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at the Assembly
conversation with members of the LWF Council
made at the Seventh Assembly in 1984 still challenge us today. A
milestone resolution affirmed the theological basis for the full
participation of women in the life of the church and society. With
32 percent of delegates being women, their presence in Budapest was
much greater than at the founding Assembly, where there were only
five women among 178 delegates.
The Seventh Assembly
resolved that 40 percent of delegates to the Eighth Assembly should
be women, with a goal of 50 percent for the Ninth and subsequent
Assemblies. With women's participation at 43 percent in the Eighth
Assembly and 49 percent in the Ninth Assembly, women continue to
analyze whether their increased presence makes a difference.
When the Council, meeting
in 2001, approved the study document, `Churches say "NO"
to Violence Against Women,' people in other world communions asked
how the Federation was able to achieve such a commitment on a global
basis. The answer is simple. Women make up 50 percent of the LWF's
decision-making bodies—the Assembly and Council—and with them
comes the necessary expertise and experience to act decisively
reflecting an accountability far beyond mere participation.
To attain this, much
courage and perseverance was needed. Preparing for the Tenth
Assembly provides yet another opportunity to live out the commitment
to women's full participation. Accordingly, each church has been
requested to ensure that its list of delegates includes a designated
number of women to ensure that 50 percent of delegates from each LWF
region are women.
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