At the end of the second world war, a young Korean woman, Helen Kim, had a vision of a world sisterhood. She dreamt of a time when women would work together ‘to promote peace and better conditions in the whole world’, to inspire young women with visions of a world where there is hope for the hopeless; security for the insecure; sufficient for the impoverished; freedom for the oppressed; and a voice for the voiceless. In October 1946 the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women was founded. As women within the Methodist Church in Britain we are a part of this worldwide sisterhood and much of our work is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs)
At the end of October each year, groups of women across the world meet in their own countries to study, learn and worship. On Saturday we were warmly hosted by members of the ‘The Side Door’ Methodist Church in Grimsby. Pictured above are Rita Rowe and Nina Rawlinson, two members of our Forum taskgroup who very efficiently organised the day.
This year’s theme ‘Mind the Gap’ was based on UN SDG 5 – To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
On their website the UN states:-‘While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.’ www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
After worship on Saturday morning we looked at what the Bible has to teach us about gender equality, our identity and how we see ourselves. We looked at the current situation in the 21st Century, at progress made and issues to be addressed. After lunch we attended four excellent workshops on issues relating to forms of gender abuse in the UK and overseas and the work being done to combat and change the status quo. It was an excellent day of worship, fellowship and learning. Thank you to all who contributed.
‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Gal 3:28 NIV
PS – Yes, I did manage to have Grimsby Fish and Chips!