The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has urged faith-leaders across the world to identify with the global campaign against gender-based violence (GBV). In a video message for Christian Aid, Britain’s ecumenical aid-agency which he chairs, Bishop Rowan said that faith leaders can still play a crucial role in many of the contexts where GBV is a challenge; and he urged them to “make a personal pledge to identify with” the 16-Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, which began on Saturday (25 November), International women’s Day; and concludes on 10 December – Human Rights Day.
“Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God, and his justice,” he said in the video. “Justice means that no-one is denied a voice and a place; a right to make a different to the world they live in. But in our world, women and girls are frequently denied that place and that voice: humiliated, marginalised, objects of violence and exclusion.”
He said that faith leaders can have “a transformative effect on the society they’re in.”
He called on faith leaders to “speak out in defence of the implementation of laws that protect women and girls [and] to speak out against cultural practices and habits that continue to demean and hold back women and girls.”
He said: “In our witness to the universal dignity of all God’s children, women and men alike, we shall indeed be seeking God's Kingdom, witnessing to God’s justice.”