Side by Side Co-Chair: Terrie and Gladys

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The Anglican Communion’s Director for Women in Church and Society and Side by Side Co-Chair, Revd Canon Terrie Robinson, is to step down at the end of May. Next month, Gladys Nairuba, DanChurchAid Uganda’s Active Citizenship Programme Officer, will take up the position of Side by Side Co-Chair. In this article, our International Coordinator pays tribute to these two inspirational women.

The greatest privilege that I have in this role is working with inspirational people, who live out their values. Each day, I count my blessings for the conversations, collaboration and commitment of our Steering Group, Chapters and Members, who work together to advance gender justice.

The Revd Canon Terrie Robinson was part of the Side by Side journey from the beginning. In 2015, Terrie came together with other faith actors to discuss the value of growing a faith movement for gender justice. Since then, in her role as Co-Chair, she has been influential in establishing the Side by Side movement in national, regional and international spaces. Many of you may have met her at consultations and conferences around the world, including the UN Commission on the Status of Women, or in online communications (newsletters, emails, and webinars).

One of the many things that I admire about Terrie is the time and space she makes for people. She invests time in connecting people and this has enabled Side by Side to have strong roots. The words that she shares in emails, as well as speeches, always communicate the importance of our collective struggle for gender justice. When I first started working with Terrie, I also appreciated how she acknowledges that our work can be challenging. We occupy spaces where injustice is exposed, which sometimes includes listening to testimonies of people who have experienced gender based violence. She followed this with some practical advice, as well as her direct number and the assurance that I could always give her a call.

“Gender equality in terms of just power relationships between women and men, girls and boys has been seen as a peripheral area of mission, rather than an essential building block for God’s reign and a pre-requisite to flourishing families, communities and nations. At base, my own work as Director for Women in Church and Society has therefore focussed on raising awareness and improving knowledge about power and discrimination, making connections within and beyond the Communion, and promoting positive theology and biblical interpretation.”

– Revd. Canon Terrie Robinson

Before leaving her role at the Anglican Communion, Terrie was part of a team who published a new resource ‘Just Relationships between Women and Men, Girls and Boys: Study Materials for use by Theological Colleges, Seminaries and Training Schemes in the Anglican Communion’. You can download a free copy of these materials on their website here. Theologians from six continents have made contributions to these notes. Their reflections invite critique and conversation, which they advise is best undertaken within a respectful, theological community.

I am honoured to have worked with Terrie and would like to thank her, on behalf of the movement, for her fellowship, friendship and for laying the foundations for the Side by Side: Faith movement for gender justice to grow.

We are delighted that our new Co-Chair will be Gladys Nairuba, who is programme officer for Active Citizenship at the DanChurchAid Uganda Office.

Gladys is already a member of the Global Side by Side Steering Group and Side by Side Uganda. In her role for DanChurchAid, she supports national and local NGOs working around accountability, governance, women’s rights and political/CSO space.

Gladys and Terrie were both part of our Side by Side delegation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. We used this opportunity to thank Terrie in person and to also celebrate the launch of Glady’s new book. Gladys recently published ‘On Her Knees: Memoirs of Life With a Praying Mother’, which is a personal life story of struggle, pain, and resilience.

Through her mother’s story, Gladys shares the experiences of countless women around the world who involuntarily shoulder the family burdens in highly patriarchal societies. The story combines humour and sadness, which many readers will relate to. It will inspire many who find themselves overwhelmed in their family obligations and, therefore, uncertain of the future, to hold on, knowing that at the end of the tunnel they will find hope.

Please join me in thanking both Terrie and Gladys for contributing to the movement in this way.

Side by Side Steering Group Members: Elsebeth, Gladys, Rachel and Terrie.

Posted by: Rachel Tavernor | Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
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