Womens Commission
 
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Untitled Document

Bp. Joseph Karikkassery
Chairman

Bp. Mar Sebastian Adayanthrath
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Bp. Joshua Mar Ignathios
--Select--

Rev. Fr. Wilson Koonan
Director

Ms. Delcy Luckachan
Secretary

Dr. Giby Geevarughese
Joint Secretary

Rev. Sr. Jose Maria CSST
Joint Secretary


DEPARTMENT OFFICE BEARERS
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WOMENS COMMISSION

KCBC women’s commission was formed with an aim to inspire, animate and create awareness among all women for their empowerment and growth by giving emphasis on spirituality and women’s life experiences. Ever since its inception during 2000 the commission has been working for the empowerment and spiritual growth of women in the church.

KCBC Women’s commission has been organizing and coordinating its activities through the combined effort of diocesan secretaries, directors and with the valuable guidance and support from the Chairmen Bishops. His Lordship Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapilly was the First Chairman of the Commission. At present His Lordship Bishop Mar Mathew Anikkuzhikkattil is the Commission Chairman and His Lordship Major Abp.Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholics and Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Varghese Chakkalakal are the Vice-chairmen of the Commission. Ms.Beena Sebastian is the Executive Secretary of the Commission.

Women’s Commission provides a platform for women to get together to share their joy and to interact and deliberate on issues and problems concerning them. This has also provides opportunity to find out innovative ways and means for a positive change. Above all the gathering helps women to get inspiration to make a change within and to grow spiritually emotionally and socially. The women’s Commission encourage women to form solidarity and support with groups like Domestic workers, widows, divorced and separated women, single women, battered wives, wives of alcoholics, teenage groups etc. Women’s Commission by its timely support empowers women through various publications and programs to address their issues collectively.

Womens Commission Meeting

Womens Commission Meeting held on 23rd february 2017 at 10:00am

   

Historical Background

The Women’s Desk of the CBCI was established at the CBCI Conference held at Pune, on January 1992.

At the CBCI meeting of February 1996, the women’s desk was formally promoted to the status of the commission.

As a first step, a desk for women was started under the CBCI laity commission with Sr.Cleopatra CMC as the secretary, Bishop Basco Penha as the chairman, Bishop M.C Soosai Pakim [Trivandrum] and Bishop Vijay Anand Nedumpuram [Chandrapur] as the member bishops of the commission. This body represents the concerns of all women’s initiative. It aims at the empowerment of women irrespective of cast or creed. To this end women’s desk was set up at regional and Diocesan level all over the country. First Regional Conference of the KCBC women’s Desk was organized in July 1994.In the conference, the Diocesan secretaries from various Dioceses were selected.

The second Regional conference of the KCBC Women’s Desk was held at Chaithanya pastoral Centre, Kottayam on January 1996.

The Third Regional Conference of KCBC Women’s desk was held at the Pastoral orientation Centre, Ernakulam from 20th – 23rd August 2000 with the theme “Jesus liberates women and gives us fullness of life and exploring women’s God experience”.

At the end of the meeting a memorandum was prepared and was given to the KCBC conference held at St.Thomas mount on September 1, 2000 where the following matters were discussed and decided.

“In view of the co-ordination of women folk of Kerala in the church level, Mrs.Beena Sebastian regional secretary, CBCI Commission for women placed a request for the formation of the commission at KCBC level. Considering the discussion on the matter, the family Commission headed by His Excellency mar Paul Chittilapilly was entrusted with further study and proposals for its organizational structure and existence.”

Accordingly, His Excellency Mar Paul Chittilapilly discussed about the future structure of the commission with the core team members and asked Mrs.Beena Sebastian to contact the directors of the Family Apostolate to get the name of the women’s commission secretaries from each diocese. The meeting of the Directors together with women’s representatives met on November 11, 2000.The meeting held on November11, 2000 felt solidarity with the request of women representatives to have their section independent from the Family Apostolate.

The meeting held on November 28,2000 at 2pm at POC chaired by His Excellency Bishop Mar Paul chittilapilly.Fr.Geo Payyappilly,Secretary of Family Apostolate and Laity Commission, Mrs.Beena Sebastian Regional secretary KCBC women’s commission and diocesan secretaries from 13 dioceses were present at the meeting. Some of the decisions taken at the meeting were:

  • Women representatives desire to have a KCBC commission for women.

