In a statement issued on International Women’s Day 2017, Global Ministries' partner the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) urged its member churches and councils to join in with those working towards the dignity and equality of women in all walks of the contemporary world.
“Despite the fact that the world has been changing with significant progress in socioeconomic and technological fields, an overwhelming majority of women are denied opportunities to lead a better life. They face persecution and violence in manifold forms in their daily lives. In many places in Asia, women experience daily threats to their dignity and rights as they are trafficked, physically, sexually and mentally abused, victimized in conflicts and face the primitive practice and culture of ‘honor killings’,” Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of the CCA, stated.
Women are denied their legitimate right to work in a decent atmosphere as they are forced to live and work in deplorable conditions in many parts of the world. Asia is not an exemption to this reality, most working women in Asia work in sectors of the informal economy as domestic workers, agricultural laborers, street vendors, migrant laborers in garment factories, small scale industries, construction sites as unskilled workers, and in other lowly paid occupations often without any safety or protection.
The CCA General Secretary further added that, “Gender equality in women’s workplaces is not recognized as an imperative for the well-being and dignity of women in most Asian contexts. The observance of International Women’s Day reminds us of the need to uphold the values of the dignity and rights of women at all times. The CCA supports the United Nations’ call for all actors to stress on gender equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030 by ensuring that the whole world works for all women.”
The CCA affirms the full realization of women’s dignity and rights and encourages its member churches and councils to seek new paradigms of recognizing the ability of women to contribute to the creation of a better and peaceful world.
The CCA places a strong focus on its women programs, based on themes of leadership development and empowerment of women, advocacy on prevention of violence against women, protecting the rights of women migrant workers and combating the trafficking of women.
Under its programmatic thrust, Ecumenical Women’s Action against Violence (EWAV), in 2016 the CCA launched an ecumenical network of women aimed at the advocacy on violence against women, and maintains the network’s momentum through national and sub-regional networks. The CCA will organize two sub-regional consultations in South Asia and South East Asia in 2017, as part of EWAV, with an aim to enhance the capacities of church women engaged in advocacy through grassroots women’s networks.
The CCA also engages in capacity building programs on conflict resolution, and awareness building on protection mechanisms that safeguard and protect women from violence and human rights abuses.