As we, Presbyterian Women, gathered together last night for our orientation.
I felt God's presence as I listened to stories, gave hugs, and attempted to grasp
"Gathering" but not to cut off each other's heads, but to cut off the head of evil surrounding the abuse of that some women experience around the world.
Many of the women that I met last night left behind husbands, children, family members, jobs, and school to be here at the United Nations for two weeks .They are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, neighbors and friends. They, like me, feel a call by God to bring attention to the evils that women who are battered and abused experience on a daily basis. Many women and girls who experience abuse suffer physically, sexually and psychologically. Abuse in any form should not be tolerated!!!!
But, it so easy to tell as sister, friend, neighbor or colleague to walk away when they are being abused. However, some women do not have anywhere to go to feel safe. I became acutely aware last night that a married woman in some parts of India do not have the right to stay in her home after her husband dies. IF, her son does not take her into his home.... she has to stay in the streets. Imagine, being a senior citizen subjected to living out in the streets, begging for food because you have no where to go.
I also listened to women who are working with eradicating human trafficking in the world. At my table we discussed the evils of Human Trafficking that exist around the world and in the United States. I saw this flyer and was filled with disgust:
Human Trafficking = Modern Slavery
Your smart phone....
Your cup of coffee....
The tomato on your sandwich.
All of these could come from slave labor
I listened to these issues and I listened to many, many stories of women who have been on "the battlefield" fighting for the rights of women, children and men. I was elated to find out that Presbyterians have had a visible witness in the UN community since the United Nations was chartered in 1945. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations equips and inspires Presbyterians for global discipleship following Jesus and advocates for peace and justice. And, Presbyterian Women have been leading the fight to eradicate all forms of violence, discrimination and anything that is detrimental to the progress of all people, especially women. As we continue to gather please keep us in prayer and those who experience violence daily. We must STOP ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE. I feel PEACE is a better option, don't you?