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Her Story

ALZIRA PINTO (East Timor)XOCHI MACE (Australia)CHRISTINE TSOI (Hong Kong)

by Alzira Pinto (East Timor),
Xochi Mace (Australia), and
Christine Tsoi
(Hong Kong)

Sharing of Her Stories are the stories from three young SCM women who participated in the Women Doing Theology Workshop. Christine Tsoi from Hong Kong shares her experience of identifying herself as a Christian woman behaving in a particular way as prescribed in Biblical texts and the expectation of her Church. Alzira’s from East Timor shares her life journey of growing up as a Timorese woman under the military occupation by Indonesia. Her life journey is a witness to the violence and exploitation by the military power towards innocent people in Timor Leste. [read on]

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War Does Not Make Sense!
Response of a Terrorized Widow on the Anti-Terrorism
Campaign and the Human Security Act, Philippines

by Florence (Dom-an) Macagne-Manegdeg

Florence (Dom-an) Macagne-Manegdeg	“Would anyone help me make sense of war please?” On August 7, 2007, it will be one year since and my young daughters packed a few belongings and left the comfort of our niche in the cool city of Baguio in Northern Luzon, Philippines. We traveled further away from our hometown, the mystic mountains of Sagada, Mt. Province and romantic beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. We fled to Metro Manila, a place sweltering with heat and filth, overcrowded with urban poor and a haven for infectious and contagious diseases. [read on]

Discrimination Against Women Migrants in Bangladesh

by Ms. Monika Biswas,
former SCM Bangladesh Women Coordinators
and 2nd Vice Chairperson, Bangladesh SCM

Migration is a common scenario in third world countries, including Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, women works in the garment, domestic and industrial sectors.

Nari poacher, also known as trafficking of women, has attracted tremendous amount of attention from the Bangladeshi media and civil society groups during recent years. Sources state that as many as fifty women and children are reportedly taken out of Bangladesh every day, and sold into forced prostitution, organ trade or slave labor. All this media attention has prompted the Bangladeshi authorities to enact restrictions, often an outright ban, on the international migration of women. For example, since 1976 the government of Bangladesh has barred certain categories of unskilled or semi-unskilled female workers from working overseas. This ban was relaxed in 1988 to be re-imposed in 1997. [read on]

Who Will The Church Journey With?
A letter to a friend, penned by a LGBTIQ activist from Taiwan

It was a gloomy weather on the day the Gay Pride Parade was supposed to take place*. I have been worried that this long-awaited event would be unexpectedly disrupted by the potentially bad weather. I held a silent prayer requesting for cool yet not rainy sky for such is an ideal weather to enable a comfortable march without the perspiration that would make me feeling exhausted all over.

I did go to the parade even though I was harbouring a fever for the past three days. My heart longed not only for the weather to stabilise but also my physical body to become well again so that I could finish the march along with everyone, without much trouble. How about you? What were your observations on the day’s event and the march? What are some of your reflections? [read on]

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Facing the Challenges of New Reproductive Technologies

Facing the Challenges of New Reproductive Technologiesby Kristy Evans
and Ann Elisabeth S. Samson

The realization of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, including ensuring access to appropriate reproductive technologies, has been a cornerstone in the fights for women’s human rights and freedoms. Reproductive technologies (RTs) traditionally refers to a range of devices and procedures for assisting, preventing and/or manipulating contraception, fertility and reproductive practices. [read on]

Teaching About Third World Women and Globalization

by Dr. Delia D. AguilarArt by Grace de Jesus-Sievert

Delia D. Aguilar, has been an associate professor of Women's Studies and Comparative American Cultures at Washington State University and Bowling Green State University. She is the author of Filipino Housewives Speak, The Feminist Challenge, and Toward a Nationalist Feminism, all of which were published in the Philippines. She has written numerous articles on Filipino women, feminist theory, and women and development that have appeared in Feminist Review, Women's Studies International Forum, Race & Class, and Monthly Review, among others. She now teaches women's studies courses at the University of Connecticut. [read on]

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A letter of protest to the WTO from the participants and organizers of the
Ecumenical Women's Forum on Life-Promoting Trade

EWF participants march in Hong Kong during the Action Week, December 2005December 12-14, 2005
Hong Kong

