Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

Viva Sister Moon

Dear Sor Juana,

The moon rose over my city last night and the park grooved along to a Cuban beat, ageing bodies on the stage and all around me, rhythmically responding to the full moon with whole heartedness.

I am so grateful for the Latin influences in my life, you being one of them Sor Juana. There is a spirit of abandon and celebration that recognises the waxing and waning, newness and fullness that comes with the Latin spirit. There is something about the groove that finds me moving in an out almost on the spot but not really going too far from my centre.

Tomorrow the day will dawn on another International Women’s Day and while I am grateful to the men in my life, it is the women who sustain me time and time again. A dear friend last night remarked on the reliability of Sister Moon. The lunar cycle connects women, one and all – married, single, celibate, premenstrual, post menopausal – we all have a little knowledge of what it is like to wax and wane, be new and be full.

Womadelaide 4 day pass

Womadelaide 4 day pass

As usual March begins and we are spoilt in Adelaide, Writers Week, Festival and Fringe, International Women’s Day breakfast (largest in the country from one the smallest capital cities selling out in one week) and of course Womadelaide. The full moon was the appropriate expression of the planet over our city last night! I am filled up and over flowing with the riches of these days and nights. New ideas are brewing, incubating and in time will be birthed!

There was Omara Portunondo jiving and singing her heart out, almost refusing to leave the stage. In her mid-eighties, I am inspired to sing and dance my way into the future as well. Viva Cuba! Viva Bueno Vista Social Club! Viva Sister Moon!

Moon over Womad

Moon over Womad

Dancing with Omara

Dancing with Omara

International Women’s Day: The Gender Agenda

I always celebrate IWD one way or another – over the years my activities have included a day of fast, a day of prayer, breakfast with hundreds of others, dinner with women and supporting survivors of domestic violence, lunch with women friends, doing a playback theatre performance, creating a women’s music mix … and the list goes on!  This year I sent an e-card through my business online network of women – a first for me.

The UN Gender Agenda has defined the 2013 theme as:

“A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”

International Women's Day

Back in your day, Hildegard many women joined the convent to maintain their individual identity within the walls of the convent. Their dowries added to the wealth of the religious order and helped create land reform. The collective response is the only way to build a future. Just as Margaret Mead famously said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” And when that group is made up of women and the change in the world is for women, the whole planet benefits.

Some year’s ago I opened a women’s church event with the Hail Mary. What I did was I asked all the women present to insert their own name in place of Mary’s and the rest of the room responded. It went like this:  The woman said her name e.g. “I am Jenny”  and we all responded in unison “Hail Jenny full of grace the Lord is with you”;  and then we went onto the next person. It became a litany and the room was indeed full of grace by the time we had finished. It was incredibly powerful and unexpected for all of us.  The international guest speaker for whom we had all gathered took a moment to collect herself she was so moved by this expression of the feminine divine embodied in this simple ritual.

The gender agenda for my church is to get back to the beginning where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female (Galatians 3:28).  This is the earliest baptismal rite recorded. In a recent discussion on Eureka Street it was revealed that  ‘the category of cardinal could be given to lay men AND lay women’ ow.ly/ilA6V.

I wonder what would happen if there was a group of women involved in discerning who would fill the vacancy at the Vatican? Actually I don’t need to wonder … it would be transformational. Cousins