Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Equal access to decision-making

I will be continuing to write about women and Bible translation. This evening I have been rereading Queen of the Dark Chamber, the autobiography of Christiana Tsai, who records that she was one of the first women in China to graduate from high school. She became an evangelist and was instrumental in the training and encouragement of many other Chinese women who became preachers and church planters throughout China.

I will write more about Tsai soon but this got me thinking about women and decision-making. Christiana's book is almost entirely about women as leaders and actors. Here is a UN statement on women as decision-makers. I am reflecting on how women missionaries were once so convicted that they were teaching a gospel of dignity and participation for women. I am trying to figure out what happened.


The Beijing Platform for Action also affirms that women have the equal right to participate in governance and, through that participation, contribute to the redefining of political priorities, placing new questions on the political agenda and providing new perspectives on mainstream political issues. The Platform defined two strategic objectives under this critical area: to ensure women's equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision-making, and to increase women's capacity to participate in decision-making and leadership.

Besides the Beijing document, a number of international instruments have affirmed the principle of equal participation of women and men in power and decision-making, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

At its forty-first session in 1997, the UN Commission on the Status of Women reaffirmed the need to identify and implement the measures that would redress the under-representation of women in decision-making. The removal of discriminatory practices and the introduction of positive action programmes were identified as effective policy instruments to that end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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