Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Friday, October 2, 2015

C4RH holds interfaith dialogue on gender, sexuality and spirituality in Albay

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct 2 (PIA) – The Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH), a non-government organization, conducted an interfaith dialogue with representatives from religious organizations, government agencies, civic organizations and stakeholders in Albay on September 28-30 aimed at finding common grounds in upholding equality and life with dignity.

The interfaith dialogue held at the La Roca Veranda Suites here started with a forum highlighting the teachings and traditions of various religions on equality and human dignity particularly on the perspective of Christians, Muslim and nationalist church represented by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI).

Atty. Jihan Jacob from the Center for Reproductive Health Rights discussed the national gender and RH situation together with Rev. Erahvilla Maga-Cabillas, a women priest from the IFI, and Prof. Macrina Morados of the University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies.

The two-day workshop focused on inter-faith leadership development on gender, sexuality and spirituality which aims to provide the participants with some tools of analysis and leadership to critically analyze and address the gender and sexuality concerns from faith-based perspective.

“It is hoped that this workshop would encourage the participants to join in the collaborative initiatives that would uplift the condition of and empower the members of respective communities and the entire society, “C4RH board member Anna P. Ebo said.

During the workshop, the participants leveled off on the understanding of gender and sexuality and the role of religion in forming perceptions around these concepts.

Implications of gender-based biases and discrimination on people’s health and lives were likewise discussed.

Prof. Morados facilitated the activity in identifying common grounds for collaboration among faith-based groups to move the dialogue into action and further advocacy related to gender, sexuality and reproductive health.

Morados cited the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as one example of inter-faith dialogue aimed at promoting peace in Mindanao which will help in uplifting poverty and will mainstream the services and programs of the government to benefit the community especially the women and children.

She also noted that all religion are good and advocates love and peace but it is the person adhering to these religions that distorts its image citing the extremist Muslim groups that propagates fear and violence.

“All religions are good. It’s the persons adhering to these religions distorting the values imparted such as love and peace, which are universal values common in all religion. Don’t judge the religion by its believer,” she said.

 Board member Ebo tackled” leadership in an interfaith setting envisioning collaboration for the common good and committing to act for equality, dignity and development.

She cited the qualities of a good leader noting the need to be flexible and open minded in understanding differences in perspectives along with various leadership approach that can be adopted in their organizations.

Other topics discussed during the workshop are approaches in recreating just relationships, women and gender concerns in the church and updates on the status of the RH law implementation in the country.

 C4RH is a non-government organization advocating RH rights and supporting fellow Filipino Catholics in understanding, appreciating and promoting RH as a right. Moreover it is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church and is not among its affiliated organizations.(MAL/SAA-PIA5 Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571443772965/c4rh-holds-interfaith-dialogue-on-gender-sexuality-and-spirituality-in-albay#sthash.Jf2uuver.dpuf

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