Faith leaders discuss gender justice at UN gathering on women

March 22, 2018

[World Council of Churches] As the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women was underway through this week in New York City, the Rev. Terrie Robinson encouraged faith leaders to see their positive role in speaking out for gender justice in their communities.

When it comes to living and working with a sense of justice, “faith leaders and faith groups – at least where they are adequately equipped – have huge potential,” she said.

As co-chair of Side by Side, a faith movement for gender justice, Robinson believes that faith leaders have great power to help people live with equality and dignity. “There is a faith imperative for gender justice,” she said. “People still listen to faith leaders. Governments still listen to faith leaders.”

Speaking as part of a panel on March 15, Robinson highlighted some of the strides faith leaders have made in helping people to better lives. “In recent years we’ve seen how faith leaders can dismantle the stigma around HIV and AIDS. We have seen faith leaders lead communities in letting go of centuries-old practices that led to the spread of ebola.”

When it comes to gender justice, Robinson acknowledged the collective church has, at times, oppressed and discriminated against women. “We’ve gotten it wrong plenty of times,” she said. “But we can reclaim our sacred texts and reclaim our job. Faith leaders can be agents of change in their communities.”

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