Elastic Man – Religion and Gender

Public Meeting Announcement

Elastic Man: What do our religions (continue to) make of men, as they (continue to) re-define women?

Wednesday 15 November, 7:00pm
Salvation Army Citadel, 92 Vivian Street
Entry by Koha

In this ever-changing world, as Women’s role(s) have been and are constantly re-defined, they impact and revise the role of Men. This evening will consider our endlessly malleable religious roles, as they are experienced in our places of worship, and in our homes. Change can be as challenging – and acceptance as elusive – within the schools of a single religion as it can be in the streets we share.

What do our religions (continue to) make of gender?


Sue Esterman – Jewish

Sue has helped to shape gender roles in Wellington’s Progressive Jewish Congregation for 40 years.  With a committed peer group, she studied, made herself competent, and acted:  reading from the Torah, leading services and music, becoming the Temple’s first female marriage celebrant and its second funeral celebrant.  She taught Hebrew school for 25 years, chaired the Board of Management (twice) and the Ritual Committee.  Progressive Judaism has always professed equality, but it has taken real effort to, progressively, bring it to life.

Rehanna Ali – Muslim

Rehanna calls Wellington home and is an active member of the vibrant and diverse local Muslim community based at the Kilbirnie Mosque. A founding member of the Islamic Women’s Council of NZ and a long-term participant and supporter of NZ interfaith initiatives, she is currently a member of the Wellington Interfaith Council. With a background in Law, including Islamic Shariah, Rehanna has spent the last two decades working in the field of international development. She has a particular interest in issues related to gender equity, community development and diversity and is kept optimistic by an ongoing study of Islamic spirituality.

Diane Gilliam-Weeks – Christian

Diane has been working for gender and ethnic equity for 45 years first in television in the 70’s and 80’s in Media Women and later in her role as Director of Communications for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. She was required to gain a degree in Theology before being ordained to ministry in 2002. Diane’s home church is in Eastbourne and she is active at regional and national levels. With a Muslim friend, Diane initiated an interfaith lunch some years ago where food, faith and friendship were shared. She identifies with the contemplative tradition in Christianity.

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For more information, email Marilyn Garson, margarson@gmail.com, or ring Dave Moskovitz on 027 220 2202