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Women at the Assembly  

In conversation with members of the LWF Council

Decisions made at the Seventh Assembly in 1984 still challenge us today. A milestone resolution affirmed the theological basis for the full participation of women in the life of the church and society. With 32 percent of delegates being women, their presence in Budapest was much greater than at the founding Assembly, where there were only five women among 178 delegates.

The Seventh Assembly resolved that 40 percent of delegates to the Eighth Assembly should be women, with a goal of 50 percent for the Ninth and subsequent Assemblies. With women's participation at 43 percent in the Eighth Assembly and 49 percent in the Ninth Assembly, women continue to analyze whether their increased presence makes a difference.

When the Council, meeting in 2001, approved the study document, `Churches say "NO" to Violence Against Women,' people in other world communions asked how the Federation was able to achieve such a commitment on a global basis. The answer is simple. Women make up 50 percent of the LWF's decision-making bodies—the Assembly and Council—and with them comes the necessary expertise and experience to act decisively reflecting an accountability far beyond mere participation.

To attain this, much courage and perseverance was needed. Preparing for the Tenth Assembly provides yet another opportunity to live out the commitment to women's full participation. Accordingly, each church has been requested to ensure that its list of delegates includes a designated number of women to ensure that 50 percent of delegates from each LWF region are women.

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