In Summary
  • By wearing black, the activists silently raise their voice against gender-based violence, a vice that knows no race, age or geographical boundaries.
  • Thursdays in Black groups are informal and self-regulating. They are free to download WCC artwork for campaign material that include flyers, badges and T-shirts.

If you walked into the production wing of Nation Centre’s third floor on any Thursday, you would be forgiven for thinking that the staff are mourning a colleague, as you are sure to encounter a group of women in black.

The senior editors and an editorial secretary have been observing the weekly ritual for well over a year, part of an informal global resistance movement, “Thursdays in Black”, which advocates against rape and gender-based violence.

It is spearheaded by the World Council of Churches (WCC), whose headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland, and which has a fellowship of 350 member churches representing more than half a billion Christians, mostly Protestants.

The women’s mode of dressing is towards obeying a clarion call for the movement: “Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. Show your respect for women who are resilient in the face of injustice and violence. Encourage others to join you,” says the message, posted on the WCC website.

It goes on: “Often, black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign, black is used as a colour of resistance and resilience.”

SUPPORTERS

Thursdays in Black groups are informal and self-regulating. They are free to download WCC artwork for campaign material that include flyers, badges, T-shirts, cloth bags and roll-up banners.

By wearing black, the activists silently raise their voice against gender-based violence, a vice that knows no race, age or geographical boundaries.

One of the adherents of this movement is Rev Lucy Waweru, director of Christian education at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) headquarters in Nairobi’s South C.

One of Rev Waweru’s ways of contributing to the movement is by sharing materials on the “silent protest” with staff. “Slowly, we are transforming the look of Thursdays,” she says.

Another woman passionate about the movement is Dr Nyambura Njoroge, the first woman to be ordained minister by the PCEA.

She is also a long-serving director of the HIV and Aids Advocacy and Initiatives by the WCC.

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