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Justice Conference Reflections: Women and Equality

Because today is International Women’s Day, I felt it would be appropriate to write about the issue of global oppression of women. At the Justice Conference this past month, I sat in on workshops and sessions that discussed everything from sex trafficking to women leadership in church to the one-child policy in China. The thing that became apparent throughout the weekend was that gender inequality and oppression, although manifesting itself differently depending on the country you live in, is a universal tragedy. 

I heard the same statistic several times: approximately 60-100 million girls are missing from this earth.

Let that sink in.

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Justice Conference Reflections: What is Justice?

For almost my entire life, I’ve felt compassion for and longing to help the oppressed but have been paralyzed in regards how to follow through. In fact, during the 11 years I’ve been a Christian, I’ve only been involved with ministry for the past three. Having a desire to do more, to follow Jesus more fully, I decided to attend the Justice Conference. I hoped it would help me discover how I can make justice a part of my every day life. 

Since Rich and I have returned from the conference in Philadelphia, my head is spinning with the question, “what now?” This blog is just the very beginning of answering that question.  The amount of information that was planted in my brain a few weeks ago was overwhelming, and I need to slowly dissect everything to discover its relevant value for myself at this point in my life.  So I am going to break up my commentary over four blogs.  This blog will focus on what is justice and why it’s important. My second blog will be about presenters like Shane Claiborne, Eugene Cho and Brenda Salter McNeil, and their calls for practical engagement.  My third blog will focus on the issue of gender inequality, particularly the oppression of women around the globe. Lastly, I’m going to highlight some changes Rich and I are looking at making in our life to better reflect our values, ethics, and faith, while working towards “doing justice” and following Jesus in our everyday life.

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Clothes: Oppression or Empowerment of Women?

This post is not meant to be an opinion piece. It’s not meant to have any answers. It’s an honest call for discussion. My Libra brain is constantly leaning from one side to another.  I saw a Muslim woman walking near Syracuse University the other day and she was completely covered except for her eyes.  A few miles away at the mall is an 18 year old girl dressed in shorts that are as good as underwear, butt cheeks almost hanging out, and tight tiny tank-top.  I feel bad for both of these women.  My immediate reaction is that each one is dressing the way she thinks men in her culture want her to dress.  But then I thought about it a little more... one is trying not to be noticed yet it’s making people notice her more, and the other one is trying hard to be noticed and in the end, she looks like all the other girls around her so she will probably go unnoticed.

So which is it?

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