Women theologians call to end patriarchal power structures

The abuse of power is reflected in issues of governance, law and order, they said.

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(photo courtesy: ladershipproject.webs.com)

Bangalore:

A forum of women theologians in India says women experience violence and injustice all across but patriarchal power structures fail to ensure equality and safety.

The abuse of power is reflected in issues of governance, law and order, which are assuming crucial and critical significance in our times, they said.

The increased violence against women is intensifying in degree and extent of brutality. “This violence against women is occurring in new categories and dimensions across all ages,” they noted.

The current patriarchal power structures, systems of justice and law “are failing to address the situation” and society should look critically “at the roots of violence against women,” they said.

The Indian Women Theologians’ Forum (IWTF) said this in a statement issued after their May 2-4 meeting in Bangalore, which discussed the theme “Women and Leadership”.

The scriptural injunction, “he will rule over you” (Gen 3:16) seems to be the religious sanction legitimizing male control over women within the spheres of family, church and society at large, they said.

The women expressed hope and satisfaction at the amending constitution helping to creating women’s political leadership at village level, which helped to address “the core needs of their community like water, education and health.”

However, they also expressed concern about the leadership being projected in the coming elections, which they said “threatens the secular fabric of our nation and would further marginalize large masses of the poor.”

We observe the Church at the centre preaches the message and the Church at the periphery lives it, despite the fact that the Church of the periphery has an important message to share with the centre, which it fails to receive.

While welcoming Pope Francis’ call for the poor, the women theologians said that they are “troubled by the uncritically sustained link between jurisdiction and ordination and the consequent exclusion of women from leadership in the church, especially when they have much to contribute to a Church of the Poor”.

They said the figures of women in leadership in the Bible inspire them to reclaim their rightful space as modeled by women in the early Church.

They committed to work toward “evolving women’s leadership that is rooted in the gospels and is life giving to all.”

Women Theologians , Patriarchal Power , IWTF

Source: UCAN News

 

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Office on Violence Against Women logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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