Robancy A. Helen is from Tamil Nadu, South India, and is a member of the Idente Missionaries (Religious Institute of Christ the Redeemer). With an academic background in English, social work and theology, she has written about and worked in women's issues. Recently, she served for five years as the program coordinator in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India's Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes. She is currently working on doctoral studies and training Catholic youth in leadership and social issues.
It is a hardcore reality in India that most rural women face a lot of challenges. Jebamalai Mary is a single mother who shows that such oppressed women can rise up and prove their worth, dignity and respect.
Womanhood is a gift to humanity. Women of the world give life to others with love, sacrifice and commitment, no matter where they live and what they do. They are an embodiment of God's love for others.
Christianity, though born out of bloodshed and pain, embraces peace and fraternity, hope and harmony. It shows concern for others, reaches out to the needy.
In the St. Alphonsa youth group for young women at our parish in Karumandapam, I serve as animator, trying to guide them and be a friend and empowering them to be the "now of God," as Pope Francis called young people at World Youth Day last year.