not, do something about it.

Happy International Women's Day, 2007, from one woman and two future women
(from left to right, Mallory, Ginger Cooper, and Chloe)
With apologies to Ginger, whom I stole this picture from!!