The Faith Sector Gender Based Violence (GBV) Mobilisation workshop took place from 14 to 16 August, in Benoni at Mount Camel Retreat Centre. The intention of the consultation was to create a deeper and respectful mutual understanding of how GBV manifests in our different faith communities.
Siki Dlanga represented the TEASA Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) task team that seeks to respond to, and address, GBV issues within our faith community and our churches. The TEASA GBVF task team has created a campaign that used devotionals from various TEASA churches to expose and examine GBVF. These programmes include encouraging repentance and confession. We continue to encourage churches to host focused Bible studies and to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit on how believers can address GBVF in our country, communities, families and churches and bring, into these spaces, God’s healing.
The Faith Sector GBV Mobilisation campaign is a space to build compassion, by listening to how various faiths are dealing with GBV as it is affecting every sector of society and culture. Through our interactive sessions, one of the most important realisations we reached was to acknowledge that perpetrators of GBVF are people who are themselves in need of our attention. We must create environments where those cries can be heard and healed, as we are primarily healers and the role of faith is to heal society.
The workshop was concluded with the signing of a statement pledging to extend the consultation to our various faith movements, by teaching, praying and doing all we can to act justly when GBV manifests itself, as well as:
- Supporting a vibrant, growing and vocal movement of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
- Sensitising and equipping faith leaders to become advocates to end sexual and gender-based violence and survivor stigma.
- Undertaking joint advocacy initiatives and campaigns.
- Engaging men and boys, together with women and girls, as allies to end sexual and gender-based violence.
All faith leaders present, pledged to be God’s healing agents, and we renewed our commitment to be the light of the world.
Read the signed declaration here.