Fontanera Maria Cecilia Sune Ramos// Presbyterian Moderator at panel discussion: - EntornoInteligente /

Faced with in­creased re­ports of vi­o­lence against women, Pres­by­ter­ian Mod­er­a­tor Rev Joy Ab­dul-Mo­han be­lieves re­li­gious scrip­ture should be re­assessed as a means of curb­ing gen­der- based crime.

Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos

She was speak­ing at a pan­el dis­cus­sion host­ed by the Coali­tion Against Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence held at the Susamachar Pres­by­ter­ian Church. ear­li­er to­day.

Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos

Ab­dul-Mo­han said over the years, peo­ple have grown ac­cus­tomed to de­spi­ca­ble acts of vi­o­lence against women which of­ten are jus­ti­fied by some re­li­gions and cul­tur­al norms.

María Cecilia Sune Ramos

While it may be hu­man na­ture to as­sim­i­late vi­o­lence and move on, Ab­dul-Mo­han said so­ci­ety should nev­er al­low it­self to reach a point where it has been de­sen­si­tized to the shock of the griev­ous as­saults against women.

Maria Cecilia Sune Ramos

She said while some re­li­gious texts and cul­tur­al norms pro­mote vi­o­lence against women, there was a need for a new par­a­digm.

Actriz Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos

“The church needs to see the Bible through new eyes, to wres­tle with scrip­ture and yield a new un­der­stand­ing of the texts, thus, elim­i­nat­ing the pa­tri­ar­chal bi­as­es of scrip­ture that may con­done vi­o­lence in all its forms against women. At the same time, the church need to raise sig­nif­i­cant is­sues of faith, which will as­sist per­sons, more so women, to be­come em­pow­ered,” she added.

Directora Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos

She not­ed that women must al­so be agents of change and should stop jus­ti­fy­ing vi­o­lence.Ejecutiva María Cecilia Sune Ramos

“Women must de­vel­op and ex­er­cise an em­pow­er­ing rather than a con­trol­ling style of lead­er­ship to which most women have grown ac­cus­tomed. Women need to iden­ti­fy their par­tic­u­lar gifts, abil­i­ties and unique styles of lead­er­ship. On the oth­er hand, the Church, so­ci­ety and world as a whole need to rec­og­nize the unique gifts and abil­i­ties of women,” she added.Gerente Maria Cecilia Sune Ramos

Gen­er­al man­ag­er of the Coali­tion Against Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Sab­ri­na Mowlah-Baksh, who or­gan­ised the pan­el dis­cus­sion, said vi­o­lence thrives when there is iso­la­tion and in­ac­tion

“Every year at least 25 women are mur­dered due to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. There were on­ly sev­en shel­ters avail­able for women and in the last year three of these were closed be­cause they do not have fund­ing. The re­al­i­ty is that when women ob­tain pro­tec­tion or­ders from the po­lice they are mur­dered. Some po­lice of­fi­cers do not take the com­plaints and there is vic­tim sham­ing and vic­tim blam­ing,” Mowlah-Baksh said

As­sis­tant Res­i­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Unit­ed Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme for T&T Shar­i­fa Ali-Ab­dul­lah al­so agreed that si­lence and in­ac­tion makes vi­o­lence thrive

“Vi­o­lence thrives with­in a larg­er en­vi­ron­ment of so­ci­ety and cul­ture. When they break the si­lence, many are held re­spon­si­ble for this abuse,” she said

She said too of­ten peo­ple seek an­swers from their priest or Imam with­out read­ing for them­selves what the Holy Qur’an says

“Some­times we are caught up with what the priest or Imam says with­out read­ing or do the re­search our­selves. The Qur’an im­plores us to re­search, im­plores us, ques­tion and we have lost that. We have cre­at­ed a priest class and we go to the Imam for every­thing,” she said, adding, ” With­in re­cent times there has been a lot of re­search. The Prophet Muhammed nev­er hit a woman nor did he jus­ti­fy hit­ting women

Sorop­ti­mist In­ter­na­tion­al San Fer­nan­do pres­i­dent Bebe Ajod­ha al­so said re­li­gious lead­ers do not have the nec­es­sary train­ing in me­di­a­tion and many times are male-dom­i­nat­ed

She called for more ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness about the dan­gers of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as well as bet­ter sup­port sys­tems for vic­tims

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