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Women Empowerment

At the Golden Jubilee of the start of Vatican II we felt the need to look back and take stock of the impact of this path breaking Council on women in the Church. Streevani Pune, CBCI Office of Women, NBCLC, Bangalore, ISI, Bangalore and Montfort Social Institute, Hyderabad collaborated to organize the Conference on the theme “Paradigm Shift in Vatican II and its Impact on Women” at NBCLC, Bangalore from 8th to 11th January, 2014. 113 women and 7 men from all over India, coming from all walks and states of life attended this conference. Although several documents issued during and post Vatican Council II spoke about the equality of women and men, a lot remains to be done to make the shift from subordination to partnership in the Church and society.

The Conference motivated us to get in touch with the Divine within and use our feminine wisdom to live life more prophetically and be witnesses to the values of the gospel. We realized the importance of empowering women in the Church and the wider country and the need to work towards genuine sisterhood/brotherhood especially with the poor and those on the margins.

We committed to move out of our comfort zones; to study the documents of the Church and share it with others; to listen and respond to people with compassion and justice; to uphold the dignity of women; to network with other congregations, like -minded people and organizations and to make a shift from institution-centered to people centered activities.

Sensing the need for a united voice of Christian women in the Church and society, to take up issues of justice and human rights of women, build sisterhood and solidarity, be a voice for Christian women the poor and the marginalized at the national level, the Indian Christian Women’s Movement was launched.

Streevani has been organising national and regional level seminars, workshops and consultations for women in development sector. Relevant issues are taken up through women lawyers forum and other likeminded groups. It also networks with organisations like CRI, IWTF, CBCI women's commission and forum of religious for justice and peace.

Objectives

As a dynamic movement, we are committed to the following objectives:

  • Be an advocacy group that can speak out with one united voice against violence, for the protection of the rights and dignity of women in civil and ecclesial structures.
  • Initiate campaigns of resistance against policies and power games that lead to the diminishment, humiliation and even death for women.
  • Promote capacity-building for women’s social, cultural, political and ecclesial leadership and facilitate the mainstreaming of women’s knowledge and knowledge building.
  • Partner with existing Christian women’s organizations in order to create a joint perspective on gender justice and feminist theologizing, strategies for ecological restoration and social transformation.
  • Support justice issues of dalits, tribals and other subaltern, marginalized groups, even to the point to providing emergency services in terms of ideas, referrals, protests, solutions, finance, legal helps, shelter, etc. in times of need.
  • Establish a bridge between women’s organizations and Church organizations as well as interfaith initiatives that address women’s concerns.
Area of Focus
  • Women in the Church
Action Plan
  • Organise national and regional programmes, seminars, consultations on various issues
  • Create forums of religious women
  • Sustain Religious lawyers forum