LWF Joins International ‘No Excuse for Violence Against Women Campaign’

“NoXcuses” logo in the chapel of the Ecumenical Center, Geneva. Photo: LWF/S.Gallay
“NoXcuses” logo in the chapel of the Ecumenical Center, Geneva. Photo: LWF/S.Gallay

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) have joined the international ‘No Excuses for Violence Against Women’ campaign of the World YWCA, which runs from 25 November through to Human Rights Day on 10 December.

“Many times it seems violence against women is an issue that happens elsewhere, that affects others, not us; a reality that is not to be raised by the church because it is believed to be a problem for a tiny minority of poor and uneducated people,” said Maria Cristina Rendón, Program Assistant at the LWF Women in Church and Society (WICAS). “While these excuses go on, thousands of women and girls get abused, harassed, raped or beaten to death.”

To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and its commitment to gender justice, the LWF’s WICAS program features a series of short videos by people of faith affirming why there is no excuse for violence against women and no excuse for ignoring it. These voices also speak about healing and restored dignity that is possible when instead of silence there are words of comfort and support for those who have been silenced by shame.

In one video, LWF President Bishop Munib A. Younan emphasizes that the understanding that women and men have been created equally in the image of God needs to be further developed into structures and processes that ensure that there is no room for violence against women within the church and in society.

Younan also highlights that religious discourses and cultural systems can feed and maintain unequal relations among women and men whereas when convinced of their prophetic perspective, churches can play a leading role in ensuring gender justice.

Being part of this campaign is the continuation of a journey that has led the LWF to take concrete steps, such as the publication in 2002 of Churches Say No to Violence Against Women, and the LWF Gender Justice Policy. The publication affirms that “the need to bring men and women together to work toward building healed and healing ‘shalom’ communities makes the issue of violence against women not only a life issue but one of faith.”

The World YWCA-led campaign against gender-based violence calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and invites the international community to take action against it.

Video messages | Churches Say ‘No’ to Violence Against Women | LWF Gender Justice Policy

World YWCA NoXcuses web site