By Carol from India,

As I have mentioned  in my precious blogs, I have been participating in the training for the organizing team of the Global Ecumenical Hangout. Now I was given a chance to organize the Global Ecumenical Hangout on ZOOM together with Meenuka (who lives in India but is from Sri Lanka) and my teacher Tom, yes you read it right, my German teacher Tom on whom I wrote a blog called as Mr.X

On Thursday 21st May, the Global Ecumenical Hangout took place. The topic for this hangout was “COVID 19 and the impact on gender- our experience and realisation”. Teacher Tom was the host and was responsible for the technical part, he explained everyone about the technical part and gave a short introduction. Later on, Meenuka explained all of us that why are we here today and what are the challenges that are being faced by everyone due to COVID 19. Our concentration was the link between COVID 19 and gender, especially women.

We all had our roles and also, I was given a part where I had to explain the aspects of impact of corona on women. I would like to share with you all the aspects which I shared during the Hangout. Currently, I hear that a lot of news and I see how women are struggling in India, but not only in India. They struggle all over the world. I share these “Impacts of COVID on Women”:

  • “Economic impacts are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, and holding insecure jobs or living close to poverty. the health of women generally is adversely impacted through the reallocation of resources and priorities, including sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Unpaid care work has increased, with children out-of-school, heightened care needs of older persons and overwhelmed health services.
  • Restricted movement and social isolation measures, gender-based violence is increasing. Many women are being forced to ‘lockdown’ at home with their abusers at the same time that services to support survivors are being disrupted or made inaccessible.
  • All of these impacts are further amplified in contexts of fragility, conflict, and emergencies where social cohesion is already undermined and institutional capacity and services are limited.”

After my sharing, we all were sent into the breakout rooms – digital rooms with up to 3 people. We were 3 people in a group and each group got 20 mins. The questions on which we had to discuss were:

1) Who are you and where are you from?

2) Why is this topic interests you?

3) Share/Discuss an example of COVID19’s impact on Gender in your context.

4) What do you think is the role of the church/religious communities in narrowing the Gender gap?

I was in group with two Indians, it was a really good time as we all were Indians and somehow, I felt home after taking to them.

After the wonderful breakout session, we all were called back into the main group and Meenuka welcomed and asked everyone whether they would like to share something which they discussed in their breakout rooms with the everyone. Many people raised their blue emoji hand and shared something from their discussion. After the discussion, Tom shared his screen and played a prayer for everyone called “Bless the Lord”, I like this song a lot. After the song, Mathew from India prayed and we said the lord’s prayer together in our own languages.

After the prayer, I shared the conclusion with everyone. And after the conclusion, a Blessings was given by Joy. She was supposed to be in the team but due to some reasons she was stuck in the bus and still she managed to participate in this Hangout, this is something, which motivated me and give me goose bumps.

So, this is how our amazing Ecumenical Hangout took place. I would really recommend you all to join the team and host the future Hangouts. Trust me it’s super fun and exciting, somehow, I felt really good and was proud of myself.

Come-on organizing a Global Ecumenical Hangout where people from all over the world participate, is not a small deal, it is in itself an achievement. God bless you all and I hope you get inspired and participate and join the team.