Include more women in leadership roles – Archbishop Chong

women in leadership

The Archbishop of Suva, Peter Loy Chong, says churches and religions in Fiji need to examine their sexist and discriminatory attitude towards women.

He says women must be included in decision-making and he has encouraged parishes to include more women in leadership roles, “especially in parish pastoral councils and finance committees”.

Writing in the Fiji Times on International Women’s Day, Chong said “I empathise and pray for women who are not able to enjoy these achievements.

“I speak on behalf of the Catholic social teaching and denounce societies, cultures and peoples that undermine the dignity and rights of women and particularly those that oppress women.”

Chong said Fijian cultures (Itaukei, Hindu, Muslim, Chinese, Rotuman, Rabi etc.) should all promote the dignity of women and in some cases liberate women.

He noted that “most of our cultures and religions are patriarchal – dominated by men.

“Patriarchal society views men as the standard of human nature and that women are somehow different and inferior. A patriarchal society denies its people the contribution and wisdom of women.”

Chong quoted Pope Francis, saying “A world where women are marginalised is a sterile world because women don’t just bear life but transmit to us the ability to see otherwise, they see things differently.”

He said the patriarchal view of women clashes with the biblical teaching that all human beings, male and female, are created in the image of God.

“As believers, we have to promote the biblical teachings on the equality of men and women and particularly affirm the dignity of women.”

He said the biblical view of women “calls for a conversion in our religions, churches and cultures.

“We have to change the patriarchal views of society and recognise women as equally made in the image of God.”


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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