04 July 2010
Gender injustice comes to Cardiff
Theologian and feminist Elaine Storkey told a Cardiff audience that women face monstrous injustice all over the world. And far from modelling a fairer community, the church often falls into the same depressing trap as the rest of society.
Speaking at a CICC (Cymru Institute of Christianity) event at St.Mark's church on Thursday 24 June, Storkey highlighted the plight of millions of women who are raped and tortured especially in the developing world. Whether it's the blight of HIV AIDS, rape used as an instrument of war in part of Africa, or the unjust dowry system in India, women and their children are often powerless against male aggression and oppressive political systems.
In a far reaching address, she offered a number of statistics:
· Only 1400 parliamentary seats are occupied by women worldwide.
· Women represent 70 percent of the worlds' 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty.
· Women make up two thirds of the world's illiterate population.
· Gender based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women aged 15 years and over, than cancer, traffic accidents and war.
· Believing that a baby boys are preferable, India has aborted 10 million girls.
What Has Christianity Got To Say About It?
Referring to the first chapter of the Bible's opening book, Genesis, Elaine Storkey argued that humanity was made male and female. This harmony of gender expresses the unity of our race as intended by God. Sin's entry into the world however breaks this unity, leading to the gross injustices so prevalent across the planet. Through Jesus Christ, God dramatically breaks the power of sin and creates new life for those who turn to him. But Dr. Storkey maintained that the church still has a theology of gender based on the fall from grace rather than creation. It promotes the servitude of women rather than the free humanity of Genesis 1.
Stories of Hope
· Supported by Tearfund, an initiative, entitled Restored, aims to raise awareness of male violent behaviour and equip churches to stop it. At the same time, it will promote healthy, biblical relationships between men and women.
· In one African country a soap making cooperative has been formed, consisting of women who have been raped and brutalised. Although a profitable venture, the process of soap manufacture resulted in terrible acid burns to all involved. A local Baptist pastor visited the women and offered his help. His offer was spurned, the women fearing that he had come to violate them. His persistence eventually paid off and he was allowed to help. He performed the same tasks as the women and two years later his hands are as damaged and blistered as theirs. His scars, like those of Jesus, speak of healing and love.
In closing, Elaine Storkey quoted these words from Jesus : " I came that they might have life and that in abundance." This is the life that everyone needs.
CICC is supported by Evangelical Alliance Wales.
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
Evangelical Alliance Wales was started in 1990 and is a part of the UK Evangelical Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance, both established in 1846 – the latter of which today has a global membership of 380 million. Evangelical Alliance Wales represents Christians and churches from within over 20 denominations in Wales to the government and media. The Evangelical Alliance Wales has a Media Voice Team that can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.