Monday 9 March
By Fiona Buchanan, Local Involvement Officer, Church and Society
Fiona Buchanan, Local Involvement Officer, Church and Society
What might it look like if we gave up gender based violence for Lent? Gave up looking the other way, tolerating it, saying it's nothing to do with us?
Or even gave it up forever – gave up swallowing our rage?
When we experience day by day the chaos of the world it's easy to be tempted to turn a blind eye to gender based violence, to feel utter hopelessness, or to blame the victims themselves.
In South Africa a woman is raped every 26 seconds.
In India, 21 women of the Dalit Caste ('untouchables') are raped each week.
In the United Kingdom, the police estimate that 95% of rapes are never even reported.
The Christian season of Lent is about reflection, spiritual discipline, meditation, and preparation for death and new life. During Lent we also remember Jesus in the wilderness - a liminal space, an in-between place where ordinary life is suspended, identity shifts, and new possibilities emerge.
In a world where too many women and girls suffer violence and live with the threat of death every day, what might a commitment to new ways of living look like?
A commitment to refuse to accept violence against women as a given.
A commitment of both men and women to reject the status quo – until rape and rape culture ends.
A commitment to act in solidarity, showing women across the globe the commonality of their struggles and the visibility of their power in numbers.
A new time and a new way of being.
Lent and Easter reveal the God who is for us in all of life — for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness.
If you take farming out of the equation, only 20% of paid jobs in northern Africa are held by women.
Pray for equality for women in northern Africa, and around the world.