Side by Side: Launch of Faith Movement for Gender Justice
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Launch of Side by Side
- Developed out of Anglican Communion
- A gender justice organization that brings together those that have the same view of gender justice. A networking movement to collaborate. Number of large denominations joined but also trying to reach out to smaller groups.
- Male and female have equal status and opportunities
- Theological imperative for gender justice based in just relationships
- Why has situation not changed with women still not having equality?
- Political systems tend to maintain the ruling status quo- male dominant
- Needs transformation of cultural and societal norms
- Need to go beyond the issues of social justice to the attitudes
- Missing aspect of social justice in faith groups- gender justice
- Faith leaders seen as playing a key role – men and women
- 95% of faith leaders are male but the majority are progressive
- Still some abuse of women by faith leaders and members of faith congregations
- Rise of right wing theology has led to increased abuse of women by male pastors in some churches
- Incorporate gender justice practices into church constitutions so cannot be ignored
- Lots of faith leaders involved but not trickling down to ground roots
- Need to engage with ground roots
- Need diplomacy to engage conservative churches
- Need involvement of men – still some places can only talk to women if men allow.
- Side by Side developing course for engaging with congregations
- Need to influence media
- Only 24% of news stories reported involve women
- New York Times report on rape of women at college covered how it is affecting sports teams- no faith element, no victims perspective
- Looking for ways to mainstream gender justice in mainstream media
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
- Gender justice can be a social justice issue that is ignored by faith groups, including violence and abuse.
- Not only faith leaders need to be involved but all our congregations too. The theology of gender justice lies in the area of just relationships.