Shared Conversations 3: Gender, Theologies and COVID-19 Webinar

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Side by Side: Faith movement for gender justice

Shared Conversations 3: Gender, Theologies and COVID-19

28th May 2020, Link to Recording / Link to Slides

 

Context:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many faith actors are on the frontline. The crisis does not operate in a vacuum and, as a result, the pandemic is increasing pre-existing gender inequalities. Women and girls are experiencing intersecting injustices in political, social and economic spheres.

Faith communities have a strong base from which to promote social distancing (to reduce transmission of the virus causing COVID-19), while also practicing solidarity. Many religious actors hold significant power and trust, sometimes more than the government. Thus, religious institutions can play a vital role in distributing accurate key public health information to their communities. Religious leaders can play a positive role in promoting messages of gender justice, challenging stigma and harmful gender norms.

In our third shared conversation, we aimed to explore some of the theologies and scriptures that are being promoted during this time. In this event, speakers shared why and how faith leaders are responding to COVID-19, including addressing the spiritual and theological needs of faith communities.

We were delighted to be joined by Rev. Dr. Lydia Mwaniki (All Africa Conference of Churches) and Niclas Lindgren (PMU).

Rev. Dr. Lydia Mwaniki is the Director of Theology, Family Life and Gender Justice at the All Africa Conference of Churches. Before this, she worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Theology at St Paul’s University Kenya, where she taught New Testament and gender related units (2010-2015). Lydia graduated with a PhD in Theology (New Testament Studies) and Gender from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa in April 2011 and is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church, Diocese of Nairobi, Kenya. Lydia’s research interests are in using postcolonial feminist theory to read and appropriate gendered Biblical texts such as 1 Cor 11:1-16 in life-affirming ways for women and men, in the context of changing gender roles in Africa and gender justice.

Niclas Lindgren is the Director of PMU. The Swedish Pentecostal churches have been working with social development in Sweden and internationally since the beginning of the 20th century. Recently, PMU has contributed to the development of new materials to respond to COVID-19. The purpose of the material is to encourage local churches to communicate accurate information in these times of crisis. As a complement to the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national authorities, the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) has developed informational material with recommendations to churches, pastors and development workers. The material is currently being spread by Pentecostal movements in roughly 100 different countries, as well as by mission organizations and through the partner networks of 11 Pentecostal development organizations.

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