One of my mates is at the Lausanne Conference, and is wondering whether he should despair at the fact that the international deputy directors’ team is entirely male.
A (female) friend has made this comment:
‘notwithstanding some of the traditional reasons why men tend to dominate such committees (such as church generated gender roles) I think that there are also practical and ideological reasons which stem from women’s position. From my own perspective (speaking as one woman and not necessarily claiming to represent the majority) I think 1. we get more easily bored with the endless power games involved in “positioning” one’s voice in such committees. 2. Many are not willing to sacrifice their local presencing on the altar of the significant but uprooting global merry-go-round (both for practical and for ideological reasons) which seems increasingly to be a necessary part of such tasks.’
I think this is very well-put, and does in fact speak for a great many women in the church. We are amused and/or irritated and/or bored by the power-play that seems to go on, find ourselves unable to take it seriously, and would much rather get on with the job in hand.
However, I am left with my usual question. If we women opt out of these proceedings, and fail to make our voice heard, have we only got ourselves to blame if the status quo doesn’t change sufficiently to include us?
I feel a sense of ennui creeping over me …
PS. After I’d written the above I bumped into our Area Dean (parishes are grouped into ‘areas’ under a Dean) and she gave me a lift. She’s stepping down from this (voluntary) position – she says she’s sick of the politics.