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Time women of faith came out of the shadows.

THE exclusion of women from positions of leadership in some of the most prominent churches and faith communities is hardly hot news. We are all aware of the Church of England's recent failure to embrace the concept of women Bishops; the Church in Wales has yet to try to cross that bridge (but is keen to encourage more women into decision-making positions of all kinds); the Roman Catholics don't ordain women ministers at all; and in other faith communities the position of women may be literally hidden from view during public worship, and may seem limited to housework and childcare outside it.

But behind this, women of faith, both inside and outside their religious communities, have far more influence than the watching world believes.

The task of passing on the faith to the next generation is of crucial importance in any community - and women in all faith traditions have historically been responsible for this, both formally and informally.

Where observing religious rules in the home is of paramount importance, women's involvement is not only essential, but more highly valued than our career-oriented, materialistic society can comprehend.

Prohibitions on taking part in mixed-sex groups has never stopped women meeting to discuss and share their faith, to pray together, and to maintain the fabric of the community in ways that are simply not noticed by the rest of the world.

And in more public ways, women figure amongst spiritual leaders, as missionaries and mystics, preachers and poets - we can all name a few - even if they aren't as widely celebrated as some of the "fathers" of our faiths.

And women of faith have never restricted themselves to the purely religious sphere. Motivated by their faith, women set about tackling social injustice, take up politics, go into business, teach, practice medicine, engage in the arts, and help their sisters worldwide.

Where community activists, politicians or women workers gather together, you'll find many quietly motivated by the faith they learned from their mothers. Faith in Women in Wales aims to celebrate the all-too-often overlooked contribution of women to all walks of life.

Women of faith, and faith in women, should be brought out of the shadows and made more visible. Faith takes 2pm-Church, East, include Muslim advisor Wales the and member Synagogue, women RELIGIONS UNITE ...

Faith in Women in Wales takes place tomorrow, 2pm-5pm, at Canton Uniting Church, Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff.

Other speakers include Shereen Williams, Muslim chaplain and faith advisor at the University of Wales who will talk about the role of women in Islam, and Shirley Sleight, a member of Cardiff Reform Synagogue, who will discuss women and Judaism International Women's Day will be with events across celebrated the globe this weekend. One will conference in Cardiff tomorrow bring together female speakers from Christianity, Islam and Judaism to talk about the role of women in religion. Here Rev Carol Wardman, Bishops' ' Adviser for Church and Society who organised the event, writes for the Daily Post about her views
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2013
Words:497
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