  • The secretary of women’s commission under CBCI for the regional level is elected as the secretary of the proposed commission subject to the approval of KCBC.

  • The representatives of women from each Diocese together with the Episcopal Commission member will constitute the General body of this commission.

  • The Diocesan representative shall be the secretary under the diocesan director whom the local Bishop will designate.

  • The Dioceses were grouped into five Zones-Trivandrum, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Trichur and Malabar covering all the dioceses .These five members together with representatives of CRI, CCWI and of CARITAS will be the core members together with the secretary of the commission.

  • The financial support from KCBC

The above decision of the meeting was presented by His Excellency Bishop Mar Paul Chittilapilly in the KCBC meeting held on December 5-6, 2000.The KCBC made the following decisions:

  • The Commission for family is renamed as KCBC Commission for Family, laity and women. This section shall function independently under the same Episcopal Commission.

  • The proposed structure for the commission and the election are approved .Later they can make their own statutes and regulations, which can be submitted for the approval of KCBC.

  • The financial assistance has to be sought within the association itself.

 

BYLAW OF KCBC WOMEN'S COMMISSION

NAME OF THE ORGANISATION : KCBC WOMEN’S COMMISSION

ADDRESS OF THE ORGANISATION : PASTORAL ORIENTATION CENTRE, PALARIVATTOM,

KOCHI-682025, TEL:91 484 2805722

AREA OF JURISDICTION : STATE OF KERALA

PREAMBLE

The discrimination against women and children seems to be embedded in the structure of the society. Violence against women sometimes starts from the very moment of the conception of the Girl Child and is experienced by them at all stages of their life.

His Holiness The Pope John Paul II appealed to the Ecclesial Communities, States and International Institutions:

  • To make every effort to ensure that the women regain full respect for their dignity and role.

  • To make effective and intelligent campaign for the promotion of welfare of women.

  • To examine the past with courage and to work in a convincing manner so that the widest possible space be opened to women in society, economy, politics and in the life of the Church.

In this context the KCBC has given its consent to have a Women’s Commission in the Kerala Region according to the request of the CBCI Women’s Commission. The Women’s Commission is not an Organization, but is a Commission to inspire, animate and create awareness among all women in the Diocese for women’s empowerment and growth. If there are Catholic women’s organizations existing in the Diocese,the Secretary of the Women’s Commission can take initiatives to form a group in such dioceses.The Women’s Commission should encourage women to form solidarity and support with groups like domestic workers,widows,divorced and separated women,single women,battered wives,wives of alcoholics,teenage groups etc.

SCOPE AND PURPOSE

  • To network all women’s organization at the diocesan level.

  • To give platform for all diocesan women to come together to exchange their enriching experiences.

  • To deepen among women a sense of their dignity as human beings created in the image and likeness of God.

  • To stimulate reflection in the Church on its mission to form a discipleship of equals.

  • To work for gender justice in the wider community.

  • To develop and articulate spirituality based on women’s life experiences.

SPECIFIC AIMS

I. Spiritual and Theological Formation

  • To provide and support opportunities for women’s spiritual and theological formation with particular reference to feminine spirituality and theology.

  • To create a space for spirituality based on women’s experience of God.

II. Research and Documentation

  • To research and document the social reality of women.

  • To compile information regarding existing for women.

  • To prepare a directory of resource persons working for the empowerment of women

III Witness to Gospel Value

  • To create an awareness of religious, cultural, political and economic structures that oppress women at home, at work, in society and in the church.

  • To conscientize women and men about the part they play in the perpetuation of oppressive structures and the need to work collectively to transform such systems

  • To promote the establishment of social structures and that support women in their multiple responsibilities as homemakers, care givers and wage earners.

  • To identify and empower groups of marginalized and exploited women.

  • To fight all forms of violence against women and provide supporyt and healing to victims of such violence.

  • To network with women and human rights groups that work for the empowerment of women.

  • To build up and give visibility to independent group initiatives that work for the empowerment of women.

  • To work for gender justice according to civil and canon law.

  • To mobilize public opinion with regard to the image of women in the media.

