The Pan-African Christian Women Alliance (PACWA) hosted a capacity-building webinar on July 29-30, 2020. Experts and partners contributed to the event, themed around “Holistic Empowerment of Women in the Church.” Over 50 women and men from 17 countries participated in sessions held in both English and French. It was the first of three monthly sessions.
The sessions highlighted what is already being practiced and offered suggestions to revisit the topic of female leadership in the church today from a refreshed biblical perspective. They aimed to help women realize their strategic role and step into leadership, building themselves and other women. It was designed to equip and encourage them to take up responsibilities in all spheres of life for holistic ministry, while also promoting a healthy balance in multiple roles. The presence of both men and women among the speakers and participants highlighted the necessity for men and women to collaborate to make this happen:
Amanda Jackson, the Women’s Commission Director of WEA, tackled the controversial topic of female leadership in the church today, encouraging women with past examples in the church’s trajectory. She was encouraged that the General Secretary took part and shared that there are plans for a similar event with Asian women.
Martin Kapenda, Coordinator Micah Global, created awareness about gender-based violence and human trafficking in his presentation. The church was called to act in response to challenges women and girls face so they can contribute significantly.
An international advocacy officer from Faith to Action, Vitalis Mukheby, shared about “Church and Gender Justice: State of the African Woman Campaign (SOAWC)”. He had a “fabulous time” and called the participants “great champions”, thanking them for joining.
PACWA’s Executive Secretary, Fortuna N. Tioye, shared how to develop an organization and representation using a holistic Biblical approach.
PACWA members were excited about the sessions. Pastor Sylvia Musasiwa, Interim Chairperson for the National EFZ (PACWA), said, “it was good for this season and how we should do theology as Africans. Thanks for the well-organized two-day seminar. Looking forward to the other one coming.” It was “rich and good,” agreed Ms. Diawara Mariama of PACWA Guinea Conakry.
Ms. Victoria Ferguson of PACWA Liberia was eager to share the “educational” training with others, asking for training materials to conduct similar trainings with others. Ms. Ghada Balm, Women’s Leader MiddleEast also asked for a recording and prayed that “God will cause the seeds planted to grow into full maturity and bear much fruit for Him.”
Partnerships forged were also exciting. For instance, Ms. Ela Gandhi, Member of Parliament South Africa and Member Religions for Peace, said, “Thank you, Sister Fortuna… I deeply appreciate your warmth and acceptance of my presence. God bless you and I wish you all the best in your valuable work.”
Please pray with PACWA in the upcoming sessions to create a coordinated continental voice. The desire is for fruitful collaboration and mutual support with the National Evangelical Fellowships to strengthen the Alliance and enhance its visibility on the continent. Pray along with Women’s Leader, Ms. Nabila Louis from Egypt, who praised God for the great success of the program, then said, “May the Lord bless you and your team and give you wisdom and power to keep up the good fight.”