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The Korean Theologians’ Response to Just Peace

Therefore, the destruction of life is a destruction of peace and a blasphemy before God. Denying the right of life that is a gift for all creation is not only unfaithfulness to God but is also the cause of violence.

In the world today, however, we see the life of all creation being threatened with utter destruction by human greed. The livelihood of creation itself is at stake as the toll of human activities to manipulate creation for its own benefit and consumption. The human desire to manipulate God’s creation and God-given characteristics of life is a denial of life and a blasphemy against God. [read on]

A Call to Strike Against Education Budget Cut

Aquino is leading the country to roads that could all end to a deadly ravine, but “straight way”.

The Aquino government has spoken of “straight way”, rhetoric of reform and different state of affairs under his new government contrary to Arroyo government. Aquino’s predecessor, Arroyo’s regime has been characterized by grave human rights violations, corruption, and rabid servility to the US economic and political agenda.

At this early however, it can be seen that Aquino has towed the line of “neo-liberal globalization” championed by Arroyo. It is clear in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), that these central socio-economic policies of Aquino will only worsen the chronic crisis that beset the country and benefit mostly foreign interests and monopoly capital. [read on]

International Solidarity of Students & Youth
in the Struggle for Education Rights

The current capitalist crisis and the passing of the burden of the imperialist to the countries they dominate is already a fate sealed at the empire’s headquarters.

With the breakout of the financial crisis at the end of 2008, now considered as the worst crisis of the world capitalist crisis since the Great Depression, various anti-youth and anti-people policies are being schemed to be imposed by imperialist and the servile governments in the Third World in order to salvage giant monopoly-corporations and continue to amass profit. [read on]

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From Climate Justice to Ecological Justice

by Maria Theresa Conception,
League of Youth for Environment

The Millennium Ecosystem Sssessment in 2005, a four-year study led by UNEP and scientific institutions conducted by 1,300 experts all over the world from 95 countries, presented the following general findings on the situation of the global ecological systems. First, humans have changed the ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any other period in the known history of the world. [read on]

A Reflection on the socio-political, cultural, and religious
implications on women’s identity in Indonesian context

by Anna Marsiana

In order to honor women and to protect them from any disrespectful acts by men, the provinces of Aceh, Padang, Tangerang, Garut, Batang, Bulukumba came up with the regional regulations for women to be implemented in 151 districts. Some regulations are directed to control women’s body and mobility. For example, one regulation prohibits women from going out in public areas after 7PM. One also directs women on how to dress in “respectful manner” —meaning covering her whole body because women’s bodies are “aurat” (objects of sexual desires). [read on]

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Poverty, Wealth & Ecology

by Athena Peralta, Consultant, WCC Program on Poverty, Wealth and Ecology

As you need Her, She needs you. Save Our Earth. Stop Global Warming.Our world today is characterised by massive asymmetries in global and national terms. The increase in poverty for the majority and inequality can be directly (and indirectly) linked to policies associated with economic globalisation (e.g. trade & financial liberalisation, privatisation & deregulation). At the same time, however, national governments as well as global institutions such as the WTO, IMF & WB, which have shaped and continue to shape the economic environment of poor countries, have not paid enough attention to the problem. In fact, even though the discussion suggests that globalisation is a significant part of the problem, efforts of these institutions to close the gaps between poor and rich countries and between the poor and rich within countries are still very much geared towards further intensifying globalisation. [read on]

Religion and Identity in a Globalising World

by Chandra Muzaffar

Before I discuss the theme, it is important to reflect upon the concept of identity itself. In broad terms, identity is the condition of being a specified person or thing characterized by certain attributes. These attributes it is assumed would identify that person or thing with other persons or things that share similar characteristics while distinguishing that person or thing from yet other persons or things that do not share most or some of those characteristics.