  • To promote women’s participation and leadership in political and civil affairs.

IV. Marriage and Family

  • To promote wife-husband relationship based on mutual respect, shared parenthood and equal partnership, particularly in decision –making, family finance and domestic work

  • To promote and ensure the right of the girl child including her rights to family inheritance.

  • To encourage among members of the family, mutual respect and shared responsibility at home.

  • To fight against social, cultural and religious practices that undermines the dignity of women.E.g.: abortion, dowry, wife beating, evils of the caste system etc.

V. Education

  • To promote education of women especially those of the lower income groups, by formal and non formal methods

  • To encourage girls to widen their career/job choices from the narrow range they currently pursue upholding the dignity and the role of the mother in the family.

  • To promote the economic independence and stability of women by helping them acquire new skills, upgrading old skills and supporting apprenticeship schemes for women, particularly in quality, non-traditional occupations.

  • To provide training for women in decision making and problem solving skills.

  • To promote through school and college education, the equal dignity and mutual responsibilities of women and men with a view to challenging structures, customs and attitudes that oppress women.

  • To educate women, especially the more disadvantaged, about their constitutional and legal rights.

VI. Participation in the church activities

  • To work for women’s rights to participate in the administrative and pastoral life

  • To ensure proper participation of women in the decision-making bodies in the parish /diocese.

WORKING OF THE KCBC WOMEN'S COMMISSION

Structure

General Body

The General body of the Commission comprises of the chairman, Member Bishops, Executive Secretary of the KCBC Commission for women, the Diocesan Secretaries and a representative of CRI. They help in making policy decisions, initiate programs and activities in keeping with specific aims of the commission. the General body meets once in year.

Chairman and Vice Chairmen

The chairman shall preside over the General Body and the Executive Committee. In the absence of the chairman ,the Vice-Chairman who is present shall preside over the meetings.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of the Episcopal Commission together with the Executive Secretary, treasurer, five zonal Secretaries and the representatives of CRI. The Executive Committee meets twice in a year.

The Executive Committee keeps in constant touch with the dioceses through Diocesan Committees to follow up the activities.

Zonal Secretaries

Dioceses are grouped into 5 zones- Ernakulam, Kottayam, Malabar, Trichur, and Trivandrum

1. Ernakulam Zone – Alleppey,Ernakulam-Angamaly,Cochin, Kothamangalam and Verapoly

2. Kottayam Zone – Chanhanassery, Kanjirapally, Kottayam, Palai, Thiruvalla and Vijayapuram

3. Malabar Zone – Bathery,Calicut,kannur,manathavady,Tellicherry and Thamarassery

4. Trichur Zone – Irinjalakuda,Kottapuram,Palaghat and Trichur.

5. Trivandrum Zone – Quilon,Neyyattinkara,Punnalur,TrivandrumAD and Trivandrum

 

The General Body elects Zonal Secretaries.

Executive Secretary

The KCBC women’s Commission’s Executive secretary [appointed by the KCBC] will be representing the Kerala Region as the secretary to the CBCI Women’s Commission. She will be the link between the CBCI Commission for women and the KCBC Commission for women.

Nomination and terms of voluntary service of Executive Secretary:

The Chairman of the KCBC Commission in consultation with the members shall nominate the Executive Secretary for the period of three years which can be renewed for two more terms.

Functions of the Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary work in close collaboration and under the guidance of the chairman and member bishops of the Commission. The Executive Secretary will be an animator and organizer through whom the KCBC commission for women will realize its vision, aims and objectives at the Diocese, parish and ultimately at the grass root level. She is expected

  • To animate women at the diocesan and parish level in keeping with the specific aims and objectives of the commission.

  • To follow up the decisions taken by the Executive Committee.

  • To report to the Executive Committee

  • To encourage to set up women’s commission team in the dioceses.

Functions of the Diocesan Secretary 

The Diocesan Secretary must work in close collaboration with and under the guidance of the local Bishop and is expected.

  • To animate women at the parish level in keeping with the specific aims and objectives of the Commission.

  • To follow the directives sent by the KCBC Chairman or the KCBC Women’s Commission Executive Secretary.

  • To report to the Executive Secretary at regular intervals.

