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Praxis 2005

First issue – Women and Globalisation

No. 1, 2005The first issue in 2005 focuses on Women and Globalisation. The main article in Perspective was contributed by Chang Hee Won of Korea SCM which highlights on the general effects of unjust policies and practices on women especially in the region of Asia. The critical point in this article was the challenge to the women who are living in countries that may be seemingly enjoying the ‘benefits’ that globalisation brings but are unaware of the exploitations inflicted on women of other parts of the region with their privileges. Hee Won encourages all women to have an indepth understanding of the effects of globalisation on women so as to work together in solidarity to end the oppressions it brings onto the lives of many women.

The second article focuses on Indonesian Women Migrant Workers in the face of Globalisation. This article was a contribution by Indonesian SCM senior friend, Mon Saroinsong. Mona highlights on the invisible recognition by the Indonesian government as well as people on the millions of Indonesian women who made tremendous economic contributions to the country in the midst of their suffering and discrimination in their overseas work.

In the Faith Reflection, Dr. Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar contributed an article on Women Reclaiming the Power of Voice and Speech. This reflection highlights the many patriarchal traditions and cultures of our societies often silence women and devalue their voices and expressions when women attempted to speak beyond their definitions. Evangeline uses the texts of Numbers 27:1-11 to illustrate her reflection and called for us to unlearn myths about silence is a virtue for women and for us to take a part in affirming and reclaiming women’s presence, voice and speech.

In Solidarity, WSCF AP stands in unity with the women’s groups in Sri Lanka who appeal for an inclusive framework for the Tsunami disaster response work in Sri Lanka. This appeals comes when very little was reported on the dangers that women experienced in the relief camps as well as the limited resources that could reach them. Many women were raped, abducted and ignored while recovering in the camps. Hence, this reality reminds us of the brunt that women have to bear. WSCF AP encourages all SCMs to seriously attend to the needs and resources for the women in the disaster areas when heping with the relief work.

Second issue – Women’s Question vs. Gender Question

No. 2, 2005The second issue in 2005 focuses on the issue of gender mainstreaming with an article taken from the Association for Women’s Rights in Development’s (AWID) journal, Spotlight. The subject was Gender Mainstreaming: Can it work for Women’s Rights? The article highlights on gender mainstreaming as a strategy is intended to be transformative, changing the very definition and discourse of development to include gender equality as a means and an end. With gender fully integrated, therefore, “the stream” itself will change direction. However results have been mixed. Many gender equality advocates consider it the only strategy that will keep women’s issues from being swept off to the margins. They see it as the only strategy that will lead to the integration of gender equality and women’s rights objectives into the so-called “hard issues” of macroeconomics and poverty eradication. For others however, the promise of gender mainstreaming is long gone. In their experience, it has resulted in the disappearance of attention to women’s specific needs and the gender-differentiated impacts of policies and programs. Has gender mainstreaming worked in some institutions, sectors or regions? What is its potential? Where has it met pitfalls? Can it be used effectively to bring about meaningful institutional and policy changes that protect women’s economic rights? There is no single, definitive answer to these questions, but much to learn from practical experiences and critical analyses.

In Faith Reflection, Mary John Mananzan (OSB) contributed an article on Women and Christianity that highlights on the roots of women’s oppressions in religions. Mary John stresses that although religions play a very important role in women’s oppression, there is also equal conviction that there are liberating forces in religion that serve to stop all forms of oppression and to bring a life of abundance to all. Mary John highlights on the problematic issues in the Christian religion that affects women which are the prevailing male notion of God, the use of the Bible to justify the subordination and discrimination of women throughout the history of the Church, and the Church history that reacted against any form of inclusion of women leadership participation. Mary John offers that apart from analysing the situation of women’s oppression in religion, efforts must be exerted to remedy the situation through participation in women’s movements. Women trained in theology must also rethink the discipline itself and bring about a transformation within the Churches. The agenda for renewal must include all aspects of theology: from the re-interpretation of scriptures to the historical-critical reflection of Church doctrine from the women’s point of view, to the rediscovery of the great women of Church history, to the fundamental questioning of the Church hierarchical structure, its constricting prescriptions, its discriminatory practices and the sexist language of its liturgy.

Evaluation and Reflection

Praxis has always been and still is a newsletter that provides a space for critical analysis, theological reflection and solidarity action for, with and of the students in WSCF AP. There are challenges of Praxis being too student-unfriendly if it contains an excessive intellectual analysis and not enough personal reflection and experience, or that Praxis becomes too lightweighted because of insufficient critical intellectualism. Although there has always been a wrestle between the two balances, throughout the years of publication, Praxis has maintained its balance gracefully. This publication has been read widely by students not only in the Asia Pacific region, in other regions of WSCF and also in other students groups as well.

No. 3, 2005Praxis offers both critical analysis and information of pertinent social issues as well as the theological reflection that defines the social action of the SCM, in many ways, Praxis remains a name aptly of the vision and mission of the SCM which are put in words.

The first 2 issues were published as scheduled but the 3rd issue was published in January 2006 in lieu of the Action Week on WTO events in December.