NCCI’s Women Concerns Ministry

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NCCI endorses16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign

From 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions—one in three women worldwide experience gender-based violence.

The time for change is here and now.

In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light.

This is why the UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo

Under the theme Orange the World: #HearMeToo, the UNiTE partners are encouraged to host events with local, national, regional and global women’s movements, survivor advocates and women human rights defenders and create opportunities for dialogue between activists, policy-makers and the public. As in previous years, the colour orange will be a key theme unifying all activities, with buildings and landmarks lit and decorated in orange to bring global attention to the initiative.

The NCCI urges Churches, Women Fellowships, Christian Organizations, Related Agencies, and Regional Councils,  to get involved in this campaign. This Campaign may be observed in different ways, such as articulating contextual themes/slogans for the 16 days, organizing Prayer meetings, Bible Studies, processions, poster campaigns, street theatres, and  other Advocacy Programmes.

NCCI Women Concerns has been advocating the campaign:

365 Days of Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence : Make it Happen Now!!!

16th General Assembly of the Asian Church Women’s Conference

Asian Church Women’s Conference organized the 16th Quadrennial General Assembly and 60th anniversary of ACWC at The Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), Bangkok on October 3 – 8, 2018. The theme for the Assembly was “Now Choose Life, Change our Ways and Actions”. ACWC voting Delegates and Observers of ACWC and  members of the International Committee of the Fellowship of the Least Coin (ICFLC) participated in the Assembly. We, Mrs. Wellorich Sohkhlet, Presbyterian Church of India, Mrs. Sushma  Tirkey, Gossener Evangelical Lutheran Church, Jharkhand and Jenifa Rani, Intern, National Council of Churches in India represented NCCI in the ACWC General Assembly at Bangkok.

The Assembly started with the procession of the Representatives with the country banners followed by the opening worship on 4th October on the theme “Now Choose Life”. ACWC President Dr. Saisuree Chutikul given the key note address, in which she inspired the participants saying that life as ‘being alive’ and ‘living’ is guided by having a twin citizenship: one as being Christians in God’s Kingdom and the other is as being a citizen of a country. She stated that changing of ways and actions within the framework of life, living and being alive, including the ‘purposes’ of life need to produce outputs, which would be compliant with the purposes and the kind of life that we choose.

ACWC Vice President led a 7 minutes show “Her Story” remembering the 60 years of ACWC.  In the panel session moderated by ACWC Treasurer Mrs. Roshini Mendis, Ms. Janejinda Pawade, Aftercare Liasion Manager and Social Worker of NVADER challenged the participants talking on the theme “Human Trafficking: A Challenge to Asian Church Women”. She put forward the challenge for the Asian Church Women to choose life, to be the Voice of the Voiceless, who are vulnerable to any forms of exploitation and change our ways and actions, to challenge ourselves to do more advocacy work rather than humanitarian work. Sr. Siphim Xavier, O.S.U., Directress and Chaplain for Catholic Commission for Women, Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand talked on the theme of choosing life. Ms. Wandee Cheunchooprai, Clinical Social Worker at New Life Center Foundation in Chiang Mai, expressed the need of the enhancement of the life choices of the tribal girl children and women, who suffer disadvantage, vulnerability and all forms of exploitations.

Two business sessions chaired by the President of ACWC included Officers Report, Executive Secretary’s Report, National Reports by National Representatives, Formation of Committees, Nominations and Assembly Statement. Mrs. Wellorich Sohkhlet read the report of Women Concerns of NCCI. Representatives from WSCF-AP, AACC, EFFCW, and MECC shared their greetings. Thereafter, as prayer partners met, India along with our prayer partners Mongolia and Malaysia gathered and discussed about the prayer issues of partners and prepared for the Cultural Night to celebrate ACWC’s 60th anniversary.

Next day, 5th October, started with a Bible study by Rev. Dr. Chuleepran Srisoontorn, chaired by Supaorn Yarnasarn. The theme for the day was “Change Your Ways”. Dr. Chuleepran focused on John 14:6 and John 6: 48 – 51 and led the group in discussion on the steps toward changing our ways and actions. In the Business Session 3, the Assembly Secretary read the Minutes of the previous day, after which  the Treasurer’s Report and Budget was presented  by Mrs. Roshini Mendis, Treasurer, ACWC. The national representatives presented their National Reports. We then formed small Groups to discuss the Assembly Theme and each group reported their discussions and suggestions, especially Young Women’s Forum of ACWC actively participated in it. The day ended with the cultural night in which the nine pairs of prayer partners and ICFLC members participated.

