How am I impacting relationships?

How am I impacting relationships?

by Mandy Marshall

Introduction

It’s not often we stop and think about what we do, and how we do it, impacts on the relationships with those around us. In our busy lives we justify our words and actions without stopping to think about the consequences to others. This week we will remind ourselves of how precious every single one of us is in our identity in Christ, created equal in the image of God, and flourishing to be all God created us to be. We will look at the devastation caused when the image of God reflected in women is not respected which results in inequality, injustice and, at times, violence and abuse. As Christians our discipleship to Christ yearns us to call out injustice and act to bring about a change. I pray that this week will move and motivate you to listen and hear the heart of God on this injustice and leave you changed.

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Proposed statement of belief related to gender

Proposed statement of belief related to gender

Talking about gender in the Micah Network

What is it like to be a man in the Micah Network? What is it like to be a woman in the Micah Network? “We seek to be modest, lacking pretence, and to listen, learn and encourage one another.” Humility is a core value of the Micah Network. It is not easy, but it happens among us. We believe it will happen even more when we talk more about gender, and the roles of men and women in our lives. When we listen carefully, we hear each other’s suffering, which has occurred simply because we are male and because we are female. We hear of a pastor who was publically humiliated because he was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. We hear of a social worker who was forced to stop speaking in a community because she was female. Whether we speak in Spanish or English, our friends from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and across the Pacific Ocean hear our stories about violence in family households. Every day our own genders and the effects of gender in our societies present us with opportunities to act justly, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Sometimes, these opportunities bring cause for celebration, and sometimes, they bring us grief.

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IF MEN WERE WOMEN: CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS ON GENDER IN THE HIV AND AIDS CRISIS

IF MEN WERE WOMEN: CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS ON GENDER IN THE HIV AND AIDS CRISIS

by Donald E. Messer - Pattaya, Thailand, October 2008

“If Allah had meant for us [women] to ask questions, he would have made us men.” This shocking statement opens the movie Brick Lane based on the novel of the same name by Monica Ali.1 Due to an arranged child marriage, a. young Bangladeshi girl, Nazneen, is being sent to urban England from her rural homeland. When she begins to ask questions about life and death, she is silenced, being told instead to learn to accept her fate as a woman in today’s world. Read the article
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A GIRL’S GUIDE TO HONOUR: CULTURAL AND CHRISTIAN VIEWS THAT CONSTRICT

A GIRL’S GUIDE TO HONOUR: CULTURAL AND CHRISTIAN VIEWS THAT CONSTRICT

By Beulah Wood Second set of case studies These case studies, like the first set, reveal that that discriminations on a community level are rarely analysed by Christians. Cultural views of honour limit the participation in decisions of many young women in their birth family and again in their marital family. Read
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SI LES HOMMES ÉTAIENT DES FEMMES : RÉFLEXIONS CHRÉTIENNES SUR LE GENRE DANS LA CRISE VIH ET SIDA

SI LES HOMMES ÉTAIENT DES FEMMES : RÉFLEXIONS CHRÉTIENNES SUR LE GENRE DANS LA CRISE VIH ET SIDA

Donald E. Messeri
octobre 2008

« Si Allah avaient voulu que nous [les femmes] posions des questions, il nous
aurait faites hommes. » C’est par cette déclaration choquante que s’ouvre le film Rendez- 1
vous à Brick Lane adapté du roman éponyme de Monica Ali . Une jeune fille bangladeshi, Nazreen, est réduite au silence, interdite de questions sur la vie et la mort ; on lui dit au contraire d’apprendre à accepter son destin de femme dans le monde actuel.
Est-ce un destin inévitable ou la volonté de Dieu, que partout sur la terre les femmes souffrent de la plus grande stigmatisation et discrimination à l’égard du VIH et du sida ? Pays après pays, les femmes se voient refuser les droits les plus fondamentaux, être rendues responsables de la pandémie et ne connaître que des soins médicaux très insuffisants.

Est-ce le destin ou la volonté divine que des femmes soient considérées comme des citoyens de deuxième classe pas seulement dans la société, mais au sein de leur communauté religieuse ?

 

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Gender, HIV and AIDS and the role of the church in Africa

Gender, HIV and AIDS and the role of the church in Africa

Mandy Marshall, Tearfund Micah SE Asia Conference Genting Highlands, Malaysia October 2007 What prompted the research? In 2004 UNAIDS stated most vulnerable person to HIV and AIDS is the married woman Tearfund wanted to know
  • Is it the same in church communities?
  • If so, why?
  • What can be done about the situation?
  • Is anyone (partners/INGO’s/academia) tackling theissue and if so, what are their successes and frustrations?
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Gender and Integral Mission

Gender and Integral Mission

The strategic conversation endorsed the Micah Network Declaration on Integral Mission as a useful theological basis for discussing gender within the Micah Network. A multi-cultural and multi-lingual reading of the Micah Network Declaration of Integral Mission yielded the following additional assertions, which are highlighted in italics, about gender in relation to integral mission.

The Micah Network declaration of Integral Mission states,
“We call one another back to the centrality of Jesus Christ. His life of sacrificial service is the pattern for Christian discipleship. In his life and through his death Jesus modelled identification with the poor and inclusion of the other.”
Jesus modelled inclusion without discrimination between men and women, and took into consideration the vulnerability of particular groups and individuals.

On the cross, God not only reconciles rich and poor to himself, but also men and women, along with all of creation.

Grace redefines justice and recognizes disadvantage due to gender, social or economic class, ethnic origin, age, etc.

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Micah Network Gender Forum

Micah Network Gender Forum

Reference to gender has been prominent in Micah Network prayers, policies and meetings over the past few months. This is reflects our “endeavour to resist those attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to gender”, which was affirmed afresh when the Micah Network Board sought a fresh expression of the core values of the Micah Network in Limuru, Nairobi earlier this year.

Resisting attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to economic power, gender or geography is a long-term struggle, and we need to draw strength and encouragement from one another.

The following story from TEAR Australia (www.tear.org.au), describes the sustained efforts of one of the Micah Network members to act on a growing understanding of gender inequity at both the operational and organisational spheres. It describes some of the tension between wanting to address gender inequity as an expression of organisational identity, and being required by a funding agency to formalise a gender policy. It reflects on the costs and commitments required to address gender inequity. It describes the capacity building strategies utilised, and concludes by seeking support in peer NGOs.

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