Churches must stand firm against Gender Based Violence
BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE: Churches are an important agent in the socialization process, helping young and old people to be self aware, knowledgeable and skilled to deal with various issues and challenges that emerge in the course of life.
This was said by Brother Mehluli Nkabinde during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign at the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) in Woodville on Sunday. The campaign was organized by the Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD). Brother Nkabinde said that the Bible defined the basis of women and men relationship, yet many people, including those from the church were actively involved in perpetuating Gender Based Violence in their families, churches and communities.
“The Bible talks about love, mutual understanding and respect for one another between couple, yet there are a lot of areas where women are treated as second class citizens. People should not twist some Verses from the Bible for their selfish ends,” said Brother Nkabinde.
Violence against women affects individuals, families and communities around the world every day. Quite often religion is used as an excuse for this violence and yet the central messages of Christianity, Islam and other major religions instruct believers to respect the sanctity of peaceful and loving relationships.
The regional theme for the 2010 campaign is Mutual Respect and Non-Violence: Its part of every religion. The 2010 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Report found Sub-Saharan Africa to be one of the most religious places in the world with 90% of people in the region saying that religion is important in their lives. Therefore with Faith as its anchor, the 2010 Campaign calls on believers, faith based communities, organisations and religious leaders to speak out against violence against women.
Consequences of Violence against women affect every member of society and yet it continues with impunity in many communities across the region. A 2005 World Health Organisation (WHO) multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against women reported that in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania, 49% and 47% of ever-partnered women report experiencing physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Speaking at the same occasion, Pastor Farayi Bganya said that Gender Based Violence was a big challenge for the church and encouraged couples to always use dialogue as a way of resolving differences.
During the campaign, drama performances were used to highlight some of the types of Gender Based Violence that are a common occurrence across the world. The campaign coincided with a harrowing global story that appeared on Sky News where a father from Argentina raped his daughter for 30 years resulting in 10 children from the incestuous relationship.
The Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD) is a charitable non-governmental organisation advancing communication rights of marginalised and vulnerable people through building their communication capacities and advocacy skills in a creative way to systematically address human rights and all other fundamental freedoms.
The organisation has lined up a number of activities targeting local churches in an effort to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence.