Join the Conversation about Religion, Culture and Violence Against Women

Women of Spirit and Faith, and our sister organization, The Women’s Task Force at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, will be participating in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (held in NYC March 4th-15th), as women from around the world gather to focus on eliminating violence against women.

One of their offerings will feature a panel of women leaders from diverse religious perspectives exploring the complex topic ” Religion, Culture and Violence Against Women”.

You are invited to join in this important conversation when the Women’s Task Force host their February tele-conference on this same topic. This teleconference will be a facilitated dialogue inviting your voice and participation. We value your insights, questions, concerns and perspectives on this complex and challenging topic.

There is no need to RSVP or register for this call. Simply use the call in number below and enter the access code. You will be warmly welcomed and guided into the conversation.

Religion, Culture and Violence Against Women

Tele-Conference and Dialogue

Sunday – February 10, 2013

2 pm Pacific Time / 3 pm Mountain Time/ 4 pm Central Time/ 5 pm Eastern Time

Call In Number (213) 342-3000

Access Code: 223322#

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    I feel strongly that we must stop talking about gender equality without addressing the issue of inequality of our males.

    When my son was only eight years old, he looked at me with great fear and sadness, as if I’d betrayed him and asked, “Mom, did you know that, when I get to be eighteen years old, I have to sign up to go to war?” I answered that I was aware of that. He replied, “If I have to go to war, I’ll be so scared that I’ll just stand up and get shot. It would be better than being so scared.” My son was always one of the sweetest, funniest, most loving children in the world. I assured him that, if the time ever came, and he was still a man of peace, I would personally escort him to Canada to avoid the draft.

    I came to adulthood during the Vietnam War, when we finally abolished the draft, but we still insisted on creating a culture of worthless lives without war in our young men. What a shroud to hang over the lives of young boys.

    We, of Judeo-Christian heritage, have long performed infant male genital mutilation, based on what, other than archaic religious rituals? We have ignored male pleas to refrain from producing more progeny than they can support, and then deprived them of the rights of fatherhood at the whims of the mothers. Even toddler boys are admonished to protect their mothers and sisters and to learn to express their emotions only physically. It is no wonder they are angry.

    We women must accept some of the responsibility for what we have done, and continue to do, to our boys and men. We must stand for gender equality that includes fairness and honoring of the sacred in men as well as women. Humanity still operates too much like animal farms, killing off “excess” males in the barnyards. If we can have war treaties and cease fires in war, we must admit that war is nothing but a nasty game to foster government-sanctioned greed.

    I would never stand still and silently hand a son of mine over to fear-mongers who promote fighting. I will continue to honor any man who honestly and fairly shares the burden of responsibility for parenting, as does my son. The price I pay is that he scorns me for “making” him weak in his own eyes and those of his father’s family. It is a small price to pay for his continued humanity.