To coincide with International Women’s Development Day (8 March 2013) UnitingWorld are delighted to support their partner churches throughout the Pacific as they launch: Transforming Lives Through Leadership: A Project with Pacific Women.
When Pacific women enter the church in leadership positions they can transform whole communities. Women within our partner churches tell us first-hand about the anguish facing families displaced by rising tides. They tell us of the high rate of domestic violence in many communities, so often left unchallenged.
Because the church is powerful in many Pacific communities it can act as an agent of change. Female church leaders can foster environments where women share experiences, speak frankly and critically appraise their faith. They can tackle sensitive issues and work to change the perceptions of traditional female roles in the wider community.
Christianity is absolutely central to the culture of Pacific people. While it brought much that is good, continuing misinterpretation of the Bible forces women into the role of second class citizens. Theological education is a powerful way for Pacific Women to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and faith, in turn empowering them to re-shape society. (Rev Seforose Carroll, UCA Minister and Administrator of Manahine Pasefika (Association of Oceanian Women Theologians)).
Together with men and women in our partner churches, UnitingWorld is committed to helping Pacific women train at theological college and lead their churches and communities. The project supports the training and ministry of women. It also provides women with the practical resources they need, including access to textbooks, student fees and accommodation.
This is the first of a major UnitingWorld initiative focusing on gender in the Pacific.