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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Dont Look Away - Act Against Violence on Women and Child Abuse!

Invitation: 
Break The Silence!!!  Reflect Faith in Action


All India Council of Christian Women (AICCW), Women's wing of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) invites the fellow-pilgrims of Justice and Peace to engage in 16 Days of Activism against Violence on Women and Child Abuse.

From 25 November (UN declared, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women)  to 10 December (Human Rights Day), the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

As the world commomerates these 16 days of activism, All India Council of Christian Women invites member churches of NCCI, women’s fellowships of member churches, organizations/communities, institutions to engage in advocacy to promote 365 Days of Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence.  Make it Happen Now!! - a Campaign of AICCW-NCCI, to build inclusive communities of Justice and Peace.

Click here to download the PDF.


Monday, 23 November 2015

Global Media Monitoring Project 2015 Press Release

The Commission on Communications and Relations (COCR) of National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) promotes 'Communication for all' and is sensitive to issues of Communications Rights in India. Through advocacy programs, seminars and workshops, NCCI-COCR highlights the need for gender balance, equity, democracy and communication rights in responsible journalism and media processes.

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) promotes communication as a basic human right, essential to people’s dignity and community. WACC works with all denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. WACC has corporate and personal members in 120 countries, organized in eight Regional Associations: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and Pacific. The National Council of Churches in India is an active member.

The following is the press release from WACC's Gender Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) 2015 which contains several important insights and concerns pertinent globally.



PRESS RELEASE

Progress for women in news media grinds to a halt

After 20 years, research in 114 countries reveals continued severe disparity between representation of women and men in news media

Full report available here

Progress towards equality of men and women in the news media has virtually ground to a halt according to the fifth and largest study on the portrayal and representation of women in the news media.

Extensive results of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) released 23 November show that, worldwide, women make up about 50% of the general population but only 24% of the persons heard, read about or seen in newspaper, television and radio news, exactly the same level found in the 2010 report.

Women’s relative invisibility in traditional news media has also crossed over into digital news delivery platforms. Only 26% of the people in Internet news stories and media news Tweets combined are women.

The GMMP is a project of the communications advocacy agency WACC, with support from UN Women. The first such survey of gender portrayal in news media was conducted in 1995, and at five year intervals after that. GMMP 2015 is the largest research and advocacy initiative in the world on gender equality in and through the news. UN Women has supported the survey twice consecutively.

“The media have the potential to be an enabler of faster, more substantive gender equality and women’s empowerment, or a barrier to it. This report is a wake-up call to media houses and newsrooms. Gender discrimination deprives media coverage of the balance and authority that diverse perspectives bring,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “The ways in which women are depicted in the media have a profound effect on societal attitudes and reinforce traditional gender roles. Women and girls are half of humanity. Giving equal time and weight to their stories, featuring them as positive models not victims, plays an under-appreciated part in creating a better, freer world for all of us.”

“The GMMP 2015 report examined the visibility, voice and mention of women and men in the news media and finds a sexism that has endured across decades and geographical boundaries, adapting to emerging media forms and thriving in all spaces in which news content is produced and shared,” states Dr Sarah Macharia, GMMP global coordinator.

The publication of the results of the survey point to the urgent need for an end to sexism in media by 2020.

“Many detailed findings from the 2015 GMMP paint a picture in which unequal gender power relations are entrenched and validated, and in which gender stereotypes are replicated and reinforced by the world’s news media,” says media and gender scholar Margaret Gallagher in the foreword to the report.

The Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter, WACC general secretary, stated: “News and news media are powerful forces that help shape the way people view their society and themselves, and contribute to how people act – at home, schools, work, through to the political choices they may make.”

She continued. “The fact is, the portrayal of women in day-to-day journalism does not reflect their contribution to society. We need focused commitment and efforts from media houses, regulatory agencies, training institutions and civil society to raise professional standards and truly provide leadership about what constitutes ethical freedom of expression.”

