The Women’s Concerns Ministry of National Council of Churches in India in partnership with Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship in India, and Australian Church Women organized ‘Training the Trainers’ Certificate Course on Gender Justice held in Aizawl , in the State of Mizoram from 5th – 10th June 2017. Twenty young church leaders, pastors, young theologians, teachers and community workers from different parts of North East and Eastern India attended this course. The participants were from indigenous and dalit background.
The curriculum of this course included ‘Gender awareness & Self Awareness’, ‘ Gender, Development and Gender Analysis’, ‘Sex , Sexuality, Identity.’ ‘Gender Justice and Policies, Human Rights and Women’s and Child Human Rights,’ ‘Awareness about human trafficking, migration and sexual slavery’, ‘Geo Political trends, conflict and Gender justice’, ‘Practical Evangelization Strategies and Advocacy and Campaign to end Gender based violence’ . Bible studies were conducted on ‘Feminine Images of God’, ‘Women’s Reproductive Health Justice and Rights and ‘Spirituality to End Human Trafficking’. The course in particular highlighted the strategies and spirituality of Jesus Type of Positive Masculinity and Deconstruct Patriarchal Femininity.
The Key Note address was delivered by Dr Wellorich Sohkhlet – Chairperson – PCI Women’s Fellowship. Various skilled Resource Persons, namely Dr Evangeline Dutta, Advocate Rebina Subba, Rev Fr Thomas Ninan, Dr Lalnghakthuami, Ms Rosanna Lyndogh contributed during this training.
According to Ms Moumita Biswas , Executive Secretary of Women’s Concerns Ministry of NCCI “ To build inclusive just communities and end the culture of gender based violence it is essential to equip both women and men leaders. Gender based violence is one of the greatest national crises in India. India is the fourth dangerous country in the world for women to survive and 53 percent of our children are sexually abused. It is in this context, NCCI will engage in conducting intensive courses on gender justice to equip leaders and practitioners of peace to transform culture of violence to build peace.”
According to Ms Lalnunpuii Ralte an active young Church leader and Assistant Professor, “ This course is an eye opener for me. It gave me the opportunity to know about sexual minorities and the violence they face.” Ms. Ralte is planning to conduct seminars and workshops among students in the university regarding awareness about human rights of ‘third gender’ or sexual minorities. “ I have already shared with head of the department about this training. In Mizoram it is a taboo to even speak about people of different orientations. However we cannot over look how evn in our own communities our brothers and sisters of different orientations face violence” opines Ralte
Deacon Benhur Soren a young Santali deacon from Church of North India – Eastern Himalayan Diocese mentions “ I am very glad that my Bishop Rt Rev Michael Herenz nominated me and two candidates from our diocese to attend the course. Initially I was hesitant to come and thinking that Gender justice course will benefit women more as they are victims or survivors of violence. However after attending this course I understand gender based violence affects me and my community and loved ones also. As a pastor I have a great role and responsibility to empower my congregation, build a spirituality of justice and peace, and engage in advocacy to transform violence.” Benhur Soren is planning to conduct Human Trafficking awareness program in his church and congregation in Assam. “Trafficking of women and children in Tea gardens in Assam is a common phenomenon and the church needs to address this” opines Dn Soren .
Jessica Sourabh Borgoary Program Secretary of SCMI – West Bengal Unit opines “ I learnt about Thursdays in Black Campaign ( World Free of Rape and Gender Based Violence’) during our training . I will introduce this campaign among students.”
Sri Lal Thanhawla, Honorable Chief Minister of State of Mizoram, was the Chief Guest during the valedictory service. He congratulated NCCI for taking such initiative.
According to Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI “We are expecting ripple effects of this Certificate Course training on Gender Justice (which will be organized in different places) all over the country, as such training will hopefully be conducted by participants of this course in their respective regions. ”
Women’s Concerns, NCCI.