Conference: Género Economía Violencia - day 1

It's a busy week at ISEDET. Wednesday to Friday we have Ivone Gebara giving the Carnahan Lectures. And this evening the 2nd Conference on Gender and Economics began, focusing on violence and how it relates to economic and gender inequalities.

The conference began with a presentation on the World Council of Church's Decade to Overcome Violence, and details from the World Health Organization's campaign against violence - which they see as the primary threat to global health. The World Health Organization launched the first World report on violence and health on October 3rd, 2002.

In the group discussions, I noticed two words over and over: Justice and Dignity. My tendency is to be suspicious of the church and it's record on women and our wellbeing. So it's good to be reminded that sometimes the church is the space where women find the support and encouragement to say "Enough." Several women who had experienced violent home situations recalled how Christian teaching on the dignity of every person as children of God had helped them challenge abuse. It was good to hear that the church can and does offer hope and healing. It would be even better if this was always so.

Within the description of the "good wife" in Proverbs (a text feminist biblical scholars have tussled with) it is heartening to read:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. (Proverbs 31.25)

Amen, May it be so!