West African churches urge ministers to challenge gender-based violence
At a four-day regional conference of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa which finished on Saturday, ministers were urged not to condone or connive with the perpetrators of gender-based violence.
"The church must not cover up for wrong doings but must report cases of violence to the appropriate authorities for legal redress", the fellowship stated in a communique issued in Accra, according to the Ghana News Agency.
The conference was entitled "Using Regional Approach to Fight against Gender Based Violence and Advance a Shared Security for Women Empowerment in the Churches in West Africa," and was attended by 12 out of 13 member states.
The communiqué urged the church to avoid using gender exclusive languages in their sermons as well as limiting roles for women in decision making processes.
It also directed churches in the region to establish a counselling unit specifically on gender-based violence which would work towards reconciliation, teach issues that restored dignity and equality of human beings and used biblical values to teach members the "ills" of gender-based violence.
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