Other key findings include:

  • Overall, women remain more than twice as likely as men to be portrayed as victims as they were a decade ago, at 16 and 8 percent respectively. 
  • There is a global glass ceiling for female news reporters in newspaper bylines and newscast reports, with 37% of stories reported by women, the same as a decade ago. 
  • Women report five percent more stories online - 42% in total – than in the traditional mediums combined. 
  • News representation of women misses the full picture. Globally women hold approximately 40% of paid employment while a large proportion work in the informal sector especially in the Global South. However, according to news content, only 20% of the formal labor force are women, while 67% of the unemployed and stay-at-home parents are women. 
  • Across the six roles in which people appear in the news, the largest stride in closing the gender gap is in people interviewed based on personal experience. Women comprise 38% of personal experience testimonies now compared to 31% in 2005. 
  • News sources are often male, and skewed towards certain “types” – senior government officials and politicians dominate for all story types from ‘expert’ opinion to ‘ordinary’ person testimonies. 
  • There are distinct regional differences in the overall presence of women in the news. North America holds its position as the region with the narrowest gender media gap (36%) while the Middle East has the widest at 18%. Latin America has narrowed the gender gap most dramatically over the last 20 years, from 16% in 1995 to 29% in 2015. 
  • The near-balance of television presenters in each age category documented in 2010 has been replaced by significant overrepresentation of younger women as anchors. However, a severe underrepresentation (29%) of women in the 50-64 age bracket, and women’s complete disappearance at 65 years old has currently emerged. . 
The full report as well as highlights in English, French and Spanish and national and regional reports are available here

For more information, see www.whomakesthenews.org



- Commission on Communication and Relations, NCCI.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Paris Terror and Tragedy: Crying in solidarity! Calling for peace with justice!

There are too many of us who know what it means to have terrorism touch our lives, our loved ones, and our sense of connection with the people around us. Today, France and Lebanon are in the midst of that fog of tragedy. Even if we aren’t directly affected, we still feel some of the pain of the families of those killed and injured. And so even the National Council of Churches in India expresses our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in France, Lebanon and across the world that are mourning, suffering, experiencing rape, being rendered homeless, running and struggling for refuge, going through an excruciating sense of helplessness and hopelessness. Bold speeches are being made and solidarity statements are being uttered, such as “We all are France!” One wonders whether we would be concerned enough to declare, “We all are Afghanistan! We all are Iraq! We all are Syria! We all are Rohingyas!”

The frightening sense of vulnerability that the attack has induced is shared by every citizen and every government in the alliance of countries – European, American and Arab – part of a coalition formed to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, in Barack Obama’s words. 


Faced with such an international situation, people and their governments are concerned about security. Increased surveillance measures may be necessary. Greater official intrusiveness into the private lives of citizens through expanded data and internet access laws may come to be seen as unavoidable. But total security is an illusion.

There is also a real concern that in the days ahead, there will be those who will try to use the Parisian atrocity to divide society - already with a number of horrific tweets talking about killing all Muslims - and as an excuse to launch attacks against Muslims. Societies will lapse into polarization, recrimination and deepening division.

As the Guardian puts it, “In the end, however, more war is not the answer. If other European and Middle Eastern cities are to avoid the agony experienced by Paris, the international community must finally tackle head on the problem that lies at the heart of this rolling, expanding terrorist crisis – Syria. The anarchy inside Syria has allowed Isis, and other groups linked to al-Qaida, to seize territory and wealth. They feed on the chaos caused by the war. And yet half-baked international peace efforts have repeatedly floundered.” 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

NCCI Celebrating Disability Advocacy Sunday






Disability Advocacy Sunday Theme: Inclusive and Accessible Church

Disability Advocacy Sunday (DAS) is observed on a Sunday before Advent Sunday every year since 2011.

DAS…

  • is both celebration and challenge. 
  • is to celebrate lives and witness of the Persons with Disability (PWDs) amongst us. 
  • aims to facilitate the Churches to open their doors to become inclusive, accessible and hospitable to the PWDs to fully participate in the very Life, Mission and Ministers of the Churches. 
  • is an opportunity to raise awareness and to find solutions to the physical, architectural, communication and attitude to those with PWDs. 
  • is paves ways to the PWDs to participate and lead the worship and liturgies and read scriptures and even ministering the Words of God. 
  • is giving a chance for the Churches to review their mission agenda to address the Disability issue differently, creatively and relevantly. 

November 6, 2014 is a bench mark year in the faith journey of the NCCI - Indian Ecumenical Disability Accompaniment (IDEA).

Challenge:
No society and Church could declare that, there are no PWDs in us and among us! If any Church is found without a PWD, the DAS is a good time to examine why that is the Church open and actively seeking to make itself to open to all?