Forging a Gender Equal World - Salvation Army Canada
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    Forging a Gender Equal World

    March 10, 2020 Captain Laura Van Schaick

    In honour of International Women’s Day, we asked Salvationists how they could forge a more gender equal world.  Here are their responses:

    Captain Cory Fifield

    In a world where men often get the first chance at everything, we need to put more energy into creating equal opportunities for women to be trained and equipped to step into all roles in our organizations. By doing so we open the door for females to step with confidence into increased responsibility. We need to build teams that are diverse and then make sure that diversity is valued. We value diversity when we ensure that everyone has a voice and all voices are equally valued. Where teams are not gender diverse, we need to intentionally identify new female members. Where gender equality is not valued, we need to lead the shift and be willing to take a stand with those unwilling to change. Gender equality has to be the standard we hold up in every situation. Then and only then will we see gender equality normalized.

    Captain Cory Fifield is a Corps Officer in Kamloops, British Columbia

    Larisa Chis

    L’éducation est la source principale pour un avenir dans lequel l’égalité prône!

    Always strive for education while developing a stronger and more equal world!

    Larisa Chis works at Quebec Divisional Headquarters

    Cadet Olivia Campbell-Sweet 

    Encourage and advocate for equal female representation within our Churches. Whether it is behind the pulpit, on our boards or teams, or even in our church leadership -- equal representation is crucial. 

    While we seek equal representation, we also seek equal responsibility or authority. By this I mean seeking to empower and include women in areas where they are gifted, anointed or are seeking to develop. It is imperative that women are not only present – but serving in ways that God has equipped them.

    Some questions we can consider together are: Who serves in our Sunday schools or leads our kids times? Who are the guest speakers at our conferences or gatherings? Who leads our worship?

    If the answers to these questions demonstrate an imbalance between female or male representation identify how you can be a bridge-builder making the disparity become more visible and then, balanced.

    Cadet Olivia Campbell-Sweet is a member of the Messengers of the Kingdom session

    DeOnie Furbert

    I have worked at the Bermuda Department of Corrections for the past 25 years. My current role as Training Manager provides me a unique opportunity to promote equality by encouraging and facilitating workshop/sessions for all staff at every level do the job they were hired to do.  It is important to promote training opportunities that build and develop knowledge and skill-sets that enhance job performance.  Historically, the prison environment has predominantly male staff to deal with our largest incarcerated male population. In the mid 90’s, there was a shift in female officers hired to work in Bermuda’s largest male correctional facility.  Today, there are female officers at every level including the top post of Commissioner of Corrections.  It is our training team goal to continue promoting awareness of gender equality- to communicate policies that speak to sexual harassment, bullying, gender bias, racism etc. 

    I am also a wife and proud mother of a teenage son.  Equality in marriage for me is built on mutual respect.  We are constantly seeking God in our relationship individually and collectively. The role of man and husband in a household is important; we both have strengths and weaknesses that compliment each other.  We are individuals who strive to live and set the example for our son spiritually and socially.  Having open and honest conversations on various issues in our community, allows us to have an equal respectful voice in expressing our opinions.   We have a responsibility to each other and to our community to love, and have mutual respect, even in the differences, we work and exist together to building strong family units which in turn strengthen our community.

    DeOnie Furbert is a soldier at The Salvation Army North Street Citadel in Bermuda

    Karime Issa

    La primera pregunta de mi profesora para romper el hielo en la clase fue: ¿Podría nombrar algunas mujeres que tuvieron un impacto positivo en sus vidas?

    Hubo un gran silencio en el aula, no sabíamos cómo responder a esta pregunta.

    Ella hizo esta pregunta a propósito para hacernos darnos cuenta de que necesitamos cambiar nuestra mentalidad porque vivimos en un mundo donde la mayoría de los modelos a seguir son masculinos.

    La igualdad de género para mí es una puerta que abre un mundo de posibilidades, donde puedo inspirarme de mujeres de influencia que han llegado lejos y han abierto caminos a muchas personas que soñaron con dejar su propio legado. Durante una década, hemos estado cambiando nuestras mentalidades para forjar un mundo con más igualdad de género. Creo que las acciones son el fruto de nuestros pensamientos. Por esta razón, elegiré sincronizarme con el amor y la aceptación y rechazaré todo tipo de pensamiento y acciones de odio.

    Detrás de la igualdad de género, la humanidad grita clara y en voz alta por la justicia y por el rechazo a todo tipo de odio hacia las minorías, las etnias, las comunidades, los hombres, las mujeres, los niños y nosotros mismos.

    My teacher's first icebreaker question was:  Would you please name some women who had a positive impact on your lives?

    There was a great silence in the classroom, we did not know how to answer to this question. She asked this specific question on purpose to make us realize that we need to change our mentality because we live in a world where most of the role models are masculine.

    Gender equality for me is a door that opens a world of possibilities, where I can be inspired by women of influence who have gone far and have opened roads to many who dreamed of leaving their own legacy. For a decade, we have been changing our mentalities to forge a more gender equal world.

    I believe that actions are the fruit of our thoughts. For this reason, I will choose to be synchronized with love and acceptance and reject all kind of thought and actions of hatred.

    Behind the gender equality, humanity shouts clearly and loudly for justice and for rejection to every kind of hatred toward minorities, ethnics, communities, men, women, children and ourselves.

    Karime Issa works at Quebec Divisional Headquarters

    Katrina Vongchampa

    Whether we’re at home with friends or family, in the workplace, at church or as we go about our daily lives, loving one another is key to live a life worthy of God’s calling. We are all one with Christ through our faith and that means that we must live and act in a manner that is just, true and with the same respect that Jesus has shown to so many people, man or woman, because that is what love is. Women can be a powerful force and by creating equal opportunities, we can empower one another and work as a group to achieve success for many generations to come because we are stronger in numbers. Love can break down walls and barriers at home or in society. Love is in our arsenal and we can use this powerful tool to forge a more equal world.

    Katrina Vongchampa is a soldier at The Salvation Army Hamilton Laotian Corps

    Major James Anderson

    Truly, I need look no further than my home! One of the things that attracted me to my wife is she is a professional, intelligent, leader who demonstrates leadership and servanthood, as needed. As a father, I also embrace the strengths and developments of my daughter.  It’s not always easy and it takes patience, but watching her flourish as a professional woman excites me. As I take time to coach and encourage, I know she will make a difference in the her sphere of influence and so she should.  In the Office, I’m intentional about talking to all staff about what they need from me to be successful, to take their dreams to the next level. It’s important to intently look and listen and become the means of causing another to reach the maximum leadership potential.  Discover if her passion is living or needs to live by listening to where they are and where they desire to be! Don’t fall into the snare of thinking loud is strong and quiet is weak.

    Major James Anderson lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a Senior Auditor


    On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Sharon Joyce Tillsley said:

    Thank you for following up on this most timely discussion and being proactive. God bless you.


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