We are seventy women theologians, pastors, activists, church and ecumenical leaders, sociologists, teachers, psychologists, political economists, youth and students from various faith communities and traditions and representing 27 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, and the Pacific region. Our identity and mandate as Christians compel us to make a strong commitment to social justice. [read on]

A Faith Reflection on the Theme:
Women Reclaiming the Power of Voice and Speech

by Dr. Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar

‘Speech is silver, silence is gold’. This is a proverb that was often quoted by my teacher when I was in primary school. She would continue: A ‘good girl’ does not laugh or talk aloud, one who is seen and not heard…Silence was thus projected as a value and mark of a virtuous woman. What we need to realise is that silence is not just projected as a value and a virtue but it is a condition imposed on a woman by denying her the power of speech, by devaluing her speech, discrediting her voice even before she has spoken, restricting the validity of her speech to a specific space and time and defining what is Voice and Speech by ascribing differential authority to that voice. [read on]

The Calling – A Poem

by John C. England

Now the distant paths are beckoning and the wind blows where it will
now the Spirit sends her mystery again
and we must leave and find the headlands
where companions work and sing and hope for justice, peace,
that surely come. [read on]

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Response from a young woman to an article written
by the Vatican on the Role of Women

Human beings have their own dignity, but most of the time, the dignity of women is another story. I will share here the ordinary experiences and myself and other women in this important human issue. I hope more people will care about the dignity of women.

Although God has created me as a female, I disliked myself for being a girl when I was young, because I saw the privileges and love that my elder brother enjoyed from my family. None of us, myself and my younger sisters, could ever enjoy them. Before his death, my maternal grandfather would only take my elder brother to the restaurant. [read on]

The Bent Woman – a poem

by Malini Devananda

In walked a woman, Bent in two
Though she was forbidden To enter that space

What a curse’d woman To suffer in this manner
And how dare she enter A forbidden space

Shunned by the people For her physical handicap
Emotionally scarred For no fault of hers [read on]

Celebrating the Girl Child: Hopes and Dreams for Tomorrow

by Yong Ting Jin

The theme you have chosen for this assembly is yet again very significant for the federation and the global ecumenical community. A theme and issue that comes alive! The issue of the girl child is truly one of grave concern for all communities. It is my belief the dire situation of the girl child was instrumental in bringing about the Convention on the Rights of the Child that the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1989. The issue of the girl child was consequently highlighted and received special attention until it finally entered the agenda at the Fourth World Women Conference in Beijing 1995. [read on]

Young Women: On the Line

Summarised by Maria Ana Manalo Santiago for Women in Action

Two years since its initial attempt to bring a group of Southern feminists to an online discussion, Isis International Manila organised another such virtual meeting of six articulate young women from Indonesia, Philippines, United States and Australia. Women in Action is publishing excerpts of this discussion a glimpse into the minds of young women today: what they are into, their role models, their takes on specific realities. [read on]

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Women of Struggle, Courage and Hope

A Bible Study by Ms. Norma P. Dollaga
from the KASIMBAYAN for Women Doing Theology 2003

Feminist theology gives us an opportunity to explore a form of re-reading the Bile from a particular point-of-view: from the eyes of a woman, of a struggling and hopeful woman! Let us promote feminist theology not just another threatening method and highly academic affair. Let us learn it by doing it. [read on]

Women’s Art

Women’s Art is an essential part of women’s expression on their life journeys, hopes and apprehension, joy and sadness, and perspectives on themselves as women living in their own society. There are indeed many stories to share as women experienced the challenges, trials and turbulences as a woman journeying in a world where it is still in one way or another, being influenced by the patriarchy system and ideology. [read on]

A Reflection on the Situation of Women
in the North East Region of India

by Wapanginla, SCM India

The region of North East India comprises of eight States—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. This region is one of the homelands of many heterogeneous people. In this region, 442 languages and dialects are spoken. There are so many different communities and each have their own distinct culture and historical context. No two tribes have the same culture and history. In such a mixed community, the situation and status of women in North East India is very much complicated. In spite of these diversities, there is also communality among the tribes. [read on]

