Narrowing the Gender Gap in Canada


"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28

In a recent speech at the World Economic Forum in Devos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the importance of women’s rights and gender equality in the workplace. He explained that hiring, promoting, and retaining women in the workplace is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Narrowing the gender gap in Canada, according to the PM, could add $150 billion to the economy by 2026.

The CRCNA has been taking steps towards gender equality, especially in the last 20 years. Just weeks after Synod 1996, women were approved to be candidates for ordination. I have worked alongside some amazing women in the Christian Reformed Church during my time with the Climate Witness Project, with World Renew, and currently with the Canadian CRCNA communications team. I am encouraged by the number of women in ministry and leadership roles.

Does your church make an effort to encourage, hire, and promote women? What are some areas in the church that need improvement? In light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, what can the church do to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct against women?

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As a mother of young girls, this topic is near and dear to my heart.  Growing up, I had three brothers.  I always felt that I, as a girl, could do anything that they could do. All around me, I saw women forging their way in leadership -- Kim Campbell became Prime Minister; Manon Rheaume was in the NHL. The one place where I didn't see women being welcomed and celebrated as leaders was in church. Women led in church in their own way (Sunday School, GEMs, Bible studies) but not from the pulpit or council room. This hurt and actually made me leave the CRC for a time. For this very reason, when my girls were born, my husband and I deliberately sought out congregations where women and men led in partnership with each other.