Marburger Bildungs- und Studienzentrum (mbs) is a member of the Micah Network
Our topics are organised so that you can find what you are looking for as easily as possible. Below they are categorised thematically, so by following the link you will find all of the premier resources relating to that area of interest, where they are further categorised according to 'Theological Perspectives', 'Good Practice', and 'Learning'. For a more in depth explanation about our resources click here.
Click here for 'Gender' resources.
Gender refers to the roles and responsibilities of men and women that are socially determined. It is not simply about biological differences between men and women. Neither is it solely about the role of women.
However, in many cultures, women suffer from considerable inequality. UN statistics highlight some of these disadvantages. Though 51% of the world's population are women, they are responsible for 66% of the world's work and only 10% of the world's income. 66% of non-literate people and only 1% of the world's property owners are women. Women hold only 14% of parliamentary seats worldwide. In addition 70% of those living in poverty are women and more than half a million women die in pregnancy and childbirth each year. Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war (WHO - World Report on Violence and Health, 2000).
'Gender' reflects the expectations, opportunities and behaviours expected by society of men, women, girls and boys. They change over time within a society and they differ from one society to another.
'Gender analysis' seeks to identify the ways that men and women participate in, benefit from, access and control, project resources and activities.
Sex is biological. It's what makes us male and female .
Theological Perspectives on Gender
Vision of Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Biblical and developmental justification
In the creation story men and women were given a mandate to nurture the world and manage its resources as God's representatives. We live in a world that has been deeply compromised by personal sin as well as corporate and social evil. God's original intentions for partnership have been distorted by considerations of power, abuse and self-seeking. Injustice and oppression have many forms in different cultures, but gender injustice can be seen in the way women lack access to power, wealth and resources. They do not have much access to education or employment, and the work which they do is frequently not recognised economically.
Jesus treated both men and women as individuals, worthy of his full attention. He encouraged and affirmed women throughout his teaching, at a time when society gave women little value.
Role of Church
The church is often seen as taking the lead in setting the moral framework within which society should operate. However, in general the church has been slow to engage in the issue of gender awareness and sensitivity. Indeed, it is an issue that often divides Christians, many of whom believe there is a biblical basis for men to maintain authority within the church. This debate often deflects attention from recognising the equal value of men and women in the sight of God, both within and outside the church.
The church is centrally placed to challenge cultural and social behaviour, which go against biblical values. Churches should advocate for, and support, the equal worth of men and women.
Micah Network Interim Gender Policy
Click here for 'HIV & AIDs' resources.