September 22-24, 2006
The major aim of the Gender Camp 2006 was to raise the gender awareness of the SCM students and to reflect on the church teachings on gender, sexuality and our bodies. A total of 15 students participated in this 2-day camp. The programme contents included interactive exercises, bible study, inputs and analysis.
The programme started with an interactive exercise on the concept of marriage related to church teachings. The majority of the churches in Hong Kong do not encourage the women members to marry either outside their churches or to people who do not belong to the Christian faith as it is often perceived as a threat to the church.
The interactive exercise facilitated an analysis of marriage as constructed by the church. This was followed by a bible study on Song of Songs which speaks of a love relationship that contrasts tremendously with other biblical texts that insist on the piety of marriage and sexuality especially on the women's sexuality. However, the Song of Songs speaks of a freer form of love relationship and sexual relationship between two people. This shows that there are indeed different influences and background of the writers in the bible, but the major church teaching only selected certain exclusive texts to push their agenda and fixated conclusion on love and sexual relationship which is overwhelmingly influenced by the patriarchal ideology.
The next session was an input by Wong Wai Ching, SCM HK senior friend as well as former chairperson of WSCF. Wai Ching worked through the different biblical texts in the Old Testament and did a comparative study on how the Old Testament texts perceive women, and the demands on the women. The evening session was a discussion on Sex, Marriage, Love and Family. The participants shared their perception on these concepts, and discussed on the institutionalisation of these four concepts that heighten the power of hierarchy, patriarchy and heterosexism.
On the last day of the camp, the participants were invited to share their opinions and feelings, and many expressed positively that the camp has helped broadened their horizon on gender awareness. As such, there is an intention to follow up with a regular discussion group that will focus on gender issues.