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New York, May 19, 2011 -- The National Council of Churches Justice for Women Working Group has sent greetings to the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC)in Jamaica and has urged support of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).
More than 1,000 persons from 100 countries are attending the peace convocation in Kingston, Jamaica, May 17-25. The IEPC comes at the end of the Decade to Overcome Violence, an initiative of the World Council of Churches that sought to strengthen existing efforts and networks for preventing and overcoming violence, as well as inspire the creation of new ones.
The Justice for Women Working Group has called for U.S. support of IVAWA, which is intended to make ending violence against women and girls a priority in U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy.
In their message to the women IEPC participants in Jamaica, the U.S. women said, "We know there is a link between poverty and violence against women. We know that when women have access to education and employment opportunities, their families and communities have become more stable and safe. If the United States can provide leadership in supporting IVAWA, our hope is that other countries will join this effort."
The message told the peace convocation delegates, "We join with you to continue every effort to end violence against women and children in the world. There can be no peace among the peoples if there is no understanding of the inherent, God-given worth of women. There can be no peace among the peoples if there is not justice for women."
A Prayer for Peace for the Women of the World
O holy God, when we know about the pain and suffering of our sisters around the world who are beaten, trafficked, raped, abused and silenced, how can we be silent? How can we stand by the side and let this happen? Certainly, it cannot be in your name that such violence is done. You call us together as one, into community and caring for those most vulnerable.
When we pray for peace in the world, let us remember that many of our homes are not places where peace lives. Let us be the ones who create and sustain communities that provide support and safety for those who do not feel safe. Let us be the neighbors who reach out to women threatened by violence or violation. Let us be the ones who bring perpetrators into accountability.
We are all in need of your healing love and grace, O God. Help us remember that each one of us, female and male, has been created in your divine image. Help us re-member our broken bonds with each other with tenderness and love.
In the name of the Risen and ever-rising Christ, we pray. Amen.
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