The Economist recently had an article on their Erasmus blog about Anglican churches across the globe finding common ground in the need to address gender based violence, despite their differences over other issues. Anglicans involved in addressing these issues recently participated in a webinar.
The topic was “gender-based violence” which is a catchall term that describes both domestic cruelty and the still-greater horrors that take place on battlefields when soldiers run amok and commit rape. Victims of GBV are mainly female, but they also include men and boys. And the striking thing was that on this exceptionally grave subject, “conservatives” and “liberals” plainly find it useful to talk and cooperate, and the talk goes well beyond platitudes.
Mara Luz, an Anglican church worker from Brazil, said 40% of women in her country experienced some kind of violence; there were well-written laws, but implementation was very poor, especially in remote areas. The wrong sort of religious and cultural influences could reinforce the feeling that women must be submissive, even in the face of abuse; a better approach, she suggested, was “contextual Bible study” which offered models of women who remained independent in hard conditions, like the widow who helped Elijah the prophet.
posted by Jon White