Women ‘donate themselves’ to help find peace in South Sudan campaigner tells UN meeting

How women are leading the way to peace and reconciliation.

[L-R] Harriet Baka Nathan & Joy Kwaje Eluzai
Photo Credit: ACNS

Originally Posted on: March 16, 2017 3:28 PM by Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS)

Related Categories on ACNS: apjn, iawn, Other News, South Sudan, Sudan, UN, UNCSW

Begin quoteKey Anglican campaigners for peace and justice in war-torn South Sudan have told a meeting at the United Nations in New York about the vital role women and the church have been playing in peace building and supporting the victims of conflict.

Harriet Baka Nathan, from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Mothers’ Union, and Joy Kwaje Eluzai, a member of the country’s national assembly, were speaking to a packed meeting at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

“Women have become an example to the community,” Harriet told them. “The church has become a role model as we wait for a bigger peace – reconciliation. The women never waited, the Mothers’ Union never waited, the Church never waited. We are donors of ourselves – when the conflict comes, we call a meeting and we give whatever we have.”

Harriet described how the conflict had devastated the country, displacing hundreds of thousands of people. The absence of people to work the land had led to widespread hunger and now there was a famine. She told the meeting how on one occasion, she had been part of a convoy taking aid to displaced people who had fled into the bush.

“God gave me courage to escort 25 tons (of aid) into a camp which was in the bush. This was very dangerous – I could have been raped or killed. But I did not have that fear at all because I was dressed with a spirit of boldness.

“She described how extreme hunger had left many women in the camp bedridden. But once a distribution centre was set up, the atmosphere began to change.

“In a short time there was smoke (around the camp) – people began to make porridge on small fires. Hope came back and then life came back.”

Harriet gave the meeting snapshots of various projects where women were working to bring peace to South Sudan.  She said they had initially been left out of negotiations but were now monitoring the implementation of peace agreements and lobbying hard for the agreements to be honoured.

In one example, she explained the vital role women had played in the diocese of Bor, the scene of some of the fiercest fighting. She had realised that bringing peace – and food – among the women would be a uniting factor.

“Because once you unite the women… where are the husbands who will not follow their wives and their children?  So as the women (from different tribes) got united – their families began to benefit and slowly these fighting men, who were not coming together, slowly they came in too.

“So the project provided food and united these fighting tribes. Now Bor is a role model for the Church. It has really created hope and it has created peace.”

Harriet also described how thousands of women had benefited from projects in literacy, numeracy and income generation and how better education had given them confidence to participate more fully in society. She said they felt inspired and economically empowered.

She thanked Christians around the world for their ongoing support.

“We are not alone with the Anglican Communion behind us,” she said. “If we were all alone, I don’t think we could make it”.Joy Kwaje Eluzai urged the audience to do more.“We are looking for shoulders to help us,” she said. “How can we reach your governments to make sure that peace is reached in South Sudan? How do we get your support and your strength to tell your governments that we are tired of the war?”

Noting that the theme of UNCSW61 is the economic empowerment of women, she said this had been eroded by the conflict in South Sudan. But she said the country had the desire, energy and the capacity to achieve the goals that had been set out by the UNCSW on the opening day.“t is only with peace that we can put the economic empowerment of women into perspective,” she said. “Economic empowerment of women benefits society. If a woman is empowered, that family is empowered…  and her children will never go uneducated.”

The meeting had to be hastily rescheduled by the Anglican Communion team at the UN after a snowstorm hit New York. The UN building was one of many in the city which was forced to stay closed because of the bad weather. Transport was also badly hit. But despite the difficulties, around 60 delegates attended the briefing by Harriet and Joy.

end-quote-black-71by52

Source: Women ‘donate themselves’ to help find peace in South Sudan campaigner tells UN meeting

Women’s Christmas 2015 – A Gift for You from Jan Richardson

Image: Wise Women Also Came © Jan L. RichardsonSpread the word about this (lesser known) feast and Jan Richardson’s gift:

Quote . . .Happy New Year and Merry (almost) Epiphany! In celebration, these three wise women are stopping by with a gift for you. You might know that some folks celebrate Epiphany (January 6) as Women’s Christmas. Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women set aside time to enjoy a break and celebrate together at the end of the holidays.

It’s become a tradition for me to create a new retreat each year that you can use on Women’s Christmas or whenever you need a space of respite and reflection. The retreat, which you can download as a PDF, offers readings, art, and blessings that invite you to listen to your life. Read Jan’s whole post (and download the retreat) here: Women’s Christmas 2015 – A Gift for You « The Painted Prayerbook.

Look again/anew at Paul

2013-1014-paul-amongWhat’s the connection between St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians and the second-century Roman novelist Apuleius’s comedy The Golden Ass? More than you might think, says classicist Sarah Ruden in her book Paul Among the People (Image). Ruden, who specializes in ancient Greek and Roman literature, became interested in the preconceptions modern readers bring to Paul’s writing when she began studying the apostle herself. –

Read the interview in US Catholic

We shared the link to the interview on our Facebook Page. Now we share it here. Read the article. Share what you think. Keep the conversation going.

Wind Chimes: 8 Mar 2013

March 8th is International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day

Here is a prayer—a prayer I am using today—for all woman on International Women’s Day. This prayer offered by the Sisters of St. Francis to you and me and all who will work for the safety and equality of women.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.

Where there is injury, pardon:

Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.

Where there is division, unity:

Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.

Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:

Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.

Where there is doubt, true faith:

We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.

Where there is despair, hope:

We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men. Transform our hears to celebrate the love and grace of all people.

And may we be blessed with the courage of St. Clare of Assisi to follow our own path of love for you and all sisters and brothers. Amen.

By Deborah Hirt, Intern at Franciscans International

What do you hear in the chimes?
As the wind blows through the chimes today it sounds like praise and hope for women. What do you hear?

Logo: 2013 International Women’s Day – The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum

Resources (print and video) for International Women’s Day past and present

Be aware. Do good. International Women’s Day 2012

March 8th is “International Women’s Day, a day of remembrance and reflection celebrated around the world since 1913,” according to Episcopal News Service.

Here are a few of the posts on our blog that have sought to increase awareness of the needs and issues of women and girls throughout our world and right in our own neighborhoods. As always, my hope and prayer is that with increased awareness of need and the whisper of the Holy Spirit, individual and collective action to meet these needs will result. Blessings on this International Women’s Day. ~dan

Episcopal Women’s Caucus and Anglican Women’s Empowerment – introduced on the Seventh Day of Christmas, this post includes links to other organizations by and for women and girls

Two Against Gender Violence – introduced in our Advent Calendar Day 14, this post links to ECS Julian’s Housing Program for Women and Children and Shelter from the Storm

Anglican Women gather in New York to consider Communion’s Advocacy Efforts – a post linked to an Anglican Communion News release in January. The post indicates how the Anglican Communion is addressing the issue of empowering women in rural settings.

charity: water – posted in our Advent Calendar, Day 24, this post raises awareness about how women and girls are adversely impacted by doing the work of obtaining water for the household (“women’s work”) and how charity: water by bringing water to a village (via wells, or filtration and storage systems) positively impacts the lives of these women and girls (Recommended: Water Changes Everything video)

______________
Image 1 from the International Women’s Day website | Image 2 from 3 inspiring french women