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Global Perspectives

“More girls are killed in this routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.” —William Petrocelli [1] What is gendercide? Gendercide is the silent elimination of females, young and old, through sex-selective abortion, infanticide, gross neglect, and for older women, lack of access to food and shelter.[2] In countries like India and China the birth of a baby girl is rarely celebrated with much joy. In India sons are preferred above daughters as a son can provide for the family and can carry on the family name. In China, the one child policy instituted by the legal system dictates that Chinese families are legally only allowed to have one child. The Chinese culture like the Indian cultur... Read more
Kati Brandt
[Editor's note: This January our theme as an organization is the devaluation of women, which will include topics like abuse and human trafficking. These are often uncomfortable things to talk about but they may be the most important issues we face in terms of gender justice. They certainly have the most grave of consequences. I've asked my good friend Kati Brandt, who is a near-expert in all things human trafficking to write a 4-post series about the topic. We will be publishing a post every week on Monday for the month of January. This is her first post.]   “The term trafficking in persons can be misleading: it places emphasis on the transaction aspects of a crime that is more accurately described as enslavement. Exploitation of people, day after day. For yea... Read more
With our recent conference in Colombia, and today being Liberian Independence Day, I couldn’t help but remember that this exact time last year I was in my homeland of Liberia, and how our conference theme fits exactly with the experience that I had there. Liberian women created a movement of liberation during the civil war, and after it, they are creating a movement of sustainability, peace, and equality. This movement has intense religious ties, as ordinary market women realized the change that they could bring to their country. My experience in Colombia and the conference topic of identity in Christ made me realize that I became confident of that identity in Liberia. Post-war Liberia is now beginning to highlight the equality that God has put in both men and women, equipping... Read more
Last month in the Dominican Republic, my wife Aίda's birth country, we were surprised to learn that Helados Bon (literally, "Good Ice Cream"), the nation's most popular ice cream shops, had been purchased by Colombian investors. Colombian presence is felt everywhere in the Dominican Republic, because they are an adventuresome people from a country which is itself very diverse in culture. Colombia lies directly across the Caribbean Sea from the Dominican Republic, and since ancient times the countries have been connected. Colombia itself is the fourth largest nation in South America. Its Pacific coastal region soon climbs into the Andes mountains, which comprises two-fifths of the country, and this is where nearly all of its population lives. Beyond these mountains are the... Read more
I sat in the back row of the church and quietly observed. The brave woman who had invited me to the event had taught me tremendous truths about biblical sexuality in my postgraduate course and now she was releasing her very own set of booklets for toddlers, teenagers, and parents. She has such a profound call on her life to teach true biblical sexuality to the world, especially to Africa, so I was excited to be among her honored guests. Unbeknownst to me at the offset, the night would take a dramatic turn, much to my horror. While the brave woman stood sharing her vision, her words were not yet cold when a young man jumped up and grabbed the microphone, he began bombastically telling the audience that he was this woman's (who was three times his age) spiritual father and that unl... Read more
No matter how much I try to ignore it, minimize or overlook it, it manages to pop out of nowhere, sometimes when and where I least expect: the persistent reminder that I am, “just a woman.” How often have I heard that phrase from some man who felt I, or some other female, was getting too big for my boots! Take for instance the day I was driving to work in my new Toyota Sienna. On the corner of the road about 6 km (3.73 mi) to my office I stopped to give a colleague a lift; he was by far my junior in rank. It was shortly after the outbreak of violence in Jos, and there were security checkpoints everywhere. The soldier manning the first one we got to wouldn’t even look me in the eye or acknowledge my cheery, “Good morning.” Looking straight across at my passenge... Read more
"But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good,  my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I mediated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue" (Psalm 39: 2-3 NIV). My heart burns within me, as I write to you today. Why? Too few of you have had the opportunity to hear the lectures from the conference in Bangalore! Thankful for the knowledge and talent of egalitarian scholars working in Asia, we partnered with these colleagues (at the SAIACS --the South Asian Institute for Advanced Christian Studies) in order to bring their biblical, theological, and social wisdom back to the West. Their wisdom and ability to think critically and biblically about faith, authority, and gender is outstanding. Let’s celebrate that the egalitar... Read more
Voices have been rising over the last decade to release women and girls from ungodly oppression on a global scale. The Nike and Novo mega-foundations have partnered to create The Girl Effect film and subsequent movement, which promotes that the world can best combat intractable social problems by nurturing the potential of adolescent girls in the developing world. Celebrities and world leaders are leveraging their positions to press for the equal treatment of women and girls.  While we need more of these high level initiatives, we also need to demonstrate change by planting freedom and empowerment in seemingly insignificant plots. I see it all the time—change spreads broadly and quickly when a girl, a family, or a community begins to see the benefits of releasing an... Read more
Our government advocates human rights and female equality while Christian America often teaches female submission and carries that message across the world.Women in the United States have freedoms that are denied women in most countries, but many churches are telling women something very different! Yet, freedoms should be promoted inside the church. Many people in church do not want to make a fuss about equality. But a fuss must be made before change will come. Sadly, because we are often afraid to stand up to patriarchal systems, change will more than likely have to come from groups that are outside the church. Unfortunately, this change is coming slowly, yet the message of male headship continues to be spread not only here in the US, but also on the mission field, sadly. Churches... Read more
Two months later and I can still picture Isabella: her small arms gently rock a baby with more expertise than a fourteen year-old girl should have. Her tiny-heeled shoes and grown-up blouse seem out of place with her girlish dimples. I left Guatemala almost three months ago and still my mind brims with stories and pictures—Isabella among them. A soft-spoken, indigenous girl, she worked as a nanny for my host-mom, caring for a baby not her own instead of going to school.  But then again, she didn’t have many options. Guatemala has a prevalent machismo society. The many “rules” of culture revolve around men. Men’s wants are more important than those of their female counterparts. Discrimination and battery toward women can be commonplace. People are... Read more