February Appeal 2021

The Maryknoll Sisters place a great value on support and advocacy of women’s issues. This dates all the way back to the time of our foundress, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers.

Of the many forms of injustice that come with misogyny, femicide must be the worst. This refers to the murder of women simply because they are women, whose lower status in many societies means that men can get away with killing them for any reason or no reason at all.

In the South American nation of Ecuador, Sister Elsie Monge, MM has been working since 1974 to help bring justice to the people, who have often been exploited and repressed by various governments and companies. Femicide is among the worst atrocities she has seen, and is harder to fight because it is usually the act of a husband, boyfriend, family member, or an acquaintance whose romantic overtures have been rejected.

March on November 26th, Non-violence Against Women´s Day.

 

One terrible example of this crime occurred last June 6 in the town of Montecristi. Two sisters in their 20’s were stabbed, decapitated and dismembered in front of their own children, inside their own homes. The identity of the killer or killers is unknown.

“Most of the time these cases end with impunity,” Sister Elsie says. “The killers get away with it. So then we also bring pressure from the justice side. We, and some of the other organizations we collaborate with, have been able to get a specialized team to receive the cases of femicide… We’ve worked with police and some public employees who have to do with the administration of justice, and also with grassroots organizations.”

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In doing this work, of course, Sister Elsie and her colleagues risk provoking the anger of dangerous men, and becoming targets. Nevertheless, she is undeterred. “There is so much injustice,” she says. “If we don’t do it, who is going to do it? The people are so courageous, how could I not be?”

Mother and sister of victims of femicide participate in a march on March 8th in Quito, Ecuador.

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These women want to be alive and free from fear! ” Sister Elsie says. “I think it’s very important that people from the developed world reach out their hands to the
developing world…. to empower these people to stand up for themselves, to be architects of their own destiny.”.”

 

Sister Elsie need your help to expand their programs and outreach. A dollar stretches further in Ecuador than it does in the U.S., so your offering will have a greater impact on the lives of these women.

May God bless you for your caring, your prayers and your support!

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