Equality for women and girls in the Pacific
A Lent Event supported project
A pastor in Vanuatu attends a workshop on the importance of valuing men and women equally, re-interpreting Bible passages that have been used to keep women silent and oppressed in his culture. When he returns home, he takes the unusual step of washing the pots and pans for his family. This happens outside his home, as is the custom, and women returning from the market are horrified to see their pastor engaged in this work.
“Pastor!” they cry. “Don’t wash the pots and pans! We’ll send a girl from the village to do that work for you!” “No,” says the Pastor, “It’s fine, I can wash the pots. I’m happy to do this work for my family. Why don’t you go home and ask your husbands to do this work too?”
It’s one small but telling example of the changes that are happening – and must happen – across the Pacific if women are to take their place as valued members of society.
Violence against women and girls is more common in the Pacific than almost anywhere else in the world – attitudes like these help explain why. The local church is leading the way toward change – mostly because the Scriptures are a central source of wisdom for a culture where 98% of the population identifies as Christian. Biblical teaching is far more influential than ideas about ‘feminism’ or ‘human rights’. It requires unpicking centuries of misrepresentation of biblical texts as well as cultural attitudes; retraining pastors and equipping both male and female advocates against violence; providing opportunities for education and economic development. The Pacific isn’t alone in the need for this complete reorientation of thinking toward women and men, as we’ve seen all over the world this year. Donate now.
Your gift to Lent Event supports the local church throughout the Pacific who are providing:
• Training for women and men to become advocates against domestic violence
•Workshops and networking that actively promote the equality of women and girls
• Scholarships that promote opportunities for women in male-dominated theological courses
• Livelihood opportunities for women in disadvantaged communities to make a living.
You can help make equality a reality for women in the Pacific Donate now