Saturday, April 27, 2013

Church's role in the fight against gender based violence

Tuesday 5th March
HONIARA, Solomon Islands
Churches must take active roles in the fight against gender-based violence, a regional workshop has been told. 
Women delegates at the Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General Assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, resolved that all theological colleges in the region must teach students about violence against women and children.
Deaconess Sala Naucabalavu of the Methodist Church in Fiji said training in the ills of gender-based violence must be made compulsory.
“We should also have training in gender equality,” Deaconess Sala said.
“I think men fear the strength of women and they are not opening doors to allow discussions which involve or include women.”
Her comments were part of discussions at a women’s pre-assembly symposium and will form part of submissions to the main meeting at St Barnabas Cathedral beginning today.
PCC Secretariat member Peter Emberson said it was important that children were taught to respect women and children.
“Justice is taught in the home and it is imperative that respect for women is taught in this setting. That is where it all starts,” Emberson said.
“If we can change the dynamics of how men treat women and children we will have taken a huge step towards the elimination of gender-based violence.”
More than 30 women from the Pacific region attended the pre-assembly event.
Asena Naisara of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Suva warned women to learn from the past.
“Some of us have grown up with violence against women in the home and it’s time to break that cycle,” Naisara said.
“If we don’t stop the violence our grandchildren will sit here 30 years from now addressing the same issue.”

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