Interfaith activists condemn violence against women and children

Harare, Lilongwe, Lusaka, SADC, 10 December 2019 (F2A) – We have partnered with ACT Ubumbano and the country forums of ACT Alliance in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe to elevate faith voices in condemning violence against women and children.

Every year the United Nations declares the period from November 25th, International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women, to December 10th, International Human Rights Day, as the 16 days of no violence against women across the globe. These 16 days represent an important advocacy moment towards creating awareness on the impact of violence against women and children and intimate partner violence. Faith to Action Network supported several interfaith awareness raising actions.

ACT Alliance Zambia Forum convened a workshop with faith actors under the theme ‘Raising an Equality Conscious Generation Against Gender-Based Violence’. 20 men and 20 women from ten Presbyteries of Zambia participated and called for breaking the silence on gender-based violence and strengthened support for survivors of gender-based violence. They called for a gender policy within the United Church of Zambia, and for liturgies on gender-based violence to be developed and used in church as part of efforts to fight any forms of gender-based violence.

On the 12th of December 2019, ACT Alliance Malawi Forum mobilised the community of Karonga District and held a campaign meeting themed “Generation Equality Stands Against Rape and Sexual Harassment”. Participants discussed three new interfaith briefs recently developed by faith actors in the SADC region on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy. They emphasised faith actors’ roles in offering safe spaces for women and girls as members of the community.

In Zimbabwe, faith advocates organized contextual bible study sessions on gender-based violence in Bulawayo, Gweru and Masvingo. As part of ACT Zimbabwe’s “No Longer Silent campaign”, they encouraged faith leaders and congregants to raise their voices against gender-based violence and ensure the protection of women and girls. This action was led by an inter faith grouping called the Gender and Faith Network which includes Mainline Churches, Catholics, Pentecostals and the African Traditional Churches.

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