Participants of EWAAV consultation in Sri Lanka on the 29th of November 2017.
“The Church in Sri Lanka should ensure zero tolerance to violence against women at all levels, when the women in the war-torn Sri Lanka still face a rising rate of violence after decades of ethnic conflicts and civil war”, stated the participants of a CCA Consultation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 29-30 November.
Organised and facilitated by the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) as part of CCA’s new programme initiative of Ecumenical Women’s Action against Violence (EWAAV), the consultation was organised in collaboration with the National Christian Council in Sri Lanka (NCCSL) at the headquarters of the NCCSL in Colombo on 29-30 November.
The focus of the consultation was on ecumenical women in action against violence in post war Sri Lanka.
Various sessions of the consultation provided opportunities for participants to deeply and critically analyse the situation of women and the difficult challenges of life in the post conflict and war situation, especially the situation of war- widows and women working in plantation sectors.
The participants shared experiences of women in the post war Sri Lanka and reported that about 40 per cent of women in Sri Lanka today suffer from some kind of violence, while more than 60 per cent of women across the country are victims of domestic violence and at least 85,000 widows have been identified in Sri Lanka’s conflict affected areas since the end of the civil war.
The bible studies (focused on violence against women encouraged participants to reflect the text from their local contexts and create new interpretations which are empowering and promoting peace with justice.
The participants highlighted the importance of mobilising women and men in the church and work beyond the church boundaries to work together to change gender roles and engaged in advocacy on violence against women and gender equality using biblical theological rationale, national international and regional mechanisms at various levels.
A plan of action developed by the participants proposed to continue the journey of empowerment and justice for women, and committed to create a network and coalition of women at local level to give awareness and transformation of communities.
The participants opined that increased theological, conceptual, moral, and practical awareness required among churches to ensure gender justice, equity, equality to combat the increasing violence against women.
Addressing the participants, CCA General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara introduced CCA’s new programme thrust of empowerment and ecumenical leadership development of women.
The General Secretary further added that CCA will organise an Asian Ecumenical Women’s Assembly (AEWA) in February 2019 , which will be hosted by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.
Sunila Amar, programme consultant said that through the new programme initiative of Ecumenical Women’s Action against Violence (EWAAV), CCA will aim at creating more ecumenical women’s networks at local, national, sub-regional levels in Asia in the coming years to combat violence against women.
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