In recent years, Britain has slowly begun to wake up to the reality of sexual abuse. The Jimmy Saville scandal triggered shocking revelations about abuse carried out by respected entertainers in the 1970s and 80s. Child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church have been followed by increased reports of similar outrages in the Church of England. Only this week, it was revealed that the Scout Association had paid out thousands to settle legal cases brought by survivors of sexual abuse.
The University and College Union (UCU) in Scotland has responded to the report by Rashida Manjoo, a United Nations human rights expert and rapporteur, who says Britain's sexist culture is more 'pervasive' and 'in your face' than any other country she has visited, by getting the backing of unions across Scotland for action on campuses.
It is a truly terrible statistic: one in three women will experience violence at the hands of men at some time in their lives. This represents around one billion individuals and today – when so many are celebrating the gentler aspect of relationships between men and women – the One Billion Rising movement attempts to bring people together across 200 countries to call for change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17999)
Last-minute changes have complicated the Church of England’s slow progress towards allowing women to be bishops, says Savi Hensman. Attempts to placate opponents are unhelpfully stalling the process further.
Even more depressing than the puerile, bigoted and deeply unfunny 'banter' that got Sky TV presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys into hot water over their comments about referee Sian Massey, is the number of otherwise decent people who are feebly trying to excuse it.
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has set out his view of women as 'equal but different'. Savi Hensman traces the patriarchal assumptions behind this position, and questions its claims to biblical authority.
The head of the Anglican Church in Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, says that the Easter Gospel means “joining in God’s recreation of the world”. In addition to global injustice and violence, he highlights the suffering of women and gay people in the church.