IAWN Contact: Esperanza Beleo
Women's issues and concerns
Vision for women
That younger women of the church become more involved and take seriously gender issues like violence, poor health care systems, poverty, equality, etc., because by the time they get older, they should be the ones carrying on the struggle.
In our church, there should be representation of women in church committees and other structures and not just a token whereby, just to please the women's group, they include only one woman. Women's abilities - their gifts, talents and creativity - should be a factor for their inclusion in any committee or group organised by the church; they should not be threatened by a woman who "knows too much." If this were the thinking of the church authorities, then equal representation of men and women could be achieved. Thus, committed women leaders/models for our younger women to emulate should be harnessed.
What we're doing - programmes, events and reports
Activities include cooperating with other lay organizations like youth and men's groups in advocacy of issues and concerns.
Women in decision making
Our women's lay organisation, Episcopal Church Women (ECW), is represented as an ex-officio member of diocesan councils, executive councils and Synod - which are very important decision-making bodies of the Church. As ex-officio, we have seat but NO VOICE in these bodies. Efforts by our National ECW to push for the power to vote will hopefully gain ground.
Ordination of women
Priests: Some - each of our six dioceses has at least two women clergy.
Bishops: None yet; although women can be nominated, much resistance to such is expected
Activities relating to MDGs and Beijing Platform for Action
The church has a number of programmes and development projects geared towards contributing to the attainment of the MDGs.
Church: Episcopal Church Women (ECW), Social Ministry Unit
Ecumenical: Women's Desk, Asian Church Women's Conference (ACWC) and Church Women United in the Philippines (CWUP). Women's Desk of NCCP (National Council of Churches in the Philippines)