(Ms Moumita Biswas sharing about CEDAW during Women Building Peace, Preventing Violence and Transforming Our World’ Consultation of CCA)
A Consultation on ‘Women Building Peace, Preventing Violence and Transforming Our World’ was organized by Christian Conference of Asia in Chiangmai , Thailand from 17th -20th November 2016. Thirty-five Women leaders gathered from different parts of Asia and strategized how to involve churches and engage in advocacy to end violence on women and gender based violence.
‘Women’s Ecumenical Action Against Violence (WEAAV) is a programmatic thrust of CCA and a network was formed to promote advocacy against violence on women in sub-regions and in Asian Churches . Various interactive sessions of the consultation led by experts covered a wide range of topics such as ‘Women Building Peace, Preventing Violence and Transforming Our World’, ‘Feminization of Labour Migration and Violence Against Women’, ‘Sustainable Development Goals in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women’, and ‘Ecumenical Women’s Action and Strategies for Advocacy and Networks’.
( Women participants with Asia Ecumenical Institute participants during the Consultation )
Contexual Bible studies further helped women to re- read the Bible from gender justice perspective delve into spiritual wealth and power of resilience of women to act as wounded healers weaving and building peace in home , communities and churches .
Ms Moumita Biswas Executive Secretary of All India Council of Christian Women – Women and Gender Justice Commission of National Council of Churches participated in this consultation . In a presentation on the ‘Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)’, Moumita Biswas told participants, “Currently, churches in Asia do not address CEDAW, one of the core human right treaties focused on the protection of the rights and dignity of women. Churches can play a significant role in developing the consciences of a vast number of people in Asia. It is high time for the churches in Asia to seriously consider the need of including the message of CEDAW in the Christian education curriculum.”
Ms Biswas further emphasized the need of Asian Churches to engage in the UN declared 16 Days Activism Campaign Against Violence on Women from 25th November – 10th December every year. She shared how National Council of Churches in India is promoting and integrating its campaign 365 Days Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence : Make it happen Now and Thursdays in Black ( A global campaign started by WCC to create a world free of rape and gender based violence, involving women’s fellowships and member churches participate in this 16 Days Activism Campaign .
She further shared how the World Day of Prayer can unite Asian women to strengthen the WEAAV network in Asia . (WDP is global prayer movement which emphasizes ‘Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action’ that unites women around the world and is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the first Friday in March every year.)
The participants strategized how the WEAAV network can work in Asia to promote this 16 Days of Activism Campaign. According Hashi Disilva representing National Council of Churches in Sri Lanka this consultation has provided platform to us Asian and South Asian Church Women leaders to come together . This networking can help us to share resources to each other. We learn from each other and I learned what NCC India is doing to promote the 16 Days Activism Campaign and we will also promote it in Sri Lanka.”
The outcome of this consultation is participatory planning for sub regional consultation in 2017 in Bangladesh and Cambodia. According to Keka Adhiari from Bangladesh “This consultation will further strengthen sub-regional networking and National Council and member churches should take up ownership of CCA’s Programs . This networking also provides scope and space for National Councils and members Churches to accompany one another in advocacy to end gender based violence.”
Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCC India states “National Council of Churches in India congratulates CCA for this initiative of launching WEAAV for affirming Asian women’s rights and their participation in the decision making process in church and society, and for acknowledging women’s contribution to peace building.”
Posted by All India Council of Christian Women of National Council of Churches in India