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Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network

The Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN) seeks to serve as a platform of academic study, spiritual reflection and action for women of African descent in all regions of the world. PAWEEN seeks to affirm and invite the deeper nurture of the community of men and women.
Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network

Shyreen Mvula, Malawi and PAWEEN convener Rev. Angelique Walker-Smith, United States, at the WCC 10th Assembly.

The Pan African Women’s Ecumenical Empowerment Network (PAWEEN) seeks to serve as a platform of academic study, spiritual reflection and action for women of African descent in all regions of the world. PAWEEN seeks to affirm and invite the deeper nurture of the community of men and women.

Since the earliest Biblical accounts in Genesis, women of African descent have played a critical role in shaping the Judeo-Christian faith. From Biblical women such as Hagar and Zipporah to the modern ecumenical movement Pan African women have and continue to be a pivotal presence in the churches.

PAWEEN sees the season of the WCC Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace as a kairos moment for deepening the churches’ understanding of the contributions of Pan African Women to the history of the churches and the ecumenical movement. Therefore PAWEEN’s objectives include serving the collective memory of Pan African women’s historic, ecclesial, and ethical contributions to the ecumenical movement. As a result PAWEEN will make available research publications, and other resources to engage and challenge the ecumenical movement.

Therefore, PAWEEN aims to gather and make visible how the stories of Pan African women, too often neglected in ecumenical and church history, can positively inform and nurture female leadership capacity development now and in the future. It will also identify elements of these women’s experiences that provide learning for renewed models of Christian leadership and discipleship in the changing ecclesial and religious landscape of Christianity today and in the future; especially as Christianity shifts to regions of the global South with strong Pan African presence.

Among the tools employed to reach these objectives will be seminars and conferences held in cooperation with other WCC programmes and ecumenical partners such as the All Africa Conference of Churches or the World YWCA, written publications, mentoring, and exchanges via digital networking platforms.

PAWEEN is a programmatic activity of the WCC programme on Ecumenical Theological Education in collaboration with the programme on Just Community of Women and Men.

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