“Today in Africa, mission cannot be conceived without direct, close and effective collaboration with women. In our continent, women are a fundamental link in the missionary activity of the Church,” said Fr. Donald Zagore, theologian and missionary of the Society for African Missions (SMA) to Fides News Agency on March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day.
“Women are the strength and vitality of African churches. With their dynamism and their constant availability, they keep the flame of faith alive, especially in the most remote areas where the presence of men is sometimes almost non-existent,” explained the priest. “Through them, faith is transmitted to children, the face of the Church of tomorrow. In Africa, women bring children to church, show them the way of faith, the way of God. Theirs is a very original way of doing mission. If our Churches in Africa continue to live today, it is thanks to the indefectible genius and commitment of women.”
The theologian emphasized: “The problem is that, in the guidance of our churches, women are often put aside. In Africa, in fact, it is easier to have many women in the choir, to read the liturgy, but it is equally difficult to have women who hold important roles of responsibility. This is not due to the inability of women, but to the simple fact that women remain, even in the Church, prisoners of male power. A cultural phenomenon that extends its roots at an ecclesial level.
“The real challenge today in Africa is to offer opportunities for women in the management of ecclesial life. A woman’s voice must be heard in the same way as a male’s voice because the Church does not only belong to men. In our churches 90% are women.”