By Matters India Reporter
Pune, October 5, 2019: Women are restless for justice in the face of economic, political and social systems that produce divisions and inequality in society, says the Indian Christian Women’s Movement.
“We see the whipping up of peoples’ fears, and the dismantling of democratic institutions which deliver equality, protect human rights and regulate and protect the earth’s resources,” the movement said at a convention.
Some 60 women from all the major Christian denominations in India attended the movement’s second national convention held at the Jnandeep Vidyapeeth, Pune.
The September 30-October 2 addressed the movement’s potential to organize women and to strategize ways of countering the glaring injustices that mar the face of India.
It bemoaned that new economic systems are being created which only entrench inequality.
The ecumenical Christian body noted a rise in prejudice and violence while minorities have become targets of hate crimes – even lynchings. These incidents and developments have unjustly impacted women, children, Dalits, sexual minorities, Indigenous peoples and people with disabilities, the convention said.
“We are restless that women in Kashmir live in an atmosphere of abuse and rape in the hands of those who are there supposedly to protect them,” the Christian women said.
These issues were raised by Annie Raja, general secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women, who delivered the keynote address.
The event marked an occasion to work out constructive ways of acting through their respective regional and local units, a press note said.
The meet also addressed “the ugly truth of violence and sexual abuse” of women in the Churches.
“The Churches which should be sanctuaries of peace and safety for women are in fact unsafe spaces,” the convention regretted.
Christian women say enough is enough as they demand full acceptance in their churches, the press note said.
According to the convention, even women who are ordained to priesthood in some Churches face “subtle and occasionally overt forms” of discrimination.
“Our theological and spiritual contributions have been trivialized and marginalized. Women are restless for change,” the meet asserted.
A convention formed a new national team to carry the work forward. They are Aruna Gnanadason, national convener, Marcia D’Cunha, national secretary, and Jayachitra Lalitha, national treasurer.
The other members in the national team are Joycia Thorat, Lalnghakthuami, and Sushma Ramswami. Noted woman theologian Kochurani Abraham is the ex-officio national team member.