The E-Newsletter of
A Monthly Digest of Current Research, Emerging Issues, and New Initiatives

Vol. 4, No. 4, April 2008
Luis T. Gutierrez, Editor

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Violence is the main obstacle to human development. There is an intrinsic link between violence and religion, patriarchal gender violence being the most pervasive expression of religious violence. Mitigating violence therefore requires overcoming the patriarchal mindset, especially in religious institutions. The mission of this independent newsletter is to provide a commented digest on current research and emerging issues related to human solidarity, ecological sustainability, and both religious and secular non-violence. The U.N. "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs) are used as a point of reference.

Theme of this Issue
Gender Dimension of Sustainable Development


The previous themes this year have been:

  • The Religious Dimension of Sustainable Development (January)
  • The Spiritual Dimension of Sustainable Development (February)
  • The Human Dimension of Sustainable Development (March)

The theme this month is:

  • The Gender Dimension of Sustainable Development (April)

The theme in preparation for next month is:

  • The Nuptial Dimension of Sustainable Development (May)

This issue continues the series on "dimensions" of sustainable development. So many dimensions come to mind that this may be a long series. For each "dimensional slice," the plan is to do the analysis keeping in mind the other closely related dimensions. The plan is to develop the series "inside out," starting with the inner dimension of human life (January, February), then the concrete totality of the human being (March, April), then other dimensions in an expanding set of embedded concentric circles, and always keeping in touch with the homo solidarius at the center.

The "human dimension" (March) is followed by the "gender dimension" (April). The focus is on the need for gender balance in all phases of human life: family, work, society, religion. A formal term for gender balance is "zygarchy," defined as a form of society in which power is equally shared between men and women, or a family structure where power is shared equally by both parents. From the beginning (e.g., Genesis 1-2) gender balance has been the natural order of things. It is shown to be indispensable for the MDGs. It is shown to be indispensable for authentic human development. This issue presents a number of very "conservative" propositions:

  • The dignity and human rights of each person are sacred
  • The original unity of man and woman must be restored as much as possible
  • Gender balance in the family is the cornerstone of society
  • Gender balance in the workplace is the cornerstone of sustainable development
  • Gender balance should become normative in all secular institutions
  • Gender balance should become normative in all religious institutions
  • Both the MDGs and integral human development require gender balance

In the secular spheres of family, workplace, and social institutions, zygarchy (gender balance) is the norm that follows from the full sharing of human nature by men and women. Surely, men and women are different genitally, and there are psychosomatic differences (left side of brain predominantly male, right side of brain predominantly female) but men and women being mutually complementary in no way implies that they are mutually exclusive as to their roles in the family, in the workplace, and in society.

The same applies in the religious sphere. Both men and women can and should have roles of religious authority and responsibility. The patriarchal imagery and organization of most religions is one of the most harmful distortions created by the human mind, and is basically at the service of phallocentric doctrines and institutions. It cannot possibly be for the glory of God and the good of souls, since both the glory of God and the good of souls is attained by way of sacrificial service, not by way of self-serving domination.

It follows, that religious institutions have the greatest responsibility to let go of harmful practices and doctrines, as the New Testament advises in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22: Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. Nothing is as harmful to humanity as religious intimidation, religious violence, and religious fundamentalism.

This issue also provides some information on the complex issue of subsidies. There are a huge number of government subsidies (usually in the form of tax breaks) given to both secular and religious institutions that practice gender discrimination in one form or another. In the secular world, women are generally paid less for doing the same work as men. Everyone knows about the "feminization of poverty" and other forms of gender violence which is often orchestrated by institutions that abuse women with one hand and receive lucrative subsidies with the other. In the world of religion, it is sufficient to mention that Roman Catholic and Islamic practice of excluding women from the clergy; a practice which is perpetuated by plain intimidation and crudely rationalized by ancient prejudice and recently developed "new doctrines."

