The Episcopal Church

Usa Small

Women's issues and concerns

The Executive Council Committee on the Status of Women identified the following focus areas for the 2007-2009 triennium, divided between national/international concerns and internal church structure issues. 
National/international areas include:

  • Human trafficking, an increasing global crisis
  • Girl-child and women's education and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) and Beijing Circles
  • Sex education
  • Immigration issues and concerns

Church structure areas include:

  • Respond to the Windsor Report discussion as it impacts women
  • Explore partnerships with groups such as Episcopal Relief and Development, Anglican Women's Empowerment (AWE) Beijing Circles, International Anglican Women's Network (IAWN)
  • Examine deployment issues as they relate to women in the Episcopal clergy system
  • Support bishops who are women at Lambeth Conference
  • Respond to Lambeth Conference issues
  • Study statistics and demographics relating to gender equality for women in the Episcopal Church (GC 2006 Resolution D024 and Resolution ACC13-31)
  • Follow up on Imagine Conference (the first conference directed at priests who are women which met at Kanuga, N.C., fall, 2006)

Women in decision making

Women are present but not equally represented on decision-making bodies.
The Executive Council Committee on the Status of the Women is doing a survey of dioceses to ascertain the portion of women in major decision-making bodies and positions of the dioceses, and of the committees and commissions reporting to General Convention, which will be included in the report to the next General Convention in 2009.
Ordination of women
Deacons: First ordained in 1972
Priests: First ordained in1976. 2,260 active Priests
Bishops: First ordained in 1986. 15 Bishops and one Presiding Bishop (Primate)
The Executive Council Committee on the Status of Women, working with the Church Pension Group, is seeking to get better statistics on the positions and career paths of women clergy vis-à-vis men.

Activities related to the MDGs and Beijing Platform for Action

The General Convention of 2007 set the MDGs as a priority work for the whole church. There is work on every front for the MDGs. Many dioceses have set aside the 0.7 % of their budget for development.
Women's Ministries supports the Beijing Circles which promotes action on the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).

Women's organizations

(Italics = organisations that work on MDGs but not specifically women)
Church: Women's Ministries is the Office at the Episcopal Church Center that supports women in the Episcopal Church and the wider world.  This office works collaboratively with women's organizations in the Church, other program and ministry groups at the Episcopal Church Center, global and local networks working for gender justice, as well as individual women within and outside of traditional church structures. For more information see: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/women . 
Women's organisations include:

Many organizations are involved with promoting the Millennium Development Goals and Beijing Platform for Action, including: Compass Rose; Episcopalian Peace Fellowship, Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, Episcopal Relief and Development.