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Ecumenical training enhances advocacy on human rights and gender justice

Ecumenical training enhances advocacy on human rights and gender justice

Participants of the Women Human Rights Advocacy Training for Faith-Based Organizations wearing black on Thursday. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

04 July 2018

From 3-8 July, gender justice advocates from over thirty countries are convening at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, Switzerland, for an advocacy training on women’s human rights for faith-based organizations.

The activity focuses on a broad range of critical topics that are important for faith-based organizations’ and churches’ engagement with United Nations treaty bodies, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

While examining the global and contextual challenges, it also looks at the role of faith in the public space and deepens participants’ understanding of concepts related to gender, unequal power relations, transformative masculinities, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health.

Tamar Korashvili, from Georgia, who is a former student of the WCC’s Bossey Ecumenical Institute, said that, in her own country’s context, is it not only the general understandings of gender equality and gender justice that the training provides which are helpful, but “especially the information about legal mechanisms for advocating and protecting women’s rights”, she said.

The training is jointly organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Church of Sweden, Mission 21 and Finn Church Aid and has a specific focus on engaging with UN human rights mechanisms to ensure the protection, equal treatment, and empowerment of women and girls, particularly the CEDAW.

Hanna Kirreh, St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, noted that the training enhances a comprehensive understanding in defense of human rights and gender justice. “In my context, Palestinian women strive for justice, security, and peace,” she said. “In this training, the participants have been able to share their experiences with one another as representatives of churches and faith-based organizations.”

Participants are having the opportunity to learn from various speakers and experts about the various platforms for advocacy on women’s human rights, including the Universal Periodic Review and the Commission on the Status of Women.

The training, now in its fifth year, takes place annually on the occasion of the July session of the CEDAW Committee in Geneva.

Learn more about the WCC's programme on Just Community of Women and Men

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