Catholic Priests Urged to Empower Women

By George Mponda

Dedza, September 15, Mana: Catholic priests from Dedza Diocese have been challenged to support women by giving them more decision making powers.

Speaking during a workshop for Parish priests, Catholic Women’s Organisation (CWO) and Parish Council Chairpersons organised by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) on Monday, Diocesan Social Development Chairperson, Father Paul Kunkumbira called for greater gender equality in the church.

Kunkumbira said: “It’s a matter of fact that without women’s meaningful contribution, the church isn’t going to go very far.

“As priests we need to ensure that there is greater gender equality in the church by beginning to treat women as equals, especially at the decision-making level.”

He, therefore, called on his fellow priests to be committed to advancing women in leadership roles in the Catholic Church.

In her remarks, Sister Jacinta Chiwayula, member of the Presentation Sisters said women empowerment has been difficult because of a culture which has mostly been disrespectful of their voice.

“I think presently with interventions like these we are heading in the right direction and more women will be given the opportunity to express themselves especially in decision-making processes,” she said.

“Women are very important, they take an active role on several aspects of Mass either through singing and celebration but when it comes to decision making, they are not visible because they don’t have institutional recognition hence the need for priests and other men in the Church to empower them,” she added.

In Dedza, CCJP is currently implementing a 3 year project called ‘Meaningful participation and inclusion of Catholic Women in Church and Society Processes in Malawi’ which will end in 2021.

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