Thus, a Hindu would be identified by his religious beliefs and practices which distinguish him from say a Christian who would subscribe to beliefs and undertake practices that would be different from those that characterize the former. While there may be a distinct Hindu or Christian identity manifested through beliefs and practices and perhaps buttressed by tradition and heritage, one should also acknowledge that some of these beliefs and practices may evolve over time and, in the process, transform the meaning and content of one’s identity. [read on]

Healing & Reconciliation
A Challenging Quest for Its Meaning in East Timor

by Nina Nayoan

Reconciliation and healing are quite hard for me to understand. But I believe they are very important words. I will share my struggle to understand these two words through my personal experience as a woman and as an Indonesian woman, living in East Timor (Timor Leste). In April 2007, I watched a documentary film in Buruma village, Baucau district, Timor Leste on the history of East Timor since its colonization by the Portuguese, occupation by the Japanese, then illegal occupation by the Indonesians, until its formal independence in May 2002. [read on]

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Am I My Neighbour's Keeper?
A Call to Christians for Solidarity

Don't kill Christiansby Rev. Raj Bharath Patta

For the last few weeks, there has been clash among communities either in the name of ethnicity or religion and the ideology of conflict and the concept of hatred have been reaping greater fruits in this whole saga of violence. [read on]

Youth Across Boundaries: Redefining a Culture of Peace
ASYG 2008 Keynote Speech

EASYNet in Hong Kongby Mr. Lesley G. Capus

At the onset, let me express my sincere appreciation of having been given the opportunity and blessing to be in fellowship with church youth and student leaders across Asia today. I would like to begin my address not directly on the subject matter we intend to discuss, but by sharing a bit about the concept of Sarangbang, ‘love room’ or ‘room of love’. [read on]

Economic Globalization and the Free Market
A Gender Perspective

by Dr. Agnes AbuomFIGHTING FTA

Women are, of course, a large and diverse group, and the impact of globalization on women is complex and often contradictory. While a recent study by economists at the International Center for Research on Women concludes that “women have generally benefited from improvements in the world economy, “the experts in another Symposium describe “the overall negative effects of globalization on women.” Everyone agrees, however, that “forces shaping global integration affect women differently.” For many women globalization has been a mixed blessing, and for some it has been a disaster. [read on]

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You Can’t Shoot Loving Kindness!
Moving Forward in the Maroon Revolution

Asia-Pacific People’s Partnership on Burma (APPPB)

The last two months have seen the large scale revival of a movement for change that has been simmering in Burma for nineteen years. The peaceful protest movement, started by leaders of the 88 Generation Student Group and later led by the Buddhist monks, has brought the people of Burma renewed hope for an end to the long suffering they have endured under the ruling military junta. [read on]

Impacts of Neoliberal Labor Market Reforms to Migrant Workers

by Mr. Ramon Bultron

The steady pace of neoliberal restructuring of labor markets both in the industrialized North and the underdeveloped South has created huge problems for both local and migrant workers. In the name of “flexibility”, many of the mandatory labor standards—those won by the unrelenting struggle of the working class for the past century—are being disregarded. As a result, the local workers face unprecedented attacks on their wages, job security, and democratic rights. [read on]

Basic Definitions of Sexuality

Sexuality – A Feminist Issue?

by Sunila Abeysekerain

The control of female sexuality is a critical element of patriarchy. In primitive societies, once the connection between reproduction and the male was discovered, the need to “own” and “control” the woman’s reproductive capacity as well as the fruits of her womb became an integral part of male “being.” [read on]

Achieving Gender Justice
Attendance at the United Nations 51st Commission on the Status of Women

United Nationsby Annabel Dulhunty

For the first time, the WSCF Interregional Women’s Programme sent a group of WSCF women to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations from 24 February - 9 March 2007 in New York City. I attended with WSCF representatives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. [read on]

Women’s Clinic to Support Women’s Reproductive Health

by Yasuko Ako

It was experiences in the three encounters in the early 1980s that made me think of working with women’s health problems. I was working at a union at that time and it was always one of our top priorities to gain rights regarding menstrual and maternity leave. However, our discussions only focused on issues relating to the social systems and not on women’s body or health. [read on]

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Geo-Political Situation in Asia & Pacific
Escalating the Conflict and Impact of U.S. War on Terror

by Tony WaworuntuTony Waworuntu

Indeed it is a long and winding title, which seems to be impossible to deliberate within the time frame that has been given to me. The peace and security issues in all over the world, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 has become more critical and dangerous. [read on]

