Madagascar (MNN) — Treatment of women may be improving in the political spheres of Madagascar, but socially, women still experience oppression on the African island.
Even up until recently, a woman and man in Madagascar would get different paychecks for doing the same job.
“These women are rejected by men, by society. They are not treated as well as the men in many different areas,” says Lynda Ingerson, a Language Production Manager with The JESUS Film Project.
The JESUS Film Project’s Magdalena film celebrated its 100th language translation. Magdalena follows the story of the Bible’s Mary Magdalene and how Jesus transformed her life, revealing her true worth.
What better country to celebrate this 100th film translation than in Madagascar?
“[They have] just taken this film and have been so excited," says Ingerson. "They have shown this film in many different avenues. They think probably 2 million+ people have seen the Magdalena film to explain to people just what Jesus wants for women.”
The first premier was shown at four different venues on April 20. One the second day’s showing at a large Reformed church, around 1,000 people flocked in to watch.
What started as one premier in four locations is now an unexpected tidal wave. Several TV stations in Madagascar got a copy of Magdalena to air across the entire nation.
Ingerson shares one Malagasy woman’s story:
One of the women had not planned to come to the premier. She has a small baby [and] she had no way of coming. But God worked through their church. The pastor set it up for her to come.
She said when the film started, her heart was just beating so quickly and she was so full of emotion because when she watched it, she saw what was happening to the women in the film and how God accepted them and loved them. She saw that same shame, rejection, [and] beating from men and from society in her own region. So she felt this desire to share to the ladies of her area what the Lord can do for them and how He can restore their value.
It’s not just impacting women, says Ingerson. “It also teaches men what God expects of them in treating women. It’s been a powerful tool in other areas.”
The JESUS Film Project includes some useful assets with Magdalena. “We have a story runners training for Magdalena. So we have a way of teaching women how to use the film to take to other women or churches in different regions.”
There’s also a “Reflections of Hope” Bible study women can go through with Magdalena. It’s an eight-part series intended to “deepen your understanding of Jesus’ care for women,” according to their Web site.
To watch Magdalena and get resources, click here.