A Reflection on the Situation of Women in Sri Lanka:
The Strengths and Limitations of being a Woman in Sri Lanka

by Dayanthi Samaranayake, SCM Sri Lanka

Firstly I would start with the limitations as they are many. Sri Lanka to a great extent, is still a country where the patriarchal ideology and system rule. Therefore the thinking of many are influenced and conditioned in this manner and thus it poses many limitations on being a woman. Limitations are mainly posed on the Sri Lankan women through Socio-Cultural, Political, Economical and Religious factors. [read on]

A Reflection on the Situation of Women in Taiwan

by Shieh Hui-Chuan, Taiwan SCM

In Taiwan, women are often being put in a vague and uncertain position. On the surface, men and women are equal in welfare and power distribution as well as under the protection of laws. But it is hardly the fact. The Taiwanese family and society have long been influenced by the traditional Chinese culture: Confucianism. [read on]

A Reflection on the Situation of Women in Hong Kong

by Hazel Man Hei Yan, SCM Hong Kong

It is indeed my pleasure to be given an opportunity to share my experience and reflection with you. It is very valuable to share our life experience and stories with each other to let us understand ourselves more. Also, our life stories and experience are important substances of doing theology. [read on]

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Our RWC Members Speak......

by Kaythi Min Din, SCM Myanmar

In Asian countries, including Myanmar, the patriarchy system has been firmly rooted in the society which causes various kinds of unnecessary things such as gender discrimination, oppressions, domestic violence and conflicts between women and men. In Myanmar, gender discrimination is not very prominent but it is still going on. But in some cases which is very serious, for example: women ordination. All the gender discrimination in Myanmar is derived from oral traditions and man-made cultures, but not from real essence of Religions. [read on]

Some Reflections on “Partnership”

by Participants to the Regional Women’s Programme,
‘From Gender Sensitivity To Genuine Partnership: The WSCF AP Journey’

by Annabel Dulhunty, Australia SCM

“Partnership is the means by which people can work together. It denotes a willingness to listen and to engage with the other people. Partnership allows conversations to be a discourse and not a monologue. Each member has to be willing to talk in a fruitful way with those that they are partnering with. It also requires an openness to learning and a desire to learn from the people with which you are partnering with. Partnership also implies that if there are differences that these can be overcome (though not subjugated). [read on]

What is Meant by Partnership?

As voiced by participants in the session ‘Women and Men in Partnership’ conducted during the programme, “From Gender Sensitivity To Genuine Partnership: the WSCF AP Journey” [read on]

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Ecofeminism

by Trudi Bennett, Australia SCM

Ecofeminism is a weaving of feminism and ecology. It holds that both women and nature are oppressed in our society and that the two are linked. Ecofeminism grew out of a Western framework during the early 70’s, as Western women were Ecofeminists becoming disillusioned with the ideologies of the day. [read on]

Reflections

My parents brought me up to believe I could achieve anything. I took it for granted I would go to University, they took it for granted that I would study either Science or Engineering. Thus I guess it was assumed that I would earn my own living and have a career—things which 50 years ago in Australia would have been considered only options for men. At the same time, however, I was raised to be a domestic success—my mother taught me to cook, clean, sew, garden, and yes, to want a family. [read on]

Media Violence

by Leti Boniol

It is a never-ending story, like a refrain that is played again and again. Through the decades, in so many survey reports, conference proceedings, books and newspaper articles, both in developed and developing countries, feminists have documented and decried commercial media’s treatment of women and stories that have perpetrated violence against them. It seems that their battles have not yet been won. [read on]

Violence Against Women: An Issue of Human Rights

Violence against women is the most pervasive form of human rights abuse in the world today. It includes assault, battery, rape, sexual slavery, mutilation and murder. It is not a new phenomenon. It is not tied to poverty or economic upheaval. It is not related to the social displacement of peoples. Instead, it cuts across social and economic situations and is deeply embedded in cultures around the world—so much so that millions of women consider it a way of life. [read on]

On the Analysis of Women’s Oppression
and the WSCF Women’s Program

by Necta MontesNecta Montes
Outgoing Regional Women’s Coordinator

Why is it important to review the “Framework of Analysis on Women’s Oppression” at this time in the life of the Federation? What has taken place that brought forth the question of the framework in the Agenda of the last WSCF General Assembly in Lebanon? [read on]