The Episcopal Church in the Philippines

Philippines Small

Women's issues and concerns

  • Women's right to vote in decision making bodies of the church - Executive and Diocesan Councils
  • Overseas Contract Workers - mostly women - being abused sexually and mentally by employers, broken families due to absence of mother in their formative years, etc.
  • Violence against women - incest, rape, sexual harassment. Violence against women iin the church (by the ordained and lay people working/employed by the church) also exists, but the culture of silence hinders these women from speaking out.

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

Deacons: Some
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.

Women's organizations

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)
Secular: Gabriela