Updates of the SSNV-MDG knowledge taxonomy and links database continue as time permits. Links to marginal research resources are being deleted, and links to "best of the web" resources continue to be collected. This is a never ending task, and the reader is cordially invited to take a look at this resource, grab anything of interest, and download it (free) for your own use (two options: HTML Web Page or EXCEL Spreadsheet with tailorable HTML code). Adding an additional column to link content to same or similar content in languages other than English is under consideration.

The invited paper this moth is Our Pathway to 2015 by Sarah B. Strickland, Senior Strategy Consultant, Cincinnatus, Inc.


  1. The UN MDGs & Gender Balance
  2. Gender Balance at Home
  3. Gender Balance at Work
  4. Gender Balance in Society
  5. Gender Balance in Religion
  6. Gender Balance & Human Development
  7. Knowledge Management for SSNV
  8. Prayer, Study, and Action
  9. Links to Archived Newsletters

Our Pathway to 2015 by Sarah B. Strickland,
Senior Strategy Consultant , Cincinnatus, Inc.

The Pelican Symbol
Human Nature
Religious Traditions
Global News/Issues
Global Citizens
Sign of the Times
Hillary for President
  • MDG Pubs & Data
    SSNV Links
    Gender Links
    Web for Kids
    Free Downloads

    1. The MDGs and Gender Balance

    Violence makes sustainable development unfeasible. There is no room for solidarity and sustainability when human behavior is driven by violence. The ubiquity of violence derives from gender violence: 50% of humanity struggling to dominate the other 50%. This has been so since the beginning of human history (Genesis 3:16), but it does not have to remain as a permanent wound of human civilization (Galatians 3:28).

    Both patriarchy and matriarchy are institutionalizations of gender violence. Zygarchy, or gender balance, is the sharing of both authority and responsibility by men and women in all dimensions of human life. Zygarchy is proposed as the best model to attain gender balance, and gender peace, pursuant to solidarity, sustainability, and the future of humanity. Figure 1 is a Venn diagram visualization of this proposal.

    Figure 1 - SSNV Model of Sustainable Human Development
    VIOLENCE is the greatest barrier to sustainable development
    GENDER VIOLENCE is the most fundamental and pervasive form of VIOLENCE
    PATRIARCHY and MATRIARCHY are institutionalizations of GENDER VIOLENCE
    ZYGARCHY is proposed as the best model to mitigate GENDER VIOLENCE, and attain GENDER BALANCE, pursuant to solidarity, sustainability, and the future of humanity. According to the Web Glossary: "Zygarchy is a form of society in which power is equally shared between men and women, or a family structure where power is shared equally by both parents. The word zygarchy derives from the Greek word zeugos meaning "couple" and the Greek word archein meaning "to rule". Zygarchy is to be distinguished from matriarchy, a form of society in which power is with the women and especially with the mothers of a community, and from patriarchy in which power lies with the men and fathers of the society."

    A reader has suggested the following question: "How do traditional gender relations adapt to the new requirements of sustainable development?" This is a good question, perhaps the key question that must be researched. Good research questions are the ones that most often lead to good research answers. The SSNV working hypothesis is that gender relations will have to adapt to the new realities and the new culture of sustainable development by becoming less patriarchal without becoming more matriarchal, eventually leading to zygarchy, i.e., men and women sharing both authority and responsibility in all aspects of family and social life (including religion!).

    In previous issues, it was concluded that MDG3 - the promotion of gender equality - is the pivotal MDG and the gateway to making progress in all the other MDGs. It was shown that lack of cross-gender solidarity was a significant (perhaps the most significant) inhibitor along the path toward attaining the MDGs. Zygarchy would provide a model for male-female relations that would mitigate the propensity to domination by either gender. Theoretically, it is very appealing. In practical terms, however, the fact is that human history provides only minimal experience in working things out under zygarchy. In a hierarchical order of things (patriarchal or matriarchal) it is easy to understand who has the final word. Zygarchy would require a continuous balancing act, with dialogue replacing unilateral decisions in matters of importance.

