Christian Conference of Asia
| Home | About CCA | e-Letter | Programs | Resource | Contact Us |

Faith, Mission and Unity

About CCA

Program Clusters:
Ecumenical Formation, Gender Justice and Youth Empowerment

» Faith Mission and Unity
Justice, International Affairs, Development and Service

Special Programs:
» HIV/AIDS Concerns

Congress of Asian
Theologians VII:
» Call to CATS VII
» Application Form CATS VII


ctc1.gif (2102 bytes)

sbhcover.jpg (6195 bytes)
Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Dispelling Myths about Women and Feminism

I had a wonderful opportunity of participating as resource person and workshop facilitator in the Feminist Theology Conference organized by the Association for Theological Education in Myanmar (ATEM) at Lisu Theological Seminary in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar on 22-26 May. My input was a general introduction to Asian feminist theologies while the workshop I facilitated was on spirituality and sexuality.

Perhaps one of the good things about that conference, attended by 70 participants 15 of whom were men, is the openness that many of the participants demonstrated in sharing myths they have held about women, sexuality, and feminist theology as a whole.

A theologically trained woman shared how her own mother had told her that it would be unthinkable for her to receive blessing/benediction from her own daughter – thereby showing how women themselves cannot see women ordained into the ministry. Very few denominations ordain women in Myanmar, and those qualified for ordination are, according to the women participants, those who are single and old. In view of such comments, I felt the need for education on the meaning of ordination as well as the leadership of women and men.

A male participant shared that a medical doctor had told him that the reason why women have faster pulse beats is because they are short-tempered. He therefore concluded that it is better to prevent women who are prone to be short-tempered from getting ordained. As facilitator of the workshop where this was raised, I had to say that being short-tempered and hot-tempered is not gender specific and what the doctor said is part of the gender stereotyping that has always put women down or in a negative light. In fact, there are men who are short- and chili-tempered but they have not been barred from positions of leadership.

Another male participant said that since women are already biased, the best teachers of feminist theology are men who are free from any biases. I had to say that if even God is not free from bias for the oppressed and marginalized, men are not free from their own biases either. It would in fact be dangerous if feminist theology is taught by men who are against the goals of feminism, i.e. gender justice and empowerment of women.

Such an openness to share myths and biases could be the beginning of genuine gender justice in Myanmar. The conference was attended by teachers of feminist theology from 35 member institutions of ATEM and some representatives from the Catholic Church and evangelical churches in Myanmar.

Anna May Say Pa, principal of Myanmar Institute of Theology, facilitated three creative and participatory Bible studies. Elizabeth Tapia, faculty at Bossey Ecumenical Institute in Geneva, gave an input on women in mission and facilitated a workshop on the World Mission Conference. Limatula Longkumer, instructor from Jorhat Theological Seminary in Northeast India) gave an input on feminist pedagogy and facilitated a workshop on Asian feminist theology. Other workshops were facilitated by Myanma resource persons: Mary Dun and Soe Soe Mar on feminist theology curriculum; Eh Tar Gay on feminist hermeneutics; May May Phyone on women and development; Thit Thit Myat San on women and culture; Lily Kadoe on women and religions; and Khin Swe Oo on women and church.

Five Thai women participated in this conference with the hope that a similar conference can be held in Thailand in the near future. CCA-FMU is committed to supporting such initiatives in order to dispel myths about women and feminism as well as to enrich theological education in Asia.

posted by hope on Wednesday, June 01, 2005  

May 2003 / September 2003 / December 2003 / February 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / December 2004 / February 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / June 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / March 2009 / April 2010 / July 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / April 2011 / May 2011 / August 2011 / October 2011 / December 2011 / February 2012 / March 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 /

This page is powered by Blogger. Why isn't yours?