New Women's Network Spotlights Fight Against Trafficking, Sexual Violence, Poverty

(Photo Credit: Mustard Seed Uniting Church Ultimo)Amanda Jackson of the Micah Challenge speaks at an event in an undated file photo.

A Christian anti-poverty movement leader says that the launch of a new global network to empower women highlights ongoing work being done to speak out and take action on injustices suffered by women and girls – like trafficking, sexual violence, maternal deaths, poverty and low status.

The network, called Woman to Woman, is an initiative of the Micah Challenge, which is run by Micah Network and the World Evangelical Alliance.

Amanda Jackson, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Micah Challenge was at the network's launch this week at the House of Commons of the UK parliament.

She was joined by dozens of women and some members of parliament. MPs Dianne Abbott, Caroline Spelman and Stephen Timms were on hand to hear about the plans, according to the Micah Challenge.

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

The network seeks to encourage women "who believe in God's transforming hope" and aims to empower girls and women to be change makers to help the poor by prompting action, prayer and campaigns.

She also noted the "ironic and interesting" timing of the event, which came on the same day that the Church of England's General Synod was voting to narrowly reject allowing women bishops in the church.

"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," she added.

She also drew attention to broader concerns.

"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," she said.

The initiative is part of a broader effort by churches to encourage Christians to be committed to the poor and hold governments accountable for their pledge to free the world from extreme poverty within the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Among the endorsers of Woman to Woman are former Hillsong worship leader Darlene Zschech and Lynne Hybels.

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