    In brief, gender balance is the natural order of things. There is gender balance in most living species. There is gender balance in humanity. But zygarchy, which is the structuring of gender balance in human affairs and institutions, is still rare. It may be that it takes dialogue, and therefore time and effort, to make zygarchy work. Patriarchy is no longer an option. The reader is invited to revisit our 2007 series of analysis on the MDGs, showing the need to achieve full gender equality worldwide, and sooner rather than later. Else, none of the other MDGs will be achieved. MDG3 is the key that opens the gateway to all the others.

    If zygarchy doesn't work, what else is there?

    2. Gender Balance at Home

    Zygarchy (gender balance) must begin at home.

    The husband and the wife make all important decisions together. Children are under the joint authority of their father and mother, who share responsibility for their education and well-being. The husband/wife (father/mother) couple makes decisions as a couple. Both, together, are head of the family; except for cases in which one of them is absent or incapable. This may require dialogue to resolve disagreements, and would seem to be more difficult than letting one person make all the final decisions. But it is both possible and better than either the patriarchal or the matriarchal order of things; and this for many reasons.

    The first reason is the human development of the spouses themselves. It is not only a matter of both developing their human potential in terms of work and leisure, inside and outside the home. The vocation to married life does not imply that one spouse shall go to the university, have a career, and work in various capacities at the service of society; while the other stays at home washing dishes and taking care of the children. In fact, the precise opposite is the case. The vocation to married life entails a commitment to nuptial unity and mutual self-giving. By definition, such unity and self-giving are precluded by either patriarchy or matriarchy.

    The second reason is the human development of the children. Surely, this includes feeding them, clothing them, keeping them safe, caring for them in every way shape and form. But is also includes being role models for them. Both the boys and the girls must see, in their parents, the desire to become all they can be. Why should the boys see in their father the provider and figure of authority? Why should they see in their mother a second-class human being that languishes in the minutiae of daily house chores? The same questions apply for the girls. It is critical to understand that children learn by what they see and feel at home. This is the kind of learning that will guide their behavior and priorities when they become adults and have their own families. Surely, schooling is indispensable, for girls as well as for boys. But no school is more important than the family. And it is becoming increasingly evident that the patriarchal family is breaking down and can no longer provide a good "domestic school" for the children.

    A third reason pertains to the practice of social justice within the family. Whether induced by external factors or internal family relations, there is such thing as "rich" and "poor" within families: "The chronically poor are those trapped in unequal social relations that are so unjust that there is no or very limited opportunity for upwards social and economic mobility, such that they experience persistently high levels of poverty. These may be at national or international level, but in some cases are at local, community level, and may even be found within households" (see The World's Most Deprived, IFPRI, 2007, page 78). Poverty within households can be material (exclusion from sharing in the family resources), spiritual (exclusion from sharing in heart to heart communications), or both. This happens in poor families, in middle-class families, and in well-to-do families. In any case, the best preventive is for both the father and the mother to be "the heart of the family."

    Much has been written on gender roles at home, covering the wide spectrum from overt misogyny to gender balance. For further study, the following are recommended:

    3. Gender Balance at Work

    Zygarchy (gender balance) must begin at home and continue at work.

    The collapse of patriarchy at home is tightly coupled to the collapse of patriarchy at work. We still have a long way to go in achieving gender equity in the workplace. Mercifully gone are the days in which women would be excluded from most of the professions and public functions. But there are many subtle (and not so subtle) ways to discriminate against one gender or another; and there are many ways to rationalize discriminatory behavior, including some that include highly "altruistic" fallacies. The following are recommended sources of historical accounts:

    One way to discriminate (or, at least, condone discrimination) is the practice of subsidies. The following reader feedback pertains to the USA, but is certainly not limited to the USA: "I would suggest looking at government subsidies that encourage individuals and corporations to degrade the environment and will cause societal strain. For example - people buy/build larger houses because there is no cap on tax write-offs for homes. A larger home consumes much more in heating/cooling, electric and materials. The subsidy should be changed to still encourage home ownership, but to discourage "McMansions" with a cap a certain square footage .... In agriculture, out west - those who use more water maintain the rights to greater usage. Those who conserve water, lose their rights to using more water. This is out west in a drought-prone/problem area. Water conservation should be encouraged. Wasting water should be discouraged - the subsidy should be changed" (Joshua Leonard, personal communication).

