An interdenominational organisation in Africa is planning to award local churches that would have excelled in advancing gender advocacy.
By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
This was announced at Congregation Apostolic of Jesus Christ, Women’s Passover Fellowship held in Chiwodza,Mvuma on Wednesday.
In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Bishop Dr R Kunzekweguta , Council for Churches in Africa (CCA)president Dr Ricky Moyo said plans are afoot to reward churches that will have made giant strides in promoting gender equity and equality.
“There will be some awards amongst churches throughout the country which will be used to reward those churches who have ideally brought positive impacts in complementing gender equity and equality within and outside their confinements.
“This will enhance gender fellowship to be a unifying force across the divide through incentivizing those that adhere to promote gender equity and equality while ‘disincentivizing’ those that breach internationally approved gender standards,”Dr Moyo said.
The CCA leader also urged churches to devise effective ways to tame gender inequality.
“Council for Churches in Africa has noted that some causes of gender inequality should be addressed using victims and perpetrators engagement approach as empowered by the Canon Law.
“Some of the inequalities that the organisation noted include uneven access to education , lack of employment equality,job segregation, lack of legal protections, and lack of bodily autonomy among others,” he added.
The organisation said while it notes ‘the strides that the government of Zimbabwe is making in addressing gender equality,there are some actions which need to be addressed gradually in the society using collective participation in an effort to end the scourge of inequalities.
In a frank rebuttal, Prophetess Noma Udeinezue from CCA, said women should not ferment child marriages because of poverty.
“It is worrying that we have some women in churches who are destroying their children’s aspirations by marrying them off because they can’t sustain themselves.
“We are hearing stories of children being encouraged to marry only because the mother would have been given a US$100 ,”she bemoaned.
She added that women must take up income-generating projects to curb such occurrences.
“We should empower ourselves so that we can be good stewards of our children who are God’s gifts. A woman should be a helper to her husband,”stated Prophetess Noma.
The Congregation Apostolic of Jesus Christ
leader, Bishop Arthur Mujeyi assured the women congregants that his church is going to follow the recommendations by CCA and the government is giving them equal chances to improve their livelihoods.
“We applaud CCA for such initiatives and will remain committed to impart this to our women congregants. I also want to acknowledge the assistance the ruling government is giving us and how it is ready to listen to our concerns, ”Bishop Mujeyi acknowledged.
The event was attended by the local leadership including the village head, headman, Zanu PF leadership, and other church leaders who all vowed to fight gender inequality.