Women of Faith and Feminism: Women’s Melbourne Network

wmwJoin Women’s Melbourne Network for a frank and fearless of discussion with women of faith and feminism. Inspirational women from faith communities and backgrounds will discuss religion, gender and feminism.

Sherene Hassan is a director of the Islamic Museum of Australia in Thornbury. She served as vice president and secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, the peak body for 90,000 Victorian Muslims for eight years. To date, she has conducted over 800 information sessions on Islam to diverse audiences ranging from the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School to the Australian Federal Police. In December 2007, Sherene was selected by the Age newspaper as one of Melbourne’s 100 Most Influential people. Formerly a chemistry and physics teacher, Sherene is married with four children.

In a recent letter to the editor in The Age – theage.com.au, Hassan said, “As a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf, I have never experienced such a hostile atmosphere towards Muslims. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all those who have chosen the path of understanding over fear after Sonia Kruger’s comments about Muslims. These individuals make life a litte more bearable. I would love to invite you all for coffee at the Islamic museum. My shout.”

Bishop Genieve Blackwell is the second woman to be appointed Bishop in the Melbourne Anglican Church. Bishop Blackwell was ordained as a priest in 1998 and became New South Wales’ first female bishop in 2012, before become a Bishop in Victoria in 2015. She has degrees from the University of Sydney and the Australian College of Theology, and an MA in theology from the Australian Catholic University.

Bishop Blackwell has pushed the church to reconnect with a community facing questions over the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and sexual minorities. On women in the Anglican faith, Blackwell has said, “I think as women we bring particular gifts and it’s lovely that in the leadership of the church we see both men and women being accepted and used by God, and this reflects His kingdom.”

Lee Kofman is a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author who became agnostic as a teenager but was raised by ultra-orthadox Jewish parents who were persecuted for their beliefs in the Soviet Union. Lee is the author of five books, a writing teacher and mentor. Lee has published three works of fiction in Hebrew, and two in English – the memoir The Dangerous Bride about non-monogamy and migration and Rebellious Daughters, an anthology of memoir by prominent Australian female authors.

Lee has said, “My position of religion generally is ambivalent. I am a great believer that people should have the freedom to practice their religion, particularly that my own parents were persecuted quite severely for their religious beliefs in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, I see religion as ideology and as such it can often be dangerously divisive – I see this in my family too – and so I’m not a big fan of it (although I’m agnostic, not an atheist).”

What’s the relationship between faith and feminism? How do you negotiate between the two? How do you view patriarchal faith traditions? How do you push for gender equality within faith traditions?

You’ll also have the chance to ask questions of the panel members and participate in what promises to be a stimulating conversation.

Event Details

Event:Women of Faith and Feminism
Date: Wednesday 24 August 2016
Time: 6:15pm
Location: Multicultural Hub – 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne 3000
Cost: $15 adult | $10 concession
Registration: Online booking
More information: Susanne Newton ~ 0413 357 532