    Specifically on the tightly coupled issue of subsidies and gender imbalance, consider the following:

    • International Religious Freedom Data (ARDA)
    • Pervasive Prejudice?: Unconventional Evidence of Race and Gender Discrimination, Ian Ayres, University of Chicago Press, 2000 [search for "gender"]
    • Freedom of Expressive Association and Government Subsidies, Eugene Volokh, The Stanford Law Review, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp. 1919-1968, 2005.

      "May the government limit these programs to groups that don’t discriminate based on religion, sexual orientation, sex, race, ethnicity, and similar factors? Such discrimination is often a constitutional right—a right that’s one of Chief Justice Rehnquist’s and Justice O’Connor’s important contributions to First Amendment jurisprudence. And many groups exercise this right.

      The Boy Scouts discriminate against the irreligious and against practicing homosexuals. Some religious student groups discriminate against members of other religions, and sometimes against practicing homosexuals. The Catholic Church discriminates based on sex in selecting its clergy, presumably based on religion. Orthodox Jewish synagogues discriminate based on ethnicity, not just religion, in choosing rabbis and members.6 Meetings organized by the Nation of Islam sometimes exclude attendees based on race and sex. Some religious schools discriminate based on religion in selecting students, at least in the sense that they will choose only those students who are willing to participate in the religion’s devotional activities. May all these groups be constitutionally excluded from generally available benefit programs, because they exercise this constitutional right to discriminate?

      This Article will try to answer this question. Part I will discuss what I call the No Duty To Subsidize Principle, to which Chief Justice Rehnquist and (to a lesser degree) Justice O’Connor have contributed much: the principle that the government generally need not subsidize the exercise of constitutional rights. Groups have the constitutional right to put on events and programs open only to blacks, heterosexuals, men, or religious believers; they may also put on programs open to all listeners but designed by group officers who are chosen in discriminatory ways. Yet the government need not subsidize this right, just as the government need not subsidize the rights to abortion, private schooling, or political expression about candidates or about legislation."

    • International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion, Grim, Brian J. and Roger Finke, Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion 2 (Article 1), 2006.

      "Actions of the state, however, may also be supportive of religion. Indeed, many countries openly favor select religions. We define religious favoritism as “subsidies, privileges, support, or favorable sanctions provided by the state to a select religion or a small group of religions.” This favoritism can come in many forms. Like government regulation, subsidies can be constitutional guarantees, or they can result from the more capricious actions of administrative offices. The most obvious are specific constitutional privileges and the financial subsidies that directly support religious institutions. Less obvious are the supports of state institutions and administrators for such things as the teaching of religion in state supported schools and subsidy of service institutions run by religious groups."

    Subsidies do have gender discrimination repercussions. Succinctly stated: "Generally speaking the government provides various benefits -- such as the tax deduction for contributions -- to a vast range of nonprofit organizations, religious or not, and discriminatory or not. There's no constitutional problem with the government's declining to exclude discriminatory groups, whether they discriminate based on sex, religion, or whatever else" (Eugene Volokh, personal communication). In other words, the law of the land must be changed before the subsidy can be changed. Easier said than done, but the fact remains that it is unfair to use tax monies to subsidize institutions (including religious institutions) that systematically discriminate in the workplace based on gender, race, age, etc. Needless to say, untangling the laws and regulations that subsidize patriarchy in the workplace may take several generations.