The third day, focused on the theme “Change Your Actions,” started with a Bible study by Rev. Dr. Chuleepran Srisoontorn.  Sirirat Pusurinkham chaired it. The Business Session 4 comprised of the Minutes of the Previous Day and the National reports by NRs. Representatives from CLAI, CCC, WICCC, CW_USA, PCC, and WCC shared their greetings. In Business Session 5 there were elections of General Committee members and Executive Committee members and Orientation of General Committee members.  With the consecration of the newly elected members and Rev. Moon Sook’s message in the closing worship, on 2 Kings 4: 8 – 37 (the story of the Shunemmite Woman and Elisha, in which the shared what she had) by which Rev. Moon Sook exhorted women to choose life, and responsibly and persistently bring about changes in the society,  the Assembly ended.

 

Fellowship of Least coin (FLC) ecumenical prayer movement 2018 for justice peace and reconciliation

Mission and Vision of Fellowship of Least Coin Movement

The Fellowship of the Least Coin has flourished as a global ecumenical women’s prayer movement. Each time a woman prays, she sets aside the least coin of her local currency as a symbol of the prayer. Women’s national groups collect the coins and send them to the central FLC Fund c/o World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. The prayers offered and the least coins collected support projects for women and the children around the world.

Brief History of FLC Movement

This worldwide women’s prayer movement started in 1956 in the Philippines by an Indian woman called Shanti Solomon who was on a peace mission with an international team of Presbyterian women to overcome the wounds between countries caused by World War II. Her visa to Korea was refused, and she had to stay in the Philippines while the others moved on. In her vision that prayer surpasses national boundaries she got the idea that each woman – even the poorest – can contribute whenever she prays for peace and reconciliation by setting aside her ’least coin’.  She got her insights from the parable of the widow’s mite in the gospel. This ecumenical prayer movement spread quickly among the Asian countries and beyond. Today all continents are part of it. Women’s fellowships of different churches in the world promote FLC movement.   Participating Ecumenical Organizations are.

All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
Asian Church Women’s Conference (ACWC)
Christian Conference of Asia (CCA)
Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC)
Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women (EFECW)
Latin America Council of Churches (CLAI)
Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)
Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC)
Church Women United CWU-USA
Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC)
World Council of Churches Women’s Program
World Day of Prayer International Committee

Every year the International Committee meets to allocate grants to about forty projects and some scholarships for young female students. This grant is from the least coins collected by women during praying all over the global for justice and peace, healing and reconciliation.

 2018 FLC In-Gathering Liturgy

Certificate Course on Gender Justice | Theme: PROPHETIC ECCLESIA: CATALYST OF GENDER JUSTICE

Brief Report

Certificate Course on Gender Justice
Theme: PROPHETIC ECCLESIA: CATALYST OF GENDER JUSTICE

National Council of Churches in India | Women Concerns Ministry

13th-17th June 2018 | Vishranti nilayam, Bangalore |Organized in partnership with CSI Women’s Fellowship | Australian Church Women Inc.

Trainees with the General Secretary of CSI Women’s Fellowship, Rev. Synthia Chopra after Valedictory Service.

Context:

Gender based violence has become a pandemic in India. It is one of the major national problems; however it is not adequately addressed as a major problem either by the Government or by civil society. The worst victims of such violence are girls, women, and children. India is the 4th dangerous country for women to live in and for the girl child to survive. 53 percent children get sexually abused in India (that means one out of two children). Though girls are vulnerable, boys also face sexual abuse. Gender based violence violates human rights, and harms and impoverishes communities, reinforces other forms of violence throughout societies, restricts economic growth and undermines development. Violence on women in India often take on inhuman and intolerable dimensions in the form of domestic violence, eve teasing, sexual assaults, rape, psychological  abuse, dowry burning, honour killing, acid attack, harassment in work place, human trafficking etc. The culture of rape is a common phenomenon in India and marital rape is not recognized by society as rape. Gender based violence has its roots in spiritual poverty. It is in this context Women Concerns Ministry (earlier known as All India Council of Christian Women) of National Council of Churches in India as a part of its Ecumenical and Spiritual Formation Program has evolved ‘Training the Trainers Program – Certificate Course on Gender Justice’.

This three-year programme, which is supported by Australian Church Women Inc through Winifred Kiek Scholarship Trust especially for young women, and through local contributions from Women’s Fellowships and churches (to support scholarships for male candidates) will be conducted between June 2017 and June 2019.

Aim of the three-year programme: Ecumenical and Spiritual Formation in Gender Justice to intercept the culture of Gender based violence and build inclusive Just communities Read more

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India | End Culture of Rape & Sexual Violence on Girls, Children & Women in India!

Date: 16th April 2018

To

Sri Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minister in India,
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi -110011

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India
End Culture of Rape & Sexual Violence on Girls, Children & Women in India !

