IAWN Contact:Mugisa ISINGOMA
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a vast country of 60 million people, divided into 11 provinces: Bandunu, Bas Congo, Equateur, Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Katanga, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu, and Orientale. There is a parliament, with a National Assembly and Senate, for the voice of the people to be heard, but there are few women.
The Anglican Province of Congo has eight dioceses, spread across the middle of the African continent with eight bishops and one suffragan bishop. The Province has 500,000 Christians according to the statistics from the Provincial Secretary. The Province includes some parishes in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).
Ordination of women
After one hundred years, we have five ordained women and 11 women evangelists.
Women's issues and concerns
The issues and concerns of church women in the war-torn society of Congo are many. Women work for peace and reconciliation, and provide programmes to help women in the face of many hardships. Some of their specific concerns include the need to:
What we're doing - programmes, events and reports
Following the 52nd UN Commission on the Status of Women, which Mugisa Isingoma (Provincial Link) attended, the women of the Diocese of Boga have organized a number of activities with women:
All these activities were done with the help of transportation with the diocesan vehicle of Bishop Isingoma Henri when he went for confirmation in those Archdeaconries.
The United Women for Peace and Social Promotion (UFPPS) is an ecumenical organisation founded by women during a women's assembly which took place on 23 April 2003, with women from seven dioceses of the Anglican Church as well as women form other churches in the dioceses of Katanga, under the authority of Bishop Isingoma Henri, the Diocesan Bishop of Boga.
The aims of the UFPPS are to promote and value the social life of women without any distinction through evangelism and development and to be messengers of peace. The situation of war, violence and death has left people in Ituri with a culture of hatred and vengeance. Women, in particular, suffer under this. There is a high number of widows, women and girls who have been raped and who do not have access to health care. The UFPPS is working hard to fulfil its fourth objective which is to promote women as messengers of peace and to empower them through social well-being through development, to initiate knowledge and survival. In Ituri alone, in 2006-7, there were 2600 women and girls with HIV/AIDS and girls and unmarried women have no education. The organisation trains them in handicrafts, agriculture and small business to empower them to be self-sufficient.
The UFPPS also provides training on peace and reconciliation, conflict resolution, and promoting no violence against women, etc. Because of the tribal conflicts, the organisation would like to promote a society in which non-violence, forgiveness, reconciliation, welcoming and compassion build social harmony and help life to become open and free.
The Mothers' Union, an organisation which promotes Christian family life throughout the world, is active in all the dioceses.
Mugisa Isingoma, Provincial Link to IAWN, is also President of the Mothers' Union for the Diocese of Boga, and Moderator of United Women for Peace and Social Promotion.