    There is another option: do not buy goods and services from, or make financial contributions to, institutions that practice gender discrimination while receiving government subsidies. For instance, a campaign is currently underway to abstain from buying gasoline from Enron and Mobil after these companies reported huge financial gains for the first quarter this year. Buy all the gasoline you need, but not from Enron or Mobil. The only way to get the attention of those abusing subsidies and tax brakes is to hit them in the pocketbook.

    4. Gender Balance in Society

    Zygarchy (gender balance) must begin at home, continue at work, and expand to become normative in all human affairs and human institutions.

    The equal development of men and women pertains to all dimensions of human development, both secular and religious:

    "The world of humanity has two wings; one is woman and the other man. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of woman becomes equal to the world of man in the acquisition of virtues and perfection's, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be."

    Most universities in the world now have programs in women and gender studies as part of their curriculum. The United Nations recognized the importance of gender balance by making it one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG3). A wealth of scholarly literature has emerged in conjunction with the first and second waves of feminism. Examples:

    The reader plunging into this literature for the first time may prefer to start with the three pivotal articles in Wikipedia:

    The first wave of feminism emerged in the 1960s in order to overcome some of the limitations of the fist wave:

    "First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the nineteenth and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States. It focused on de jure (officially mandated) inequalities, primarily on gaining women's suffrage (the right to vote). The term "first-wave" was coined retroactively in the 1970s. The women's movement then, focusing as much on fighting de facto (unofficial) inequalities as de jure ones, acknowledged its foremothers by calling itself "second-wave feminism."

    The second wave of feminism emerged in the 1960s in order to overcome some of the limitations of the fist wave:

    "Second-wave feminism is generally identified with a period beginning in the early nineteen sixties. It is referred to as "second-wave" feminism as social changes tend to occur in waves. Its proponents ascribe its arrival to what they see as the failure of first wave feminism to achieve its aims. The movement encouraged women to understand the psychological implications of sexist stereotypes, and to make them realize that they could achieve more in life than being a housewife. It is credited by some as having opened up the eyes of American women to a world of careers and achievement. During the Second World War, many women experienced working life for the very first time. Women and men were working side by side, and achievements were being recognized. In the wake of the war, it is often argued that the short-lived affirmation of women's independence gave way to a pervasive endorsement of female subordination and domesticity, and it was not until the 1960s that the women's movement became successful.

    The third wave of feminism is a more mature response to the backlash induced by the first and second waves:

    "Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's "essentialist" definitions of femininity, which often assumed a universal female identity and over-emphasized experiences of upper middle class white women. A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is central to third wave ideology. There is a heightened emphasis on the discursive power and fundamental ambiguity inherent in gender terms and categories. Third-wave theory usually encompasses queer theory, transgender politics and a rejection of the gender binary, anti-racism and women of color consciousness, womanism, post-colonial theory, critical theory, transnationalism, ecofeminism, libertarian feminism, and new feminist theory. Also considered part of the third wave is sex-positivity, a celebration of sexuality as a positive aspect of life, with broader definitions of what sex means and what oppression and empowerment may mean in the context of sex. For example, many third-wave feminists have reconsidered oppositions to pornography and sex work of the second-wave and challenge existing beliefs that participants in pornography and sex work can not be empowered. Third wave feminists often focus on "micropolitics," writing about forms of gender expression and representation that are less explicitly political than their predecessors. They also challenged the second wave's paradigm as to what is, or is not, good for females."

    The first wave of feminism was mostly limited to the UK and the USA. The second wave extended the horizons of the feminist movement to include most of the entire "Global North." The third wave is truly global. It is also green and irreversible, because it is required for sustainable development and for humanity to become more human.

    5. Gender Balance in Religion

    Zygarchy (gender balance) must begin at home, continue at work, and expand to become normative in all human affairs and human institutions, including religious institutions.

    Let us reconsider the equal development of men and women as pertaining to all dimensions of human development, both secular and religious:

    "The world of humanity has two wings; one is woman and the other man. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of woman becomes equal to the world of man in the acquisition of virtues and perfection's, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be."

    Gender balance in religion has not benefited from as much research as gender balance in society. There is something in religion, and in the dynamics of religious institutions, that inhibits many people from even touching the subject.

