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CSW63 Reflection by Rev. Veronica Mwakasungura

Rev. Veronica Mwakasungura/Photography by Kaleb Sutherland

Strengthened by God working for justice.

This year was the first time in New York and to attend the United Nations gathering on the Commission on the status of women and girls CSW63. Thousand of women and men gathered from different parts of the world to came together for the purpose of raising the issues that we face when it comes to the status of women and girls in their communities and the world.

I was overwhelmed by the thought of how many great people in the world have walked through those door aiming towards justice and rights for the people in the world, and the fact that I get to be one of them while bringing awareness to women and girls rights is a dream come true.

Not fighting alone!!!!!

This was considered as the time to learn from one another and make connections with different people. The rooms filled with people from different levels and statuses, were the goal was to proclaim widely the works done to raise the status of women and girls and the fact that this fight is still going on.

The gathering for CSW63 this year has left me thinking I am not the only one who is fighting for women and girls rights. Seeing the people who gathered from different parts of the world and the fact that all of us were singing the same song it brought joy in my heart that there are others out there which means there will be winning the battle against violence for women and girls which also means there will be no one left behind.

So many skills were being pass around through this event and the schedule.I was able to attend the parallel events and be a part of those who want to learn from others, what are others doing and what can I take back home that would be useful and applicable in our setting. I learned a lot in many ways to equip a girl and move them off the streets where they are in danger of perishing with HIV/AIDS, skills and trainings to give to the young mothers and widows who need ways to sustain their lives and their families.

The church as a faith based organization, what are we doing to raise the status of women and girls in our societies? Being at the CSW63 together with the ecumenical women brought a wide range of testimonies on the works done by the church to raise the status of women and girls. We began from the change on how we read the Bible which can absolutely be used as a tool of oppression to women and moving to ways of supporting and raising the economic standards of living of the people. In Rwanda the church has played a bigger role in raising education opportunities for the girls, sustainable development plans for women and men in our communities and capacity building to the women and widows who are the victims of any crisis in our communities.

I had an opportunity to put these comparisons along side the government of Rwanda’s delegation where we found ourselves agreeing that in-order for this campaign to bear fruits the church and the government need to support one another. The Lutheran Church of Rwanda works side by side with the government in raising and acknowledging the status of women and girls in our country, and we seem to be moving forward.

As a faith leader I strive to see the rural women and girls in Rwanda get opportunities to develop and thrive on the skills they have. I want to see girls get education and chances to go to school and raise to be leaders of great nations. I want to use the teaching of the Bible to strengthen their faith towards God and examples of women listed in the Bible who lead.

There is nothing a woman and a girl cannot do when they are equipped and my mission is to make sure that no girl and no woman in Rwanda is left behind. The Lutheran Church of Rwanda is working on educating and creating women leaders and raising the status of women and girls in our communities.”

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