World Student Christian Federation - Asia-Pacific Region (WSCF-AP)
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Some Reflections on “Partnership”

by Participants to the Regional Women’s Programme,
‘From Gender Sensitivity To Genuine Partnership: The WSCF AP Journey’

by Annabel Dulhunty, Australia SCM

“Partnership is the means by which people can work together. It denotes a willingness to listen and to engage with the other people. Partnership allows conversations to be a discourse and not a monologue. Each member has to be willing to talk in a fruitful way with those that they are partnering with. It also requires an openness to learning and a desire to learn from the people with which you are partnering with. Partnership also implies that if there are differences that these can be overcome (though not subjugated). To be in partnership indicates that there is some kind of working for a common goal. In this desire there must also be the will to find a common ground in which those in partnership can communicate and express their feelings. Partnership also indicates an ability to empathise—to fully understand and feel what the other person is going through.

I believe that women-men partnership is extremely important for SCM/WSCF because it allows us not to be divided and for us to be able to engage with a process of understanding. Thus for instance after women’s and men’s separate times I believe that it is important to bring back our experiences to the main group and to try to communicate the problems that we are facing. I still believe, however, that it is important that there is a space for gender issues to be dealt with by women only. This, I think, is important because whilst gender issues are crucial for both sexes, it is women that have borne the brunt of the oppression. thus women must have their own space to be able to communicate their relations with this. That women be allowed some autonomous decision making processes about gender issues is thus very important.”

by Bang Joo Do-Im
KSCF

“First, it is necessary to understand the many issues facing women and men....we have to try to understand these for our own comprehension, but why do we need to? Most of all, men have to know about women’s issues, social problems, discrimination etc. Why do men have to understand first? It is very clear.... including me, many men do not really understand about the patriarchal system, it is just only an intellectual understanding. I will never forget that I am not free from the patriarchal system, this is the first step for women-men partnership in SCM/WSCF. Therefore, we have to try to find or train women leadership in WSCF AP, especially students. Because students are the hope of our movement. Secondly, we have to find or train men as partners on women’s issues...”

by Leni Valeriano
SCM Philippines

“Partnership for me is a relationship, a working relationship among women and men. it is characterized as the full participation of both women and men, wherein the relationship is without gender bias or discrimination in attaining their common goals. It is for me the full cooperation, collaboration of women and men in actual practice, in attitude and sensitivity not only structurally or in the positions held by who or in the process of decision making in the National SCM movements, within WSCF and between SCM-WSCF. In SCMs and WSCF, it is the sensitivity of both women and men of their equal responsibility to address the gender issue within these formations, women’s issues and struggles in the society and of the other oppressed sectors as a whole.

I, for one want this partnership in SCM and WSCF for it is a growth within the movement. For if SCM could not prove its commitment to the struggles and liberation of the oppressed, including the women, if the movement itself does not struggle for gender equality, if the vision is not actualized through concrete programmes (promoting self-awareness and re-awakening) and practice (process of remoulding) that encourages partnership and eventually gender equality, it would all but lip-service.”

by Carter Lam
SCM Hong Kong

“Partnership is a harmonious relationship between people. I trust that besides striving for what we want, we cannot hurt our partners. I trust that we could do things which benefit ourselves and our partners. This needs to be back-up with concern and respect....I have learned that communication with a open mind and holding respect and concern to my partners could give us good partnership.”