 

Honourable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi,

Greetings from the National Council of Churches in India.

National Council of Churches represents around 14 million Christians in India from Reformation and Syrian Christian Traditions.

We write this letter at the darkest hour of our country when our Government is failing to protect girls, women and children. We express our deep anguish and pain, regarding the barbaric and heinous act of gang rape and murder of the little eight year old girl in Kathua and the rape of young 20 year old girl from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

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Ecumenical Consultation on Women Catalyst of Change

Women Church Leaders carrying  fruits, flowers and plants  during Ecumenical worship service in Christ Church , Guwahati

The Women’s Concern Ministry of National Council of Churches in India organized an  Ecumenical Consultation on Women Catalyst of  Change . This consultation was organized in partnership with Diocesan Women’s Fellowship of Christian Service (DWFCS), North East Diocese – Church of North India on 18th February 2018 in Christ Church , Guwahati, Assam.

60 women church leaders from Baptist Church, Church of North India, Presbyterian Church in India, North East India Council of Churches, and The Salvation Army from  different parts of Assam and Meghalaya  attended this Consultation. Prior to this consultation an Ecumenical Worship was organized  to commemorate World Day of Prayer (WDP) 2018 in Christ Church  from 8:30am – 10:00 am.  Women leaders  of DWFCS conducted the WDP worship reflecting on the theme ” All God’s Creation is Very Good”.

Drawing from the WDP resource material  produced by WDP Committee of Suriname, Rev Moumita Biswas  delivered the key message  about women’s power in protecting God’s created order . She cited contextual examples  about how taking care of wet lands can be  an  answer to climate change . Rev Biswas cited the example of 37 years  old women Purnima Burman of Assam who engaged women and villagers to protect  the storks or Hargila birds and  their nestling grounds the wetlands of Assam.  She also reflected how women in the North East India in state of Nagaland are practicing organic and contour farming  using indigenous skills to save water and prevent soil erosion . Such efforts have resulted improving women’s  living condition  and promoting food security.

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World Day of Prayer (WDP) 2018 – “All God’s Creation is Very Good!”

INFORMED PRAYER & PRAYERFUL ACTION

“ALL GOD’S CREATION IS VERY GOOD”

Dear  Fellow-pilgrims of Justice and Peace,

Greetings of Peace from Women Concerns Ministry of National Council of Churches in India.

It is our pleasure to share with you the Resource Material of World Day of Prayer  2018. The theme of  2018 WDP is “All God’s Creation is Very Good!” .

This year WDP Resource Material is prepared by Suriname WDP Committee, shared by  World Day of Prayer  International Committee (WDPIC)  and contexualized in India  by  Women Concerns Ministry, NCCI.

The WDP is a global ecumenical movement led by Christian Women who join in prayer for peace and justice. It is run under the motto “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.” The movement aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common  Day of Prayer as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.  Every year it is commemorated on the first Friday in March and a  particular country is chosen as country of focus . The  WDP Committee prepares the resource material on particular theme.

 The 2018 Resource material reflects how Women from Suriname lift up their voices to remind us that we are caretakers of God’s creation! How good is God’s creation? That is the question to meditate upon and respond to with a personal commitment to care for creation . They are bringing to our attention the urgent need for caring at a time when more than 180 countries have signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change: A commitment to take care and heal wounded mother Earth.

Through the worship service, we listen to the multicultural and multi-ethnic people of Suriname. They take us to their communities and through their concerns. History is before our eyes! The flora and fauna is remarkable! Everyday life is weaved into prayers. Through WDP a movement for “informed prayer and prayerful action” we encourage women’s fellowships in India and churches to care of creation  throughout the year .

We encourage you to involve children and youth during the worship as they are our future stewards and care takers of mother Earth. Not only will they carry the legacy of WDP Movement but sow seeds of justice and peace in the world.

We request you to send 3-4 good resolution photographs and brief report immediately and latest by 31st March 2018 so that we can publish it and share it in the NCCI Website  WORLD DAY OF PRAYER ASIA FACEBOOK PAGE and  send Women Concerns ministry report to  WDPIC. The soft copy reports and photographs can be sent by email to aiccw.office.ncci@gmail.com with a copy to ncci.aiccw.moumita@gmail.com

We have already sent the Resource Material to National Women’s Fellowships of member churches of NCCI.   Please share these resource materials with local dioceses, women’s fellowships,  church leaders, ecumenical partners,  theological colleges and Christian institutions.

Looking forward to all your solidarity in practicing and promoting WDP (Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action) movement.

Shanti! Shalom! Salam!

Rev. Moumita Biswas
Executive Secretary
Women’s Concerns Ministry NCCI.

