The Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST) in collaboration with the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) conducted an ecumenical research dissemination workshop on December 16, 2016 at the Friendship International Hotel, Addis Ababa.
With an objective of creating a platform for dialogue, experience sharing and resource exchange between the Trinitarian faith groups on Gender and related issues four research papers organized by EGST were presented and discussed. Three research papers focusing on the place of Eve in the eyes of different cultures, marital relations in the Petrine Hustafeln: An Exegetical Analysis of 1 Peter 3:1-7 and the roles of church leaders in preventing Gender Based Violence were presented from EGST while a case study on female gentile mutilation practices in Horru Goduru, Wellega was contributed from Mekane Yesus Seminary. An interactive dialogue and plenary discussions were exercised on the topics and recommendations forwarded to continue such discourse in the future
Speaking on the occasion, Addisalem Befekadu, NCA Senior Reproductive Health Program Coordinator, said that as a mandate, NCA’s core partners are faith based organizations. She further pointed out that NCA’s intervention in reproductive health, early marriage and harmful traditional practices are mainly implemented in partnership with FBOs including research institutions and academia, which links policy with practice. “Research dissemination is one of the tools that can help to bring change on gender and reproductive health and NCA continues partnering with FBOs” she concluded.
EGST Head of Development and Communications, Addise Amado in his introduction to the workshop outlined that ecumenism and partnerships are EGST’s ideals in serving church and society in Ethiopia and beyond through teaching, research and community engagements. “Since EGST has identified gender, health and theology as one of its program concentration areas, the duty to share and disseminate research findings for stakeholders is mandatory” he emphasized.
The ecumenical research dissemination workshop was initiated by Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) based on the feedback and evaluation of the Gender Alliance Workshop launched on October 15, 2016 at EGST. It is expected to have similar dissemination workshops periodically, as it is believed to bring academicians, practitioners and policy makers in the faith setting. Some 50 Trinitarian church leaders, colleges and development practitioners participated in the workshop.
Due to the low status in Ethiopian society and the set gender norms, women and girls are highly vulnerable to gender based violence including Harmful Traditional Practices. Moreover, in most cases, they are not in a position to make a decision in relation to their Sexual and Reproductive Health. To address these issues, appropriate teaching, understanding and support is highly expected from religious leaders and development practitioners’ at all levels.
This research dissemination workshop built a bridge between religious leaders, faith-based development agencies and the researchers (experts) to see the ground situation and make an informed decision.
It was recalled that EGST in consultation with the Women Ministry Departments of its owners’ has conducted a Gender Alliance Workshop on October 15, 2016 involving representatives from 10 Denominations, 8 Theological Colleges and 5 development organizations. As part of the follow up of this workshop, a number of initiatives are undergoing including best practice and research dissemination initiatives. [EGST PR]