Despite many obstacles and regardless of whether they receive recognition, women usually find ways to make a positive difference in the lives of their families, friends, and communities. Although historical records often overlook them, women have been powerful driving forces in education, medicine, politics, Christian ministry, science, and many other occupations. God has given women the capacity to find ways to heal the brokenness in this world, from comforting the dying to governing countries.
Dr. Catherine Hamlin is a great example. Dr. Hamlin and her husband were obstetrician-gynecologists who moved from Australia to Ethiopia to set up a midwifery school in Addis Ababa in the late 1950s. They refined a surgical technique to close fistula injuries suffered by women during childbirth and established Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the only medical center at that time dedicated to treating the condition.
Catherine continued her practice even after her husband died in 1993. Her work has changed the lives of more than 50,000 women and their families and built a legacy of medical care spanning over 550 trained staff, a rehabilitation center, Hamlin College of Midwives, and 34 rural health centers. Dr. Hamlin is now 92.
It is legacies like Dr. Hamlin’s that remind us of the incredible ways God can use women. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, let’s celebrate and pray the whole month for the countless women who continue to bravely change history and improve the lives of so many. Pray that family members and those in leadership will empower more girls and women to courageously use the talents, intellects, and passion God has given them.