There are many blessings that come with being a member of the worldwide family of churches known as the Anglican Communion. One of them is how we can all come together and work towards affecting positive change around the world. Today we’d like to use our blog post to lift up some resources and stories from our partners around the Communion.
This year the Anglican Communion Office has released a fantastic resource for the 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women and Gender Violence. As the Rev. Terrie Robinson, the Women’s Desk Officer in the Anglican Communion Office, writes “Each year, more and more Anglican churches and dioceses around the Communion are using the international 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women to break the silence, challenge harmful attitudes, and engage women and men in taking action to prevent and end gender based violence.” We highly recommend reading through this document and learning more!
In 2011, the Primates of the Anglican Communion met in Dublin, Ireland. During this meeting they heard testimony about gender based violence and were moved to write a Letter to the Churches reflecting commitment to engaging with this issue. They wrote, “We acknowledged with grief that gender based violence is a global phenomenon and that all but a very small percentage of such violence is perpetrated by men against women, with devastating effects on individuals, families and society. In considering the pervasive nature of violence against women and girls, our churches must accept responsibility for our own part in perpetuating oppressive attitudes towards women. In penitence and faith we must move forward in such a way that our churches truly become a living witness to our belief that both women and men are made in the image of God. To think and behave in ways that do not live out this belief but disempower and marginalise, is to mar the divine image and therefore to offend humanity and God.”
We continue to give thanks for the leadership of the Communion Primates on this issue, and give special thanks for our own Primate, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori. If you missed her sermon from yesterday, please click here to read it!
Here are just two examples of how churches around the Communion are getting involved in the 16 Days of Activism:
In England, Bishop Andrew Watson, the Bishop of Aston, in the Diocese of Birmingham, and the Church of England’s Chair of the Panel for World Mission and the Anglican Communion, participated in the White Ribbon campaign and visited with women who have been victims of abuse. More information about the Church of England’s commitment to eliminating gender violence can be found in this Anglican Communion News Service article and in Bishop Andrew’s interview and statement on the White Ribbon campaign.
In Malawi, the Anglican Church is participating in the 16 Days of Activism for the first time. In the Diocese of Southern Malawi, Anglicans participated in a 12 kilometer march through the city of Blantyre to mark the beginning of the 16 Days. Fr. Willard Kamandani of the Diocese of Southern Malawi said, “Our participation is meant to address the lack of women’s voices in society as well as in the Church.” A full news article from ACNS is available here.
We look forward to sharing more reflections, news, and resources throughout the rest of the 16 Days of Activism.