Resistance to Empire and Interfaith Solidarity

by Carmencita Karagdag

In my response to Dr. Rogate Mshana's reflection on “Globalization and the Role of the Church”, I shall make no effort to differentiate economic globalization from globalization per se. My view is that the word globalization, as currently understood in both academic and business circles or among both progressive and conservative groups, invariably calls to mind essentially economic phenomena like market integration... [read on]

Rivers Run Deep
Reflections on Current Challenges to Feminism

by Susanna George

Art by Kyaw SanImagine all human innovation and desire for social justice to be a big ocean. Now see feminism as one of the bubbly streams of thought and activism that has over the past decades turned into a big river that flows ultimately into this larger body of water. Imagine many different streams from a rugged and varied landscape flowing into this river, mingling and merging as they follow the impulse to flow seaward? [read on]

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WTO, GATS and Its Impact on EDUCATION

WTO Kills Education. Students say NO to GATS.by Maude Barlow

The General Agreement on Trade in Services is one of the more than twenty trade agreements administered and enforced by the WTO. The GATS was established in 1994, at the conclusion of the "Uruguay Round" of the GATT—the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade—and was one of the trade agreements adopted for inclusion when the WTO was formed in 1995. Negotiations were to begin five years later with the view of "progressively raising the level of liberalization." [read on]

Gender Mainstreaming
Can It Work for Women’s Rights?

Gender mainstreaming is a strategy which aims to bring about gender equality and advance women’s rights by infusing gender analysis, gender-sensitive research, women’s perspectives and gender equality goals into mainstream policies, projects and institutions. Instead of having segregated activities for women, or in addition to targeted interventions to promote women’s empowerment, it brings the focus on women’s issues and gender equality into all policy development, research, advocacy, legislation, resource allocation, planning, implementation and monitoring of programs and projects. [read on]

Globalisation: Asian Women’s Experience

by Chang Hee Won

Globalisation, an ideology has become an unstoppable process that is shaping our society, economy, culture, politics and also our way of thinking. Globalisation has opened up boundaries between nations, enabled free flow of people, information, investment and trade and created networks among people, business, countries, social movements and civil society. [read on]

The Rights and Needs of Women Migrant Workers

by Mona Saroinsong

In the eyes of Indonesian law, women have the same rights to men, but in practice it shows that women are still seen, considered and treated as a compliment to men, although once Indonesia was lead by the very first woman president, Megawati Soekarno Putri. Everywhere in Indonesia, women being abused and exploited in all aspects of life, so I think it is important to make link between violence against women and their social and economic rights, because Indonesian women faced additional restrictions derived from systematic discrimination, and implicit, non-written rules imposed by society and by family members. [read on]

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Alternative Education in the Context
of a Pluralistic Society in Asia-Pacific

The Role of Student Christian Movement

by Max Ediger

As the theme of this session suggests, we will be focusing on alternative education as a means of addressing conflicts that plague our societies. To effectively discuss this theme we need to take a brief look at how we understand and define what education is. First, perhaps, we can agree on what education is not. Education is not simply about going to classrooms, listening to lectures, taking notes, reading some books and being tested. These are activities that may assist in the process of receiving education, but they do not truly constitute education. [read on]

Women’s Struggle in the Christian and Secular Women’s Movement

by Monica J. Melanchthon

In Asia, the patriarchal dictums within the church are far stronger than in the society and hence women within the Church experience many of the problems confronting women in the wider arena of society. The church is in fact far behind the State in granting privileges to women and use scriptural arguments to deny women their rightful place. Many churches today ordain women and allow women to be represented within the decision-making bodies of the church and yet the attitude of most men towards women is far from the ideal. [read on]

Ecumenical Student Ministry in the Asia-Pacific Region
Its Challenges and Mission

by Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes

To reflect on the situation of the University students is to make a pronouncement on the educational system of most universities. I was taught by SCMers and the militant student activists that the academe is but a reflection of the socio-economic and political terrain of the larger society. In most semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries like the Philippines, the school, the church and media constitute the State instrumentality for promoting its ideology. [read on]

