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CSW65 Orientation Opening Litany


Prior to the start of CSW65, Ecumenical Women held our orientation for our member organizations delegations. We used the following litany in our opening worship. You can watch the entire orientation session on our YouTube page - https://youtu.be/_idQnoed-gs


(Voice 1) In my hand I hold onto my sister as she flees her spouse whose anger turns violent without warning. In her hand, she holds onto our sister as she gathers with the other women in her community, plotting a path to safety out of the path of war.


(Voice 2) In her hand, she holds onto our sister as she waits in her car for the violent protestors to clear so she can go get the medical attention she needs.

In her hand, she holds onto our sister as she recovers from the genital mutilation she endured at the hands of her family members, done in their eyes to keep her pure and more chaste.

(Voice 3) In her hand, she holds onto our sibling as they wait in line hoping to receive approval for their work visa and travel documents, fearing that their disability, gender, class, race or nationality will be revealed and prevent to them from receiving access to freedom or the pathway to a better future. In their hand, they hold onto our sister as she is held in the bondage of slavery, forced to have sex with someone she did not choose, just to earn money for her enslaver.


(Voice 4) In her hand, she holds onto the hand of our sister as she is forced from school each month because of menstruation and is now considered unclean.

In her hand, she holds onto her loved one as they receive treatment for a urinary tract infection after not being able to safely access public restroom facilities due to fear of gender based violence or discrimination.


(Voice 1) In their hand, they hold onto our sister as she tucks away whatever money she makes or finds in secret places because she has no access to the family account and fears what may happen if she has an emergency. In her hand, she holds onto our sister as she stands in front of a court room and is shamed for her wardrobe, her consumption of alcohol, her location, and every life choice she has ever made. All this, so that her rapist may get off the hook for his heinous acts and not “ruin his future”.


(Voice 2) In her hand, she holds onto our sibling as they drive through the night across state lines to get to a doctor that provides the reproductive care they need.

In their hand, they hold onto our sister as she grieves the baby she lost when her partner’s abuse caused her to miscarry.


(Voice 3) In her hand, she holds onto our sibling who has been denied the ability to adopt a child by those who think that they have the right to define what it means to be a family.

In their hand, they hold onto our sister as she is shamed for her sexuality, being called both a tease and a prude within mere breaths of each other.


(Voice 4) In her hand, she holds onto our sister as she starves herself trying to feel beautiful. In her hand, she holds onto me as I shame myself for my anxiety and depression, telling myself that I am too busy for self-care or to tend to my own physical, emotional, spiritual needs.


(Voice 1) We hold onto each other.


(Voice 2) We circle this world both with our trauma but also with our love and compassion.


(Voice 3) We heal and hope together,


(Voice 4) all holding on together.

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