English: Cyber dialogue summary for 8 December 2011, We have Faith-gender justice and religion

Date: December 9, 2011
  • SHARE:

800×600 Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

Cyber dialogue summary

Date: 8 December 2011

Theme: GBV and the role of religious institutions

Facilitator: Shuvai Busuman Nyoni (Gender Justice Manager À“ Gender Links)









“Church was and will remain the pillar in educating our communities, they are respected in our community, hence to build their capacity will have positive after effects.À À“ Zambia

“Most churches give a lot of support to people being abused, they play a big role as they solve problems in marriages and in homes where there is violence.À- Namibia

“Though I believe the church is not a perfect institution…the people who are supposed to preach against it (GBV) are doing it.À À“ South Africa

Question 1: How have religious institutions responded to gender based violence in your communities?

· People need to preach and talk about GBV in churches especially in Namibia

· Churches usually counsel women only.

· In Namibia the churches have a referral system where they refer people after some counseling to the right organizations.

· Zimbabwe- GBV is rife within the Catholic Church. Women are sometimes subjected to rape when they seek help.

· There are support groups within the church that mostly consist of women.

· Traditional leaders are sometimes a source of confusion on the issue of GBV. This is slowly changing with more awareness raising.

Question 2: Have the efforts of the church and other religious institutions made any difference in the communities to reduce GBV?

· Churches provide counseling for married people with marital problems as well as those with abusive partners.

· The religious institutions work more for married people. Single people are more wary of going to the church when faced with abuse. They are afraid that they will be preached at about matrimony etc.

· Some churches rarely, if ever, discuss GBV or even give information about it.

· Many perpetrators hide in churches.

Question 3: Why do you think it is important that religious institutions take a stand on GBV?

· The majority of church members are women À“ women are mostly victims of GBV.

· The church is a key pillar of communities. It includes people from many different walks of life.

· Religious institutions put people together in marriage so they need to be involved in solving their problems.

· Churches are not interested in the well being of society.

Question 4: Are there enough women in church leadership structures?

· There are only a handful of women who are church leaders.

· There are no women in leadership positions within the Roman Catholic Church system.

· Stigma and discrimination in churches prevents women from participating in leadership structures.

Question 5: What do you think we should be doing as activists to ensure the church and other religious organisations address GBV better?

· Religious subjects should be brought back into the education system.

· Activism has to begin in homes.

· Use the church programmes and structures to raise awareness on GBV.

· Continue to use campaigns, talk shows and drama series on GBV as advocacy tools; target these specifically for religious institutions.

· Provide church leaders with information on GBV and how it can be reduced in their churches.

· Churches must talk openly about GBV.

Question 6: What role will you play in making sure your church or traditional leaders address GBV?

· Educate yourself first and help others get education in churches about GBV.

· Spread awareness on the issues that surround GBV.

· Report incidences of GBV if and when you hear about them happening in the church.

· Assist victims of GBV.

· Involve the media in changing mind sets of the community.

· Setting up projects for the youth on issues of GBV through church programmes.

Comment on English: Cyber dialogue summary for 8 December 2011, We have Faith-gender justice and religion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *