Women and Missionaries:
Since our foundation, Cardinal Lavigerie wanted us to be especially close to women, attentive to their way of living, and in solidarity with them.
He had a very clear insight of the role of women in society and in the work of evangelisation.And in 1885, a missionary from Tanganyika wrote to Cardinal Lavigerie: “We have an urgent need for sisters. I must admit it is a task filled with many difficulties, that of bringing sisters to Tanganyika. But nothing is impossible to God and to love. We need special women, strong both physically and morally, and of unflinching devotedness and energy.”
The writings of the Congregation have often underlined the importance of our solidarity with the women.
In this area as in many others, this solidarity has to be executed on different levels: it is important, to help women when they are victims of injustice, of violence. How can we not react when women are treated like “merchandise” at the service of organised prostitution, or whenever systematic rape becomes a weapon of war, as unfortunately is the case in many countries? But solidarity also demands from us that we, together with the women of Africa and the whole world, fight for a change in mentalities, so that woman be recognised as a full partner and not as an inferior creature.