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More than sixty per cent of women experience sexism in church

Thu 08 Mar 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

A new report has found that 62 per cent of women have experiences sexism at church.

The Sophia Network, which wants to see women in more leadership positions in church, conducted a survey to find out what the experiences of women are in church in terms of leadership and sexism they may face.

Vicky Thompson, chair the Sophia Network, told Premier it found several barriers to women in church life.

 

"There are still women who are feeling undervalued, unlistened to and unwelcomed," she said.

"One minster shared her story of being the only ordained minister in her town in a group of churches and yet she was never invited to the table because she was a woman.

"Some of it [the sexism] was listed as comments. One woman when wanting to pursue ordination was told to stay home and have children instead."

 

Thompson urged churches, organisations and denominations to make eradicating sexism a higher priority and to look again at "what they're teaching, how they're dealing with women in their churches. Are they making room for them"?

She added: "Sometimes we assume it's being dealt with and it's not an issue anymore. It is still a big issue in our churches."

However, the survey did also produce some positive results Thompson said.

"We did produce a lot of hope filled stories where women do feel valued and included. Male ministers are making room for women, opening doors and inviting them to the table," she said.

Listen to Vicky Thompson speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here: 

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