The 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day.
This year, and especially in light of the restrictions imposed upon many of us in response to COVID-19, the World Council of Churches is highlighting the links between the household of God, and the fundamental need to make our homes safe and loving spaces. The WCC acknowledges that the impact and experience of sexual and gender-based violence can happen anywhere, and the lockdowns necessitated by COVID-19 has added to the vulnerability of many women. Each of us – in our work, in our community, in our home – can and should speak and act against gender-based violence and ensure those experiencing violence and abuse can find support and safety.
Under the theme which was launched in 2019, “From Our House to Yours: 16 Days against Sexual and Gender Based Violence”, the staff of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva will be praying and reflecting each day on the impact of sexual and gender-based violence in our contexts of work and ministry. We invite everyone to pray with us each day and will share some of our reflections on WCC's social media.
This is also an opportunity to emphasize the link between oikos (house) and oikoumene (the whole inhabited world. As Philip Potter, former WCC general secretary, stated, “The ecumenical movement (the oikoumene) is the means by which the churches that form the house, the oikos of God, are seeking to live and witness before all peoples.”
Follow our reflections on social media and join in the #16Days #FromOurHouseToYours.