Christians in India oppose violence against women and girls
Members of the Franciscan Families in India have resolved to oppose violence against women and help girl children attain their full growth and potential. “We Franciscans, known for the charism of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, the followers of Christ and his Gospel, lovers of God, of humanity and of every creature, say ‘No’ to violence against women, and we are committed to helping the growth and development of girls,” says the Association of Franciscan Families of India (AFFI).
Association of Franciscan Families of India (AFFI)
It brings together all the male and female religious congregations and Indian lay associations that are inspired by Francis of Assisi, Fides reported. Fr A J Mathew, a Capuchin President of the Association of Franciscan Families of India has signed the statement, says current incidents of “terrible violence against women” in India brings pain and anguish to all Franciscans in the country.
Violence against women has reached an intolerable level in the country: one out of five girls in India suffer physical violence before the age of 15; 4.5 percent of girls between 15 and 19 years of age are forced to endure sexual intercourse; 34 percent of adolescents suffer physical violence; 92 women are raped every day in India; 91 percent of Indian women suffer sexual harassment in the course of life.
“The Franciscans, in the face of this alarming scenario, proclaim the dignity of every child and young girl in the family and in society and are committed to ensuring the literacy of children particularly in rural areas and slums, tribal groups and dalit girls” said Fr Mathew. Therefore, he appealed to all educational and charity institutes managed by the members of his association to focus on the wellbeing of girls through concrete actions.
The Indian Franciscans spread over 165 provinces contribute to the welfare of society through hundreds of schools, universities, medical institutions and social works scattered throughout the country, especially for the benefit of the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the statement said.
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