From special events and worship services, to simple prayers uttered by individuals, people around the world will be creatively observing the 16 Days, which begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and end on 10 December, Human Rights Day.
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. WCC staff and partners will participate in special prayers and “Ecumenical Tea Talks” during which they will look at the five women named in Matthew's Gospel who form part of the ancestry of Jesus—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary.
They will be sharing some of these reflections on WCC's social media.
Many WCC member churches also prepared inspiring plans for observing the 16 Days.
“We are extremely pleased to see how many of our constituents have plans to embrace the observance of the 16 days. It indicates that we are intentional about our commitment to ending sexual and gender-based violence as faith actors,” said Rev. Nicole Ashwood, WCC program executive for Just Community of Women and Men. “Despite, or perhaps because of the global impact of COVID-19, our member churches and ecumenical partners are meeting virtually through prayers, webinars and short infomercials with the intention of highlighting domestic abuse, femicide, and sexual violence as elements of a silent, often ignored, pandemic which has been decimating a half of our population. It is an activity-packed three weeks and we look forward to hearing from the houses of our partners.”
Across the ecumenical family
Honoring a seven-year tradition, the Christian Network-Talanoa hosted “Break the Silence” Sunday on 22 November in partnership with the Fiji Council of Churches. “Healing God, we pray especially for those who are sick in hospitals, in their homes, for those who suffer violence in their homes or anywhere else,” the worshippers prayed together.
The Anglican Communion is presenting a webinar series that will focus on topics ranging from “Addressing Gender-based Violence Around the Communion” to “Engaging Men in Ending Gender-based Violence” to “Theology and Prayer: How Our Theology Engages Us and Motivates Us to Act.”
The Caribbean and North America Council for Mission is hosting a webinar, entitled “Lockdown and Family Violence,” that will share experiences from professionals and highlight strategies to help victims of violence in the home.
Please share your ideas and plans with your ecumenical family at firstname.lastname@example.org.