Sisters of the congregation of the Apostolic Carmel engaging in education and other social services
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” – (Proverbs 31:25)
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.” (Michelle Obama)
Women’s contribution to the Sri Lankan economy is remarkable as major foreign exchange earning sectors consists of a large proportion of women. Currently, Sri Lanka’s female labour force participation rate is around 35 per cent.
The main agriculture sectors of tea, rubber and coconut employ more women in labour positions as pluckers, tappers and coir workers respectively, while an insignificant number occupy management positions. The garment sector employs more women. Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign exchange earners are migrant workers among whom, women comprise a large percentage, mainly in the form of domestic labour.
Sri Lanka produced not only the world’s first woman Prime Minister in 1960; it also elected the country’s first woman Executive President in 1994 with such a legacy.
Women are still largely under-represented in leadership and spheres of influence in the corporate sector. However, in recent years, companies have become progressively inclined to understand the value of women leaders that has led them to consider gender diversity in their structures. To achieve the voluntary and mandatory targets in the future, companies will have to consider gender balance very seriously and accelerate the pace at which women join boards and assume great positions, strengthening economies and companies as a whole.
Not only women in Sri Lanka contributed to the development of the country but also the contribution of the women-religious to the growth of the country is immeasurable. Sri Lankan Church is blessed with 40 women religious congregations.
The Apostolic Carmel Congregation is one among them which will be stepping in to Centenary Year on February 5, 2022. The congregation of Catholic Nuns; Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel have been serving the people of Sri Lanka in 16 Districts and in eight Dioceses.
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step” wisely said the ancient Chinese Philosopher. Today we, the Apostolic Carmel Family, stand erect, flagging the banner of thanks for the long precious 100 years, walking with its tiny tender feet on a path of thorns and bones, valleys and mountains, through mighty storms and gently caressing breeze of all encounters of joys and pains in planting the Centenary Milestone of our priceless existence of service in Sri Lanka our Mother Land.
March 8 was the remarkable day for every woman in the world, coz’ the day where world history echoes to tell of women and for women. This is the day that thrills the hearts and mind of everyone to say the greatness of women and therefore the womanhood is one that is worthy to be respected and accepted by all means. On this great day we too rejoice in encountering the blessings of God for our womanhood, above all for the life giving vibrant lovely designs in the life of many which are drawn in and through the instrumentality of us, the so called ‘Congregation of the Apostolic Carmel’. As mothers, sisters, daughters and friends we offered our service and our willing and loving service will always flow through the hills and valleys to the young growing crops through the Mission of Education and to the parch and thirsty land that is in need of our Works of Mercy, and thus we will be at our best to strengthen the Church in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. The womanhood is always that of an Unreservedly-Giving Tree and an Ever-Running Refreshing River, that remains always for all.
Sr. Dhayalini A.C, is attached to the Carmel Convent at Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Colombo -10.