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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.

Gender

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).

Definition

'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.

Good Practice

Micah Network Interim Gender Policy

HIV & AIDs

Click here for 'HIV & AIDs' resources.

Environment

Micah Network has developed a resource section on Environmental concerns as we believe we all need to increase our understanding and response to climate change and environmental degradation impacts in our lives, work and ministries.

There are a number of ways Micah Network engages in environmental issues:

  1. Micah Network Declaration on Integral Mission – see section below on Lifestyle and responsibilities.

  1. Lausanne Commitment – see section below on care of creation

  1. Forum – join the Micah Network Environment Forum where discussions are held, resources shared, campaigns launched, polices developed and networking takes place around this topic.

  1. Resources – see the evolving resource section:

  • Theological perspectives on Environmental Responsibilities
  • Good practice guidelines, tools and material
  • Learning in which case studies, examples of good practice, books and references material is made accessible or signposted to.

How engaged are you, your church your organisation?

Micah Network works with one of our members (Tearfund UK) to assist organisations in their decision-making process and application of good practice approaches.

The Climate change Environmental Degradation Risk and Adaptation assessment (CEDRA) tool helps organisations to access and understand the science of climate change and environmental degradation, prioritize risks to their existing projects and beneficiaries, and evaluate adaptation options. Decision-making tools are provided to help plan appropriate responses to identified hazards.

Workshops:

Micah Network members can request workshops on CEDRA to be held. The workshop is typically run over 5 days and the fundamental components of the process will be explained:

  • the identification of important climate and degradation hazards,

  • collecting climate change data,

  • mapping projected changes,

  • determining people most impacted,

  • conducting environmental impact assessments on projects,

  • designing adaptation responses.

Practice and mentoring is followed up.

For more information please contact the Micah Network Forum facilitation team.

The Micah Declaration on Integral Mission (September 2001) has the following to say on Environment:

 

Integral Mission and Lifestyle

Integral mission is the concern of every Christian. We want to see the poor through the eyes of Jesus who, as he looked on the crowds, had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.

There is a need for integral discipleship involving the responsible and sustainable use of the resources of God's creation and the transformation of the moral, intellectual, economic, cultural and political dimensions of our lives. For many of us this includes recovering a biblical sense of stewardship. The concept of Sabbath reminds us that there should be limits to our consumption. Wealthy Christians - both in the West and in the Two-Thirds World - must use their wealth in the service of others. We are committed to the liberation of the rich from slavery to money and power. The hope of treasure in heaven releases us from the tyranny of mammon.

Our prayer is that in our day and in our different contexts we may be able to do what the Lord requires of us: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.

The Lausanne Commitment (October 2010) has the following to say about Environment:

We love God’s World

We share God’s passion for his world, loving all that God has made, rejoicing in God’s providence and justice throughout his creation, proclaiming the good news to all creation and all nations, and longing for the day when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

We love the world of God’s creation. This love is not mere sentimental affection for nature (which the Bible nowhere commands), still less is it pantheistic worship of nature (which the Bible expressly forbids). Rather it is the logical outworking of our love for God by caring for what belongs to him. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.’ The earth is the property of the God we claim to love and obey.

We care for the earth, most simply, because it belongs to the one whom we call

Lord.

The earth is created, sustained and redeemed by Christ. We cannot claim to love God while abusing what belongs to Christ by right of creation, redemption and inheritance. We care for the earth and responsibly use its abundant resources, not according to the rationale of the secular world, but for the Lord’s sake. If Jesus is Lord of all the earth, we cannot separate our relationship to Christ from how we act in relation to the earth. For to proclaim the gospel that says ‘Jesus is Lord’ is to proclaim the gospel that includes the earth, since Christ’s Lordship is over all creation. Creation care is a thus a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ.

Such love for God’s creation demands that we repent of our part in the destruction, waste and pollution of the earth’s resources and our collusion in the toxic idolatry of consumerism. Instead, we commit ourselves to urgent and prophetic ecological responsibility. We support Christians whose particular missional calling is to environmental advocacy and action, as well as those committed to godly fulfillment of the mandate to provide for human welfare and needs by exercising responsible dominion and stewardship. The Bible declares God’s redemptive purpose for creation itself. Integral mission means discerning, proclaiming, and living out, the biblical truth that the gospel is God’s good news, through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for individual persons, and for society, and for creation. All three are broken and suffering because of sin; all three are included in the redeeming love and mission of God; all three must be part of the comprehensive mission of God’s people.

Commitment:

Christ’s peace for his suffering creation

Our biblical mandate in relation to God’s creation is provided in The Cape Town Confession of Faith section 7 (a). All human beings are to be stewards of the rich abundance of God’s good creation. We are authorized to exercise godly dominion in using it for the sake of human welfare and needs, for example in farming, fishing, mining, energy generation, engineering, construction, trade, medicine. As we do so, we are also commanded to care for the earth and all its creatures, because the earth belongs to God, not to us. We do this for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the creator, owner, sustainer, redeemer and heir of all creation. We lament over the widespread abuse and destruction of the earth’s resources, including its bio-diversity. Probably the most serious and urgent challenge faced by the physical world now is the threat of climate change. This will disproportionately affect those in poorer countries, for it is there that climate extremes will be most severe and where there is little capability to adapt to them. World poverty and climate change need to be addressed together and with equal urgency.

We encourage Christians worldwide to:

A) Adopt lifestyles that renounce habits of consumption that are destructive or polluting;

B) Exert legitimate means to persuade governments to put moral imperatives above political expediency on issues of environmental destruction and potential climate change;

C) Recognize and encourage the missional calling both of (i) Christians who engage in the proper use of the earth’s resources for human need and welfare through agriculture, industry and medicine, and (ii) Christians who engage in the protection and restoration of the earth’s habitats and species through conservation and advocacy. Both share the same goal for both serve the same Creator, Provider and Redeemer.