‘End the violence against us’, the women of the church say


The theme of this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) is ‘Orange the World: And Violence Against Women Now!’ Is. As the color denotes a brighter and violence free future. It will also mark the beginning of 16 days of activism that will end on 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

“It is time to speak,” says Sister Noella de Souza (from Missionaries of Christ and Jesus), a renowned researcher and activist who was involved in a recent study by the Women of Religious Conference, India (CRI). About the Exploitation of Catholic Women in the Church. The study was later published as a book titled ‘It’s High Time, Women Religious Speak Up on Gender Justice in the Indian Church’.

The CRI is a body of all religious men and women (priests, brothers and sisters) working in a particular diocese. “We interviewed about 400 Major Superiors and got 101 respondents to participate. This was a sample size that was large enough to understand what was going on. There were problems in different areas. For example, the sisters had to do with their Refusal to accept professional competence is harassed. According to the feedback we have received, many are paid meager wages,” said Sister de Souza Indian Express,

To recognize the various forms of violence against women, girls and gender minorities – verbal, emotional, financial, physical, sexual – and to understand how one can prevent, protect and redress such abuses Can respond, two events arranged by Poona Diocesan Women. Commission on 27 November and 5 December, Indian Christian Women’s Movement and Strivani.

Third program organized by Religious Conference in association with Strevani in Mumbai on 11th December on the theme ‘Orange the World – Women in the Church Speak Out’. The issue assumes significance in light of the increasing number of various forms of abuse of religious sisters working directly under male leadership within the Church, said Rena Braganza Pasanha, Chairperson of the Poona Diocesan Women’s Commission Indian Express,

According to activists, male leadership controls various aspects of religious life to such an extent that religious women are trained to fear the consequences of the displeasure of male leaders. He said that this psychological violence is extremely disabling for women.

The program will be attended by Professor Dr MT Joseph from the University of Mumbai, speaking on the topic ‘Orange the World: Addressing the Animals Within’, while a panel will follow on topics such as the Culture of Silence among Religious Women. Sister Noella D’Souza will provide an insight into the issue while the gaps and barriers to access women in the church will be addressed by activists including Pasanha and Dr. Astrid Lobo Ghaziwala. Virginia Saldanha, a feminist theologian, author and social activist, will speak on the structures, ethos and values ​​that support violence against women and girls and other gender minorities.