â??It's up to us women to support this extraordinary popeâ?

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In alliance with the International Women's Day on March 8, the Vatican celebrates women in its own special way with an event to give women the platform to tell their stories and exercise their authority through peace initiatives. The gathering is called Voices of Faith.

Activist for Peace
I think the biggest issue affecting women worldwide is being silenced. I've been through the experience of being in gatherings of 200 military men and when I've opened my mouth, I get laughed at and dismissed and marginalized. That issue is facing women all over the world.â? 

Many of these women expressed their gratitude for the efforts that Pope Francis has made when considering the role of women in the Church and allowing their voices to be heard, mentioning the Commission he established to review women in leadership roles in the Church. 

Founding executive director, Leadership Roundtable 
'I am enormously glad that Pope Francis was elected. I am astonished at how he has captured the imagination of Catholics, lapsed Catholics, former Catholics and people of other faiths and no faith.â? 

While the pope might have women on his radar, these women explained that is not only up to him to change traditional ideas or existing habits in society. 

Founder Voices of Faith
'Maybe we expect a lot from one person, so from Pope Francis, and he was calling to all of us to bring ideas and new initiatives. I would say that Voices of Faith is actually a fruit of bringing in new ideas and what we can do to promote women in the Church. We can support him in bringing in new ideas and not expect that he has to change all of it by himself.�

As such, these women will convene in the Vatican to share their stories, exchange ideas and work together for peace and a voice. They believe it is also their role to work toward equality in all areas, especially the Church.

Founder of Maison Shalom
'It's up to us women to support this extraordinary pope, who is a blessing for our century.�

In their fourth year of this storytelling event, they hope their theme for this year's conference: 'Stirring the Waters- Making the Impossible Possible,â? inspires women of faith to do just that and work for the good of all women and those oppressed in society, which is an issue close to the heart of Pope Francis. 


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