The Consultative Group for Church of South India (CSI) Gender Justice Policy met at CSI Centre under the leadership of Rev. Dr. D.Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary, CSI and Rev. Asir Ebenezer, Director, CSI-SEVA on 26th July 2017 to deliberate on the formulation of a Gender Policy for CSI. 11 core group members attended this important meeting. NCCI accompanied CSI in this process through the representation of Ms Moumita Biswas – Executive Secretary of Women’s Concerns Ministry, being part of the Consultative Group .
Revd Dr D. Rathnakara Sadananda, General Secretary of CSI Synod, and also one of the Vice Presidents of the National Council of Churches in India, welcomed the core group and stated that this is an unique endeavour of CSI in its prophetic ministry to promote gender equity and gender justice
According to Revd Asir Ebenezer – Director SEVA- CSI, “ This Gender Justice Policy will not only promote gender equity and equality in society beginning with the church, but will also accentuate gender equity on practical terms in the ethos and life of CSI , its 24 Dioceses and all its units. It will also have profound impact of communities . The policy is rooted in Biblical foundation and spirituality of Justice.”
Revd Asir Ebenezer further stated that “We are following a very participatory process and methodology in framing this policy. Not only are we involving the stakeholders but also Gender Specialists , Gender Analysts, Theologians, Social Activists, Church Leaders, Women’s Fellowship leaders etc. An elaborate process is being worked with pre- testing tools and implementation procedures and guidelines.”
According to Ms Moumita Biswas- Executive Secretary of Women’s Concern Ministry of NCCI “ This Gender Justice Policy of CSI will be a milestone in CSI’s prophetic ministry to end the culture of gender based violence and build a culture of peace. It will be an example to other Member Churches of NCCI to adopt and promote such polices to build just, inclusive communities.” Ms Biswas further states that “This endeavour of CSI reveals that member churches of NCCI are seriously addressing, and making efforts to end, gender based violence in India which is one of the greatest national crises.”
According to Dr Dexter Maben , Professor of United Theological College in Bangalore who was part of this consultative group “ While framing the policy we are also going to share stories and witnesses of stakeholders. This will not only make the Policy more life-affirming but also relevant to target beneficiaries. It will help those implementing the policy and beneficiaries to address and understand gender justice issues with most sensitivity.”
Dr Sarah Karunakaran Head of the Department of Madras School of Social Work also member of CSI stated that “ In the Indian and South Asian context gender justice is often regarded as agenda ‘by the women’, ‘for the women’ and ‘of the women’. CSI Gender Policy will promote active participation and empowerment of men in churches and society to address gender justice issues also. Promoting positive masculinity will also be a strategic component of the policy.”
Revd Dr Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary of NCCI congratulates Church of South India for this prophetic endeavour.
Reported by :Moumita Biswas- Executive Secretary – Women’s Concerns , NCCI