 

DOWNLOAD: World Day of Prayer 2018 WDP Prayer Book

Posted by Women Concerns Ministry of NCCI

 

“You can be one of the five daughters of Zelophehad or can support them…..” – Hungreiphy engages in Advocacy for Indigenous Women’s Rights to Inheritance of Ancestral Property on ‘Human Rights Day’

Hungreiphy ZAS Zimik Young Indigenous Baptist woman Theologian

As the world commemorates ‘Human Rights Day‘ on 10th December  ‘Hungreiphy ZAS Zimik a young Baptist indigenous theologian  shares her story  and efforts to promote ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights and ‘Indigenous Women Right to Inheritance of  Ancestral Property’.  Zimik states “I am indigenous woman and belong to Tangkhul Naga Tribe  from Ukhrul District in  Hungpung Village in state of  Manipur in India. My immediate family consist of six members i.e. my mother, father, two brothers, me and my sister.  Tangkhul  indigenous society is a classless society and forbids any kind of unreasonable discrimination among the members of the tribe. However there are certain areas guided by indigenous customary laws where the principle of ‘Rights to Equality’ of men and women cannot be strictly applied.

Tangkhul  tribe women are not allowed to participate in the decision making process of the village till date. They are not given recognition as members of the Village Assembly. Tangkhul women are also prohibited to become Village Councillors even though Government of India and our constitution allows equality. No Tangkhul village has a woman Village Councillor till date. Thus, the general expression ‘Equality before Law’ has got no central place for women in my tribe.

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‘Blue-ing’ Our Churches & Communities : National Council of Churches invitation this Advent to End Child Abuse

‘Blue-ing’ Churches & Communities, 16 Days of Activism Campaign @NCCI ( Photo Source www.boston.archive )

On 28th November 2017, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in India requested for valuable suggestions to end child abuse in the context of increasing abuse of violence on children in India. Stuti  Kacker Chairperson of NCPCR in her request letter of 28th November 2017 states: “Sexual crime against children is showing an alarming increase and there is urgent need to tackle this problem on a war footing. Parliament has already brought a comprehensive Act namely ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 to punish those who commit sexual offences against children. However, there is a pressing need to formulate a broad based strategy to prevent such crime from occurring, which is only possible if all stakeholders namely children themselves, their parents, school administration, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and civil society etc. as a whole, create awareness and highlight the moral repugnancy of such crimes.”

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Gender Equity Enabling Timetable (GEET) of Church of South India Removing Bottlenecks to Build Just Inclusive Communities

Mission Paradigm Shift from Equality to Equity to Promote Gender Justice & Build Just Inclusive Communities

Women’s empowerment programs have been at the core of the ‘Diaconal Ministry’ of the Church of South India. According to Revd Asir Ebenezer- Director of Diaconal  Concerns- CSI Synod “these programs have taken many forms in different contexts. Education, empowerment, and economic livelihood options were some of the areas that took root in most places. Education of girls was the flagship of church’s education ministry. Many hostels for girls as well as nursing and teacher training schools for young women were started and flourish to this day.”  CSI also initiated the ‘Girl Child Campaign’. Ebenezer further states “However despite a radically sound theology and a reformist mind with regard to gender sensitivity, there are many bottlenecks. The aim of the discourse on gender equity is to reach beyond the domain of women and their associations. There is a vital need for gender mainstreaming to end gender based violence.  So GEET  brings the discourse to the mainstream life and witness of  Church Women and Men. The present visible leadership of males in the church sphere is to be challenged to bring significant changes.”

Gender Equity Enabling Timetable (CSI-GEET) –   Has three foci:

 1) Workplace- To ensure a safe working space, institutions of the CSI are oriented on  awareness , prevention, and redressal of sexual harassment of women at workplace  promoting ‘Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal Act, 2013’ . Ebenezer states that many christian  institutions have constituted an Internal Complaints Committee  in compliance with the Act. After the constitution of ‘Internal Complaints Committees’ in our institutions, male staff have become more sensible in their interactions with their female colleagues. Women are aware that they can be treated with dignity and do not have to ‘adjust’ or put up with inappropriate behaviour from the opposite sex.”

2) Homes including Christian Homes –  CSI is also engaging in various endeavours of spiritual formation  to  create safe home free from abuse and empowering both men and women to work towards ending domestic violence and other gender based violence within home .

 3) Mind of the Man for Nurturing Gender Equity– Developing contextualised study material based on ‘Created in God’s image: from Hegemony to Partnership’ (a church’s manual on men as partners promoting positive masculinities was published by WCRC in collaboration with the WCC and the United Methodist Church) to be studied by men in five locations in each of the 24 CSI Dioceses.

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