Every year for a few days in August and 16 days in November-December, the Anglican Church in KZN joins many churches all over South Africa who organise marches or make statements about the need to end gender based violence. We are overwhelmed by the unacceptably high statistics and dreadful stories of unimaginable cruelty towards women and children. Some of us even preach about the need for men to respect women. But year after year, we go back to our routines, our worship and our traditional teachings- until the next calendar date when we begin the ritual objections to gender based violence again. 

Not this year. 

The Anglican Diocese of Natal has made some concrete commitments towards addressing gender based violence committed by and against its own members. The Bishop and his gender ministry team are putting in place multi-pronged plans to equip local parish churches and their leaders to address gender based violence effectively and decisively. 

These include clergy workshops on gender based violence, applying the Anglican Pastoral Standards to investigating past and current cases of clergy misconduct and instituting disciplinary processes, opening safe spaces for honest conversations about gender at congregational level, and equipping regional resource people to offer gender sensitisation training, open spaces for case reporting, and offer appropriate counselling and/or referrals for professional support. The Diocese is also embarking on an advocacy process in response to cases reported to have been mishandled by relevant state institutions. 

Bishop Dino Gabriel invites members of the media to attend a press conference, where he will explain his intentions to give practical expression to the Diocesan vision “Loving Communities”, and will make himself available to answer questions and dialogue with media representatives. 

Press Conference: 10 am, 15th August 2018 at St Aidan’s Church hall, ML Sultan Rd, Greyville, Durban. 

RSVP: Tracy Kotiah, bishopsec@dionatal.org.za; 0313089302

For further information: Daniela Gennrich, Lay Canon, Gender. danielagennrich8@gmail.com; 0845810622