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Churches mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

World Council of Churches commemorates annual 16 days campaign

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is inviting individuals and congregations to join “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” through reflections, prayers and action towards overcoming violence against women.

To put an end to violence against women at the core of defending women's human rights, the 16 Days of Activism from 25 November through 10 December strategically cover the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day (29 November), World AIDS Day (1 December) and International Human Rights Day (10 December).

As part of the 16 Days of Activism, the WCC’s Women in Church and Society programme has launched a resource kit on the WCC website to engage churches and civil society groups from around the world.

The resources were developed in collaboration with the World YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) and the World Student Christian Federation.

The online materials include bible studies, theological reflections, videos, links, prayers and ideas for activities for churches and individuals.

“Justice and peace are key concerns linked with the strategic advocacy underlying these 16 Days of Activism. It is a time for raising awareness in preparation for a paradigm shift away from the denial of women’s human rights,” said Dr Fulata Lusungu Moyo, WCC programme executive for Women in Church and Society.

The concerns expressed through the campaign, she said, attempts to eradicate a “world culture in which violence against women is tolerated.”

The 16 Days of Activism focus on sexual and domestic violence against women, sexism in contexts of caste, class and race, human trafficking, as well as initiatives towards transformative masculinities aimed at addressing violence against women.

Addressing these themes, the resource kit calls special attention to gendered perspectives on life, justice, peace and reconciliation.

Through the 16 Days of Activism, Moyo hopes that the participants will be able to “promote affirmative policies and take part in prophetic actions, bringing the perspective of faith to proclaim an end to violence against women.”

With 16 Days of Activism, the WCC also aims to explore prayerfully the theme of its upcoming 10th Assembly, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.” The assembly will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea in the autumn of 2013.


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