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Peace Education in Asian Plural Context
the Context of Today’s Youth and Students

by Hope Antone

What is the context of today’s Asian youth and students? Writing about the “Ecclesia in Asia” (Boletin 2000, 13-14), Pope John Paul II listed several religious and cultural values that characterise the region of Asia. These values are love of silence and contemplation; simplicity; harmony; detachment; non-violence; spirit of hard work; discipline; frugal living; thirst for learning and philosophical enquiry; respect for life; compassion for all beings; closeness to nature; filial piety towards parents, elders and ancestors; highly developed sense of community and solidarity; a spirit of religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence. [read on]

The Living Democracy Movement
Alternatives to the Bankruptcy of Globalisation

by Vandana Shiva

Globalisation was projected as the next great leap of human evolution in a linear forward march from tribes to nations to global markets. Our identities and context were to move from the national to the global, just as in the earlier phase of state driven globalisation, it was supposed to have moved from the local to the global. [read on]

Women and War

A Reflection by Kim Sung Ran, SCM Korea

Human being’s history is filled with war. We could say that the human history is the history of war. In any war, women and children have always inevitably become the most serious victims. As we remember the cruel massacres and wars in the 20th century, stories of what happened to women during war: torture, prison camps, the Holocaust, rape as an ethnic cleansing and sexual slavery, it is again sad to know that the new millennium of the 21st century began with terror and war behind promises of peace and reconciliation for the atrocities happened in the last century. I can still clearly remember a Korean Comfort Woman, Jung Hack Soon’s testimony. [read on]

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WSCF Mission and Vision

by Glenda RocasGlenda Rocas

Today, I am asked to share on the mission vision of WSCF. What I am going to share with you is a personal reflection brought by my long and continuing journey with WSCF. It is through the Federation that I had been awakened with the importance of confronting and dealing with the women question. [read on]

Women & Men in Partnership

by Wong Yock Leng

In 1984, WSCF AP’s Regional Women’s Committee (RWC) was formed and this led to the subsequent creation of the Regional Women’s Programme (RWP) in 1985. The framework that helped to develop the RWC and RWP was based on the real experiences of the many women in Asia and the Pacific who faced and lived the multiple oppressions that patriarchy, as a system and an ideology, imposes on them. As a system, these multiple forms of oppression and discrimination appear in all shapes and shades in the homes, culture, society, economics, politics, and even religion. [read on]

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Ecology and Sustainable Development

by Ven. Sulak Sivaraksa

The environmental crisis is evident to anyone who cares to look. There is an overwhelming amount of information detailing the disastrous impact of human activities on the biosphere. Human activities are changing the global climate. Natural resources that have taken hundreds of millions of years to accumulate are being used up in a few centuries and for what purpose? Most of these resources are being used for wasteful, utterly useless ends. [read on]

Violence Against Dalits and India’s Official Stand

by Elizabeth Joy,General Secretary of SCM India

In October 2000, six Dalits near Lucknow were brutally attacked with acid by the local Thakurs (high-caste Hindus) because they failed to procure a tender for fishing rights in a nearby pond. A Dalit woman carrying an empty pot was stripped naked and beaten to death for crossing the path of two upper caste Dalit men. In Bihar, 21 Dalits were shot dead, some of them in their sleep, by the outlawed Ranbir Sena, a private militia of landlords, in January 1999. [read on]

Remembering our Stories
Appropriating the History of Regional Women’s Programme

Yong Ting Jinby Yong Ting Jin

The formation of Asia-Pacific Women’s Committee in 1984 and inception of Regional Women’s Programme [RWP] in 1985 have their deep roots and foundation dating back to a much longer history in the Federation. Our own history of women in the region albeit brief has to be appropriated within the larger history of the WSCF. The birth, growth and development of the programme have gone beyond geographical boundaries, time and space. Hence it should also be a remembering of our history within the global-historical setting of the Federation. [read on]