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Adamawa: Churches Under CCN Partner UNICEF, EU, UN Spotlight Initiative To End Violence Against Women, Girls

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Churches under the Association of Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) in partnership with UNICEF under the European Union (EU), United Nations
(UN) Spotlight Initiative to End Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG).

The leadership of the association in a media parlay at LCCN (Grace) in Yola, told journalists that they are convinced ending violence against women and girls is a possibility if all hands are on deck.

The CCN President, Most Rev Dr Benebo Febura- Manuel while addressing journalists admitted that churches have been part of the problem and so, should be part of the solution.

“We challenge the patriarchal systems long embedded into the fabric of the faith confessions of our historic churches and reject every “godly” blessing hitherto given to violence against women and girls.

“We do this in confidence that our reading of the Bible with its unashamed
stance for justice does not permit us to stand for violence against women and
girls. Jesus, our Savior and Lord, was born of a woman and lived a life here on earth as a child under the care of loving parents, but knew in his own childhood experience the evil of the violence of adults, especially that of king Herod. Yet he grew up with girls and worked with women to preach and demonstrate the love of the kingdom of God in the life of all. To this effect, he took little children into his arms and blessed them, made them the best examples of the Kingdom life and insisted that doing good to them attracts the mercies of heaven and doing evil to them the condemnation of heaven.

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“He adjusted the social role of women in his time, loved them and worked with them in spite of the explosive and sensitive setting in which he ministered, challenged the stereotypes against them by showing them as reliable witnesses and even used them as the first witnesses to the most crucial event of his ministry, being the resurrection and presented them as worthy of love and care. This example of Jesus stands against every form of marginalization of women and girls today; and this is a strong guide to.” Benebo said.

Benebo also said that all Churches under the umbrella of CCN have scheduled a week long enlightenment campaign in Adamawa on ending violence against women and girls commenced on 21st (yesterday), 2021.

According to him, the role of faith-based organizations in ending violence against EVAWG is most needed at this time that injustice against the girl child is going on unabated and aided by the system.

Benebo revealed that the governments of the nations of our world are not sufficiently tackling the challenges with respect to violence against women and girls.

“Clearly, our country is not winning in this battle. But it should win. We have all it takes to have a secure country and to end all forms of violence especially those against women and girls. The political and social systems are not skewed in the favor of women and girls but rather against them. The
religious systems worsen their plight even when claiming to be the agents of liberation. We regret all these and set ourselves in the path of change.

“We commit, therefore, to directly, personally and communally opposing all systems of marginalization that we have inherited or set up or that we are presently designing or setting up.

“We recognize that violence has taken an aggressive form in many facets of our society in recent times due to the increasing rate of unemployment of
many young people, the poverty of many homes exacerbated by the COVID-19
pandemic, the inter-tribal and communal clashes in many regions of the country, the menace of kidnapping and mindless brutalizations and killings by some herdsmen. All these have combined to bring undue sufferings to woman and girls in our country. And with the deeply rooted patriarchy of our cultures, albeit in varying degrees, we cannot deny that woman and girls have been the chief victims.

“CCN has joined this collaboration because we realize that violence against women and girls is not what the churches or faith based organizations alone can solve; it calls for multilateral efforts and initiatives and every form of support is a move in the right direction. We believe that this collaboration will assist many non-religious persons to discern clearly how they have been trapped in the same declining culture and do all that they can to stop this evil.

“This week of enlightenment calls for fresh and aggressive approaches to
raising awareness on ending violence against women and girls because if this
collaboration between the Christian Council of Nigeria and UNICEF must be worth it, it must reach the grassroots effectively.

“We shall collectively seek to reject abuse of women and girls of all forms, including women’s forced
domestication, discrimination in religious, political and social settings, girl child neglect, exploitation, abuse, and trafficking, and all shades and colours of Violence against Women and Girls – be they physical, emotional, sexual, or
psychological.

“We name Violence Against Women and Girls as a real evil confronting all communities in our country today. We admit that it happens in our homes,
institutions, religious organizations. In this week of enlightenment, we shall expose all forms of violence against women and girls and re-examine the existing policies of all the bodies to which we belong and the policies of our nation with a view to discerning whether or not these policies perpetuate Violence Against Children in any form. And we commit to ending any such evil policy we discern.

“We reject and condemn any who in the name of religion sends women and girls out on suicide missions, pulls them out of their homes or schools and keeps them in camps and ghettoes, to use some as sex machines, to rape some and enslave them in forced marriages, to maim others who resist their evils and ruin their lives for no just cause. And we also live in a world in which many people of religious communities traffic our women and girls and expose them to both national and international danger simply for love of money. We challenge parents to start making sufficient provisions for the education of their girl children. We condemn the gender injustice that mothers experience and often transfer to their children without any conscience. We condemn the carelessness that allows relations and lovers of women abuse their girl children sexually or physically or emotionally. We condemn the rampant raping of infant girls for ritual and selfish purposes.

“We live in a world of rampant communal and inter-tribal wars, with their resultant negative physical, sexual, emotional and psychological impacts on women and girls. We live in a world where the policies that exist privilege men over and at the expense of women, where the policies teach men a false and ungodly masculinity in which their power is exercised over women and girls in forms of rape and abuse. We live in a world that does not give a fair chance to a woman in the job market, making her earn less than her male counterpart that she properly surpassed in class while in school. It is in this context that we have come together as Christians in collaboration with UNICEF to sensitize on the evil of Violence Against Women and Girls and to do all in our power to end it.

“We shall engage in mass street rallies and meet with significant political
and government figures who can initiate positive changes in this regard.”

They called on all religious leaders and others to join hands with the Christian Council of Nigeria in this work.

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