Struggles for Women-Inclusive Leadership in Toraja Church in Indonesia and the Evangelical Church of Vietnam
Author(s)Ly, Le Ngoc Bich
GE SubjectsSocial ethics
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AbstractTraditionally, women in Vietnam have been seen as the sole nurturer and care-taker of the family. Similarly, recent reports show that both men and women in Vietnam expect women to behave in a socially constrained way. Women’s struggle for leadership in religious organizations in Southeast Asia has been particularly characterized with various levels of accomplishment. This study takes the Toraja Church in Indonesia and the Evangelical Church of Vietnam as two cross-cultural case studies. As the main causes of change in the churches, the author discusses (1) the degree of destabilizing forces from external context and institutional structure; (2) the degree of support and identification with the struggle by male leaders; and (3) the dominant existence of women’s feminist projects and their success in turning their feminist projects into collective effort.