KAIROS and Partners at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches

Four individuals. From left to right - Zoughbi Zoughbi of Wiam Palestinian Conflict Transformation Centre in Palestine, Reverend Paul Gehrs, Aisha Francis, KAIROS Executive Director and Jackcilia Salathiel, the National Women’s Coordinator at the South Sudan Council of Churches.

A delegation of KAIROS staff, and two representatives of the KAIROS Women of Courage: Women Peace and Security (WPS) partners from South Sudan and Palestine, are currently participating at the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Karlsruhe, Germany, from August 31 to September 8. The WCC Assembly is the highest governing body of the World Council of Churches and meets every eight years.

KAIROS is looking to share the experiences of our work with international partners on gender and ecological justice, to build networks, learn and be inspired by experiences of others. KAIROS is hosting a workshop at the Assembly on September 2 with the WPS partners, on ‘Lessons from women peacebuilders on transformation to more peaceful, just and sustainable relationships among all peoples and with Creation’. The workshop aims to create a space for sharing and deliberation on the critical contribution of women in transformative gender justice, and to facilitate opportunities for new ideas, initiatives and strategies to help address crosscutting issues including the climate crisis and gender-based violence.

The KAIROS team is comprised of Jackcilia Salathiel, National Women’s Coordinator at the South Sudan Council of Churches; Zoughbi Zoughbi, Founder and Director of Wiam Palestinian Conflict Transformation Centre in Palestine, Aisha Francis, KAIROS Executive Director and Jane Thirikwa, Global Partnerships Coordinator.

In her report at the opening plenary, the WCC moderator, Dr Agnes Abuom highlighted WCC’s shared focus with its members on justice and peace. Following the 10th WCC Assembly convened in 2013 in Busan, South Korea, a WCC team embarked on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace over the last eight years, offering insight into strengthening transformative ecumenical movement with a shared focus on the poorest and most marginalized people in many parts of the world.

Dr. Abuom gave examples of some key highlights from the pilgrimage’s visits to regions including Colombia, South Sudan, Palestine and Israel, where the team met and listened to spirited women fighting against oppressive powers who shared their courageous struggles for justice and peace.

KAIROS’ Women, Peace and Security program works with grassroots women from these regions, and the WCC’s pilgrimage report resonates with our partner’s work on cross-cutting systemic issues that include responding to the climate crisis, economic injustice, gender-based violence and the work for just peace through human rights and reconciliation, and the affirmation of human dignity.

Drawing on their resources, knowledge and experiences, KAIROS partners hope that participants at our workshop will leave with a better understanding of the critical role of local women’s organizations. We hope they will be more equipped to address these cross-cutting and intersectional issues when engaging and collaborating with Governments, international organizations, civil society, religious institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders in the  transformation from gender inequality to gender justice, and from conflict and violence to sustainable and feminist peace.

Jackcilia Selethiel, SSCC’s National Women Coordinator, shared some of SSCC work with women and her aspirations from her attendance of the WCC Assembly in this feature by WCC. Look out for more updates from the Assembly in the coming days.

Filed in: Gender Justice/Women of Courage

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