  • To set up women’s parish level committee in the Diocese.

  • To network with other women’s organizations who are Catholic, Christian, Secular or of other faiths having similar vision.

  • To conduct awareness Programmes in Parish/ Forane, for youth, women’s groups, schools, colleges etc.

  • To make resource persons available to conduct workshops, seminars and lectures in the diocesan/ parish levels.

The Parish Women’s Commission 

The Parish Women’s Commission could consist of the Parish Priest and a minimum of 3 or more women. They should be helped to develop a women’s perspective to become familiar with women’s issues through leadership seminars and training programmes at the diocesan level.

Functions:

  • To function as a Counseling and guidance group with whom, any one could get in touch for help on women’s issues.

  • To be the link between the parish and the diocesan women’s commission for communication and action.

  • To conduct awareness workshops with the parish organizations either by themselves or with the help of resource persons.

  • To be in touch with Colleges/ Schools in the parish for arranging awareness programmes.

  • To network with other women’s organizations – Christian secular or other faiths having similar visions.

  • To lobby with the National/ State women’s commissions and other Governmental departments if necessary.

  • To conduct regional seminars, conferences, workshops and other awareness and training programmes.

Premature termination of term of service 

The Executive secretary can be removed from office by the Chairman:

  • If she is found acting against the aims and objects of the commission in the devaluation of the Executive Committee,

  • If she is found guilty by a court for the malpractice which tarnishes the good name of the office,

  • If she is found propagating anti-Christian values in her activities.

Joint Secretary

The joint secretary shall be elected by the Executive Committee to work in collaboration with the Executive Secretary to carry out the work effectively for a period of three years.

Treasurer

The Executive Committee shall elect the Treasurer of the Commission for a period of three years. She shall keep the accounts properly and present the Annual Account before the Executive Committee for approval and the General Body for information.

Diocesan Committee

The Diocesan Committee consists of the Bishop, the Director, the Diocesan Secretary, representative of the CRI and a minimum of d5 women representatives who have spiritual and social concerns. (They can be President or Secretary of other Women’s or Youth groups in the Diocese). They should be helped to develop a women’s perspective to become familiar with women’s issues through leadership seminars and training programmes at the diocesan level, under the guidance of the Bishop.

Diocesan Secretary

The Diocesan Secretary shall be nominated by the Diocesan Bishop.

Finance

  • The Dioceses are expected to pay their yearly contribution of Rs.1000/- for the effective functioning of the KCBC commission for women.

  • The Dioceses are expected to meet the expenditure incurring at the diocesan women’s commission.

The Executive Committee can from time to time amend, delete or modify the provisions of this by law in accordance with changes in social mores and ideology of the Catholic Church. The amendment or modification shall come into force only when it is passed in the General Body. The amendment can be made by the General Body by a 2/3 majority, in which atleast 50% of the members are present.

The bylaw of the Women’s Commission will come into effect when it is approved by the KCBC. The amendments, if made are also subject to the approval of KCBC.

ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMISSION

  • Committee Meetings-General Body, Executive and Core committee.

  • Training and Education Programs on:

    1. Gender Sensitization

    2. Leadership

    3. Life skill education

    4. Counseling and Legal Aid 

    5. Sex Education Classes

    6. Women Peace making Programs

    7. Mediation and conflict management.

  • Organization of Seminars and campaigns on current issues.

  • Campaigns on Domestic Violence Act 2005 in Diocesan levels.

  • Celebration of International Women’s day[March 8th] and Girl Child Day[Sep 7th]

  • Women Empowerment Programs and promotion of women initiatives in different levels.

  • Organization of Regional Workshop Annually in association with CBCI

  • Networking with various women groups and organizations.

Diocesan Level Activities:

  • Counseling and Crisis Intervention Centers

  • Awareness programs for adolescent girls and women

  • Theme based activities

  • Monthly Meetings, Classes and Discussions

  • Sensitization Classes on Gender, Pro-life, Sex Education, Human Rights, Legal awareness, Life skill Education, Envirnoment , Leadership etc.

  • Celebration of International Women’s day[March 8th] and Girl Child Day[Sep 7th]

  • Empowerment and Income Generation programs: Shinkari Melam groups, Vocational Training on Painting, Tailoring, Tapping, Autoriksha driving etc

  • Organization of Seminars and campaigns on Domestic violence Act,2005.

