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23 November 2012

Micah Challenge launches a network in support of women

Micah Challenge launches a network in support of women

On Tuesday, at the same time as the General Synod was voting against women bishops, Woman to Woman was launched to empower girls and women to be part of the solution to world poverty.

900 million women and girls live on less than a pound a day, which means one out of every four women live in extreme poverty.

The launch, which took place in the House of Commons, was attended by dozens of women who want to see this changed.

Amanda Jackson, head of policy and campaigns at Micah Challenge, said: "The timing was ironic and interesting. Women bishops were being rejected but literally we were creating a new network at the same time to empower women and girls the world over.

"Whatever the formal stance on women in leadership within the UK Anglicans, the whole church needs to support the value and worth of women - all made in God's image - with dreams and hopes, talents and intelligence.”

Speakers at the launch included MPs Dianne Abbott, Stephen Timms and Caroline Spelman, the international director of Micah Challenge Joel Edwards, and Pastors Maureen Shana Zimbabwe and Abby Olufeyimi.

The Woman to Woman network is also endorsed by former Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech and Lynne Hybels.

Amanda Jackson added: "Woman to Woman is one initiative that seeks to encourage women who believe in God's transforming hope to speak out and take action against injustices suffered by women and girls - like trafficking, sexual violence, maternal deaths, poverty and low status.

"It wants to highlight the wonderful work already being done quietly by women and encourage more women to see the possibilities for advocacy.

"A deeper and bigger debate is one that is not so widely discussed - the status and security of tens of millions of women who still live in extreme poverty and have little power in their homes or in public life."

The launch was also an opportunity for women to hear about Woman to Woman’s first campaign Your Call.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the link between minerals used in mobile phones and violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and particularly violence against women.

In June 2013 Woman to Woman will be calling on people to take a phone fast as a way of showing support and promoting advocacy on behalf of the woman living in DRC.

Gender Equality is on of the Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in the year 2000, Woman to Woman hopes to encourage world leaders to remember their promises to meet these goals by 2015.