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15th October, 2010, Bogor, Indonesia

By God’s grace, the first Young Women’s forum (YWF) of ACWC was held on 15th October, 2010 at Kinasi Conference, Bogor, Indonesia from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm, on the previous day of the 14th Quadrennial Assembly of ACWC.

The theme of the forum was “Breaking Silence: Young Women’s Unspoken Experiences in Asian Churches and Society”. The total number of participants was 21 with 18 young women from 12 countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and East Timor) and 3 “young in mind” senior sisters. The participants had a wonderful day together sharing love, learning a lot through the sessions and having very fruitful discussions after hearing from all the countries present.

The programme included Morning Worship, Bible Study by Ms. Gloria (Bangladesh), Study “Re-reading of the Bible through Women’s Eyes” by Ms. Shanthi Mathai (India), “Reflections on the Value and Blessings of Meeting Ecumenically” by Ms. Cora Tabing Reyes (Exe. Secretary, ICFLC),“Knowing ACWC and YWF” by Ms. Shu-Wen Chiang, (Exe. Secretary, ACWC), sharing from all the countries focusing on the social realities and role of young women in Church and Society which was followed by group discussion Then the delegates came together and worked out the action plan and recommendations to the ACWC Assembly.


The main issues/concerns/problems raised were
1. Young Women are often neglected in Church and society in such a way that they are often
seen and expected as silent listeners during decision making.
2. Young women who are trained and equipped theologically are not recognized by Churches in
many countries.
3. Women are not given prominent role in political scene
4. Inferior status of women in Church and society
5. Human trafficking, prostitution etc.
6. Violence against Women
8. Abortion, Baby dumping etc.
9. Abuse of teenagers and young women in Churches 10. Patriarchal structure of society
10. Patriarchal structure of society
11. Lack of opportunity for young women to bring inputs and voices at all levels
12. Multiple tasks and responsibilities expected from women

Action Plan

How can we turn these concerns into empowerment and action? There are many barriers as the young women have many constraints like studies, work, young family, small children etc. In the midst of all these, the participants of the Young Women’s Forum prepared the following action plan.
1. Work as ambassadors of ACWC and YWF in their local area and Church
2. Keep up consistent connection through social network, form e-group, conduct ecumenical
gatherings wherever possible and start news letter where young women can share their
3. Support each other in life realities.
4. Prepare a list of medical professionals like doctors and nurses, and collect details about the
facilities like medicines available in each country so that during emergencies like natural
calamities, quick assistance can be sought.
5. Set apart a portion of personal tithe for ACWC
6. Organise fundraising for ACWC’s educational programmes
7. Network for scholarships.

Recommendations to ACWC and FLC

We recommend to ACWC and ICFLC
1. to focus on young women’s empowerment and activities in Asian countries, especially
through regional programmes
2. To organise Young Women’s Forum as a regular programme of ACWC before every
Quadrennial assembly.
3. Engage students who avail scholarships from ACWC and FLC in ACWC and FLC activities.
4. Support inter-faith dialogues in different countries as in many of the countries in Asia,
Christians are a minority.
5. Programme prayer partners for young women.

The participants of the YWF thank ACWC and FLC for organizing this Forum and thank God for the opportunity given to them. We hope and pray that ACWC would continue strengthening young women through Young Women’s Forum in future also.
Shanthi Mathai (India)
Convener, ACWC-YWF- 2010

List of Participants, ACWC-YWF-2010

1. Shanthi Mathai, India -
2. Pdt. Yul. Lagandesa, Indonesia -
3. Olvie Supit, Indonesia –
4. Olha Losv, Indonesia -
5. Rachel Pradhan, India-
6. Jyoti Shrestha, Nepal –
7. Naw Say Kio, Myanmar –
8. Christa Damongilala –
9. Glennie Ann, Malaysia –
10. Elen Ira Maia, East Timor –
11. Lin, Chen-Chu, Taiwan –
12. Leorie Petil- Marquez, Philippines –
13. Munkhtuul, Mongolia -
14. Boggie, Mongolia –
15. TeRito Peyroux, NZ –
16. Indra Porniah, Sri Lanka –
17. Suchitra Behera, Bangladesh –
18. Gloria Kalpona, Bangladesh –


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