April 21, 2016
On Tuesday 19th April, there was the launch of the ‘Theology of Gender Equality’ handbook on the first day of the Church Partnership Program (CPP) Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
The Theology of Gender Equality has been prepared by the Church Leaders’ Council (CLC) of the CPP over the past 18 months and reflects the common theology and understanding of the seven Partner Churches. It complements the existing ‘Theology of Development’ launched by the CLC in 2013.
Present at the launch were church leaders from the seven PNG Church Partners, representatives of the seven Australian Church development agencies including ABM, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and GoPNG.
Bishop Denny Guka, who is Bishop for the Diocese of Port Moresby and Chair of the PNG Council of Churches, led the opening prayer at the launch.
The Church Partnership Program is supported by Australian Aid and Susan Ferguson, the Counsellor for Gender and Sports at DFAT, commented that it was a first, to DFAT’s knowledge, for churches to articulate the theology of gender equality. She said that it showed the depth of commitment from churches and she was proud that DFAT has been able to support the churches as they negotiated the often difficult terrain that goes with discussions around gender.
The Rt Rev Bernard Siai, Moderator of the United Church of PNG and Chair of the PNG CPP Church Leaders Council spoke at the launch and dedicated his statement to “all those who are suffering from gender based violence, discrimination and oppression and all those who speak out against it and provide protection and support”.
Maryanne Kehalie, Executive Officer of the CPP Coordination Office, gave thanks and acknowledgement to all those who made the handbook possible. She called on everyone “to ensure that the seed planted by the statement bears fruit in the lives of all men, women, girls and boys of PNG”.
|Church leaders offering the Theology of Gender Equality
for blessing. © Meagan Schwarz/ABM, 2016.