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Africa: Nairobi, Kenya, 23rd March 2003.

By the Grace of God and through the strategic planning of DMD/LWF, we the fifty one women gathered in Nairobi, Kenya on the23 March2003. We discussed, deliberated and reflected on several issues amidst our diverse ethnic and language differences in the light of the theme of the Tenth Assembly "For the Healing of the World." We have identified the following areas as wounds to be healed.

Women's Education

Lack of education and opportunities hinders women from participating in all areas of church life especially in leadership and decision making and therefore we urge the following:

* Support training of women to empower them for effective leadership in church, Government and in the community.

* The church leaders be more intentional in prompting education of the girl child.

* Empower Women's Desk to deal with practical women's issues. E.g. promote education for all persons.

* Spiritual empowerment of women to live the message of hope in word and deed, as well as develop and use skills in conflict prevention and resolution.

* LWF to equip pastors on gender analysis and to conceptualize gender issues

Women's Ordination

* While we congratulate the churches in Africa who have ordained women, we urge member churches who are still discussing and deliberating on this issue to invest in theological education and in ordaining women.

* When women are ordained, they be allowed to participate in Word and Sacrament, and be assigned to parishes and congregations.

* We are grateful for the 40% scholarship set aside for women for theological education in the LWF But the girls need to be encouraged from local churches to study so that this scholarship can be utilized.

Violence against Women

* The LWF document "Churches say 'NO' to Violence against Women" be launched in all the regions, countries and the local churches.

* We request for funding to translate the document in all major local languages within the LWF Communion.

* The church should take part in giving full support in protecting the property rights of women and on the death of a husband and ensure their children's welfare.

* We encourage churches to collaborate with Government and NGO's in giving support to violated women.

HIV/AIDS

* The issues of war and conflict, rape, sexuality, drug abuse, poverty, unemployment, ethnic differences and all their related consequences have been the cause of the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

* HIV/AIDS programs and strategies should be country specific as different countries are at different levels of awareness and challenges as far as HIV/AIDS is concerned.

* Churches should be actively involved in HIV/ AIDS Campaigns and in supporting orphans and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA's) together with Government as well as in accessing funds for antiretroviral drugs.

* That yearly workshops be held for church leadership from the highest (Bishops and ministers) down to the church members on HIV/AIDS awareness and facts to remove all stereotyping and stigmatization.

* This education should be taken to community at large as a response to the LWF Campaign against HIV/AIDS pandemic "Compassion, Conversion and Care" in a holistic way.

* Church leadership should be flexible as to cater to the different beliefs and needs as regards the serving of the Holy Communion through the cup, dipping and in small cups.

Economic Globalization and Poverty Alleviation

* Women are becoming poorer through the effects of economic globalization

* African churches should be involved in projects and programs concerning women empowerment to be able to address the environmental factors that affect women: water distribution, deforestation, forest fires and drought.

Christians and Politics

* Encourage Christians to participate in politics to make a positive influence in the Government and to prepare them for these positions.

All African Lutheran Council

* We strongly recommend the formation of the All Africa Lutheran Council so that recommendations of the communion could be effectively implemented.

Conclusion

In the time of lent we remember the redemptive suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ and turn to him asking him to strengthen us with his life-giving Faith, Hope, Love and Wisdom to work effectively towards the healing the world in and through our churches.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Tenth Assembly "For the Healing of the World
Publication:Women Magazine
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:677
Previous Article:Asia: Medan, Indonesia, March 1st, 2003.
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