Peace & Justice

Southeast Asia Gender Justice and Social Transformation Workshop

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Last Updated (Friday, 03 August 2018 16:42)

Gender injustices are violations of human rights

APAY Southeast Asia Gender Justice and Social Transformation Workshop

 

Participants of the APAY Southeast Asia Gender Justice and Social Transformation Workshop held in Manila, Philippines last June 26-30, 2018.

 

All forms of gender injustices are violations of human rights. This statement summarizes the learning and advocacy put forward by the participants of APAY Southeast Asia Gender Justice and Social Transformation Workshop held last June 26-30 , 2018 and locally hosted by the YMCA of Manila, Philippines. The participants comprising of lay leaders and staff from the National YMCA Movements of Cambodia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand strongly believe that personal and organizational actions must be geared towards resisting all forms of oppression, exploitation and discrimination against women.

The learning process started with self-reflection activities that focused on how each person has lived with the expectations on gender roles and responsibilities reinforced by various social institutions. Understanding on these personal experiences was followed-up by input presentation on the concepts of gender and situation of women in societies. Both these sessions affirm the current state of discrimination regarded to women in the region.

Among the injustices identified during the sharing of local/national realities include child marriage, women/girl trafficking, domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence, low salary of women, sexual exploitation, poor working conditions and limited participation of women in leadership roles. These realities were amplified during the dialogue with non-government organizations such as Migrante International and Gabriela that worked with grassroots women and girls in communities within and outside Philippines. The dialogue was combined with actual community visit and testimonials from women who were victims of exploitation and other forms of discrimination.

Migrante International is an active defender of the rights and welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) by raising public awareness on their plight and providing a critical analysis of the Philippine government’s labor export policy program as the main factor responsible for the commodification of Filipino workers. Gabriela on the other hand is a grassroots-based alliance of Filipino women that aims to build a strong women’s movement that fights for the rights of women against all forms of violence, discrimination, and oppression.

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International Conference in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the “88 Declaration” of the NCCK

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 10 April 2018 15:14)

With the theme “Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope”, International Conference in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the “88 Declaration” of the NCCK was held in Seoul, South Korea on 5 – 7 March 2018. The objectives of the conference were: 1) to reflect 30 years’ foot-print of the Korean Church’s reunification movement; 2) to articulate theological vision on peaceful reunification of Korea; 3) to develop a middle-to-long term strategy and action plans for peace and reunification in Korea; 4) to strengthen the ties between the Korean Church and ecumenical partner churches/organizations; 5) to renew our commitment to the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace (PJP) initiated by the WCC, and 6) to articulate a theological vision and hope for peace-making on the national, regional and global level.

 

There were about 130 participants from different church denominations and ecumenical organizations – over 40 overseas participants and over 80 domestic participants. Mr. Nam Boo-Won, GS of APAY, was invited as part of ecumenical partners that are committed to peace-building in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. The conference program was comprised of opening worship; intergenerational talk on people’s stories living in a divided nation including the story of Dr. David Suh who had been the chief editor of the 88 Declaration three decades ago; keynote addresses from NCCK and WCC; panel presentations and group discussions; and closing worship. At the end of the conference, participants unanimously adopted a Communique of the Conference as follows:

 

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ICF National Forum in Nepal Organizes Human Rights Workshop

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The national forum members of Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) in Nepal organized a five-day human rights workshop from Dec. 15 to 19 in Pokhara. The 17 participants consisted of School of Peace (SOP) alumni and others that the national forum invited. Many of the participants work at the grassroots level and thus had numerous experiences and incidents to share with each other about human rights conditions in the country. Among the issues the group identified were bonded labor, human trafficking, child marriages and various types of discrimination based on caste, class, gender and religion. The participants explained that some of the causes behind these problems were political instability, corruption, poverty and patriarchy. This exchange of views had been preceded by an introduction to what are human rights and an outline of its historical development.

 

Based on this understanding of human rights and the country’s human rights challenges, discussions then focused on human rights from a legal perspective with presentations about the U.N. human rights system and a number of U.N. human rights covenants and conventions related to torture, the rights of women and children and civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.

 

Human rights was also examined from a moral perspective based on the teachings and values of Asia’s faiths, and the participants shared their ideas about why there is so much violence in the name of religion in the region if the values of Asia’s faiths—love, kindness and compassion, justice, peace, etc.—form the foundation of human rights norms and standards.

 

Other meaningful discussions were held about the link between corruption and human rights, the way in which some cultural practices deny people’s rights and various obstacles to respect for human rights.

 

The workshop concluded with presentations about how to respond to human rights violations, including community organizing, and a sharing of thoughts about how to foster a deeper human rights culture and nurture a stronger human rights movement in Nepal.

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