  • Educational Supports for individuals under Poverty Line

  • Health Programs like classes on Hygiene, HIV/AIDS, Free medical Camps, distribution of equipments for Physically Challenged People, donation of Blood etc.

  • Observation of Environment day

  • Get togethers and celebrations of “Vanitha Forums under Diocesan levels with Cultural programs and competitions.

  • Formation of Vigilance Cells for dealing with Family Problems

  • Networking with other Women groups and Organizations.

1.  National Training

A National Training for Secretaries was held in Mumbai from 13th to 16th December 2014. Prof. Thara Johns (Secretary, KCBC Women’s Commission) and Ms. Rosakutty Abraham (Advisory board member, CBCI Women’s Commission) participated in the program.

2. Executive Meeting.

First executive meeting of the Commission was on 1.01.2015. Chairman Bishop Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas presided over the meeting. In the meeting the Committee took important decisions and constituted three cells for efficient working of the Commission. Questions were prepared to get feedback from the Parishes.

3. General Body Meeting

The meeting was on 11.04.2015 at POC Palarivattom. Chairman Bishop Dr.  Joseph Mar Thomas presided over the meeting. His Excellency advised the members to think serious about the forthcoming Local Self Govt. Election.

4. Mid – Year Meeting

The meeting was on 22.07.2015 at POC Palarivattom. Bishop Rt. Rev.Dr. Varghese Chakalackal inaugurated the function. National Secretary Sr. Talisha SD was the chief guest of the meeting. Secretary presented the report of the year 2014-2015 and also the interim report from 2015 January to July 2015. The accounts also were presented.

 5.  Logo Contest

CBCI council for Women conducted Logo contest. Kerala region participated in this contest and won 2nd prize.

Zonal Meetings

This year we conducted following five Zonal meetings

1.Thiruvanthapuram Zone

The Zonal meeting was conducted on 21.02.2015 at Logos Pastoral center, Neyyatinkara, Thiruvananthapuram. Arch Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakiam, Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Vincent Samuel and Bishop Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas blessed the meeting with their presence. Resource person of the programme was Dr. Iris Coileo.

2.Ernakulam Zone

The meeting was on 7.03.2015 at Murikasseri, Idukki. Women’s Day celebration was conducted along with the meeting. Bishop Mar. Mathew Anikuzhikattil presided over the function.

3.Thrissur Zone

The Zonal program was conducted at St. Raphel’s Pastoral centre at Palakkad. Bishop Mar. Jacob Mananthodathu inaugurated the function. Bishop Joseph Dr.Joseph Mar Thomas presided over the meeting.

Resource person for the programme was Dr. P.D Varghese.

4.Kottayam Zone

The Zonal meeting was conducted on 29.06.2015 at Sacred Heart Church Hall, Mylapra, Pathanamthitta. Bishop Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas and Bishop Dr. Youhanon Mar Chrisostom blessed the meeting with their presence.

Resource person for the meeting was Mgr. Jose Chamakalayil.

5.Malabar zone

The Zonal meeting was conducted on 22.08.2015 at ‘Kiros’ Pastoral centre,  Kannur. Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Alex Vadakumthala inaugurated the function. Bishop Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas gave blessing speech.

Resource person for the meeting was Dr. Jose Andrew.

 Secretaries’ Meet

The National meet was held in Navjeevan Retrewal Centre at New Delhi. Prof. Thara Johns (Secretery), Dr. Rosakutty Abraham and Ms. Jane Ancil Francis participated in the program from Kerala. Arch Bishop Most. Rev. Dr. Anil Cuoto inaugurated the meet. Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Barnabas (Chairman) CBCI council for Women presided over the function. In the meeting future plans were discussed. The News letter ‘Magnificat’ was released during the meeting. Resource person for the meeting was Sr. Adv. Mary Scaria, Ms. Jacinta Lobo, and   Sr. Inigo.

Days Observed

Girl child’s day (8th September) and International Women’s Day was observed These days were celebrated through Parishes and Dioceses

Prof. Dr. Thara Johns

Secretary, KCBC Women’s Commission

 

 
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