Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Does religion hate women asks conference

Christians and Muslims will explore their own and each other’s attitudes towards women and children at a joint conference next week.

Two women – one the most senior female cleric in the Church in Wales and the other a Muslim counsellor and academic – will speak about their experiences of faith in today’s world. The Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven Peggy Jackson (pictured), and Ameira Bahadur, will ask: does religion hate women?

Meanwhile, attitudes towards young people will be highlighted by Dr Howard Williamson, Professor of European Youth Policy at the University of Glamorgan. He will ask, “Young people – who is excluding whom?”

Following the speakers, the issues will be opened up to round table discussions.
The conference is the seventh in a series of special consultations organised by the Church in Wales in partnership with the Muslim Council of Wales, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and St Deiniol’s Library.

The series is called, Challenges for the Future – Finding a Common Voice.
The Revd Canon Robin Morrison, Bishops’ advisor on Church and Society, said it was important the conferences asked awkward questions and tackled controversial issues.

He said, “Attitudes towards women differ not just between faiths but within faiths – from how women dress to what work they can do. This series continues to discuss the difference between central religious beliefs and cultural expressions of those beliefs, some of which can offend. We hope we can help each other cross our own internal divisions on how we treat women by looking at the basic difference between what beliefs are at the heart of faith and what are cultural.”

Saleem Kidwai, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales, said, 'Women and children are the backbone of every community and from an Islamic perspective there are more misconceptions about women in Islam than there are about any other issue. Hence it will be interesting for all of us to hear the views and experiences of women themselves.”

The conference takes place at the Futures Inn, Cardiff Bay, on Monday, November 16, 10am-4pm.


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