    • Women and Religion
    • Gender and Society
    • Support to Organized Religious Sexism
    • Assessing the Impact of Religion on Gender Status
    • Women and Christianity
    • Christian Women, Relationships, and Faith
    • Women in Islam
    • Women in Islamic Societies
    • The Roots of Sexism in Religion
    • When Religion Reinforces Sexism
    • Bird with Two Wings: The Equality of Men and Women
      • A beautiful exposition (in the Baha'i tradition) of the importance of gender equality and balance in both religion and society.
    • The Theology of the Body (Vatican)
      • This is a real treasure, but unfortunately it remains buried and unknown to most people when it could be applied to the resolution of all the objections to the ordination of women. It is hard to understand why Pope John Paul II, who had written most of it before becoming pope, backtracked and decided to terminate (unilaterally) the process of discernment pursuant to the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church.
    • Apostolic Letter Mulieres Dignitatem (Vatican)
      • A patronizing pontification in which the Roman Catholic Church finally admits (better late than never) that women are not inferior to men, while at the same time reiterating that roles of religious authority in the RCC remain reserved to men (why???)
    • Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Vatican)
      • This may be the most brutal aberration in Roman Catholic teaching since Maleus Maleficarum (1486). It is a blunt, intimidating statement to the effect that ordination of women is forbidden in the Roman Catholic Church. The opening section is an attempt to intimidate the Anglican Communion about proceeding with the ordination of women. The subsequent sections are nothing but a crude rationalization of the status quo, based on a "literalist" ("fundamentalist") exegesis of selected passages from the Bible; a sad repetition of the Galileo case. The document is written in such as way that it is not an infallible definition (smoke screens to the contrary notwithstanding) but a definitively fallible statement that ordination is reserved for men alone. To add insult to injury, Christ is used as scapegoat ("the church cannot ordain women before Christ has not given permission to do so"). What is then the meaning of the "power of the keys"? And, for Roman Catholics, it is now forbidden to even discuss the issue. Only God can judge, but Ordinatio Sacerdotalis smells fishy.

    By this "definitive" refusal to ordain women, the harm that the Roman Catholic Church is inflicting on humanity is incalculable. It reinforces primitive taboos about women being unclean, and even subhuman. It reinforces old misconceptions about the "masculinity" of the Trinity. It perpetuates the worship of a warrior God -- an idol entirely created by human hands. At a time when even Islamic scholars are reconsidering the misogyny of the Koran and the role of women in Muslim society, it discourages Christian-Muslim dialogue on this critical issue. Needless to say, it is an obstacle to ecumenism (the quest for unity) among the Christian churches. Thank God, some Christian churches have started ordaining women, and paying the price for doing what is right. A notable example is the Episcopal Church in the USA (where a woman, Katharine Jefferts Schori, was recently elected as prime bishop, or primate) and several other provinces of the Anglican Communion.

    6. Gender Balance & Human Development

    At the global level, one way to understand the connection between gender balance and human development is to juxtapose maps showing the geography of gender balance and human development indicators. For instance, consider the maps shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. It should be noted that the maps use the same color coding but are based on independent sets of data: GEI is based on 2004 data, and HDI is based on 2002 data.

    Gender Equity Index (GEI)
    Figure 2 - GEI Global Geography
    Source: Globalis & UNU (2004)
    Human Development Index (HDI)
    Figure 3 - HDI Global Geography
    Source: Globalis & UNU (2002)
    Lighter indicates high gender equity index, darker indicates low gender equity index. It is recognized that correlation does not imply causation. But the issue is not why gender equity is distributed as shown. The issue is how to improve both gender equity and human development going forward. If gender equity and human development remain stagnant, investing billions, and even trillions, will be an exercise in futility. Lighter indicates high human development index, darker indicates low human development index. Again, correlation does not imply causation. Again, the issue is not how we got here. The issue is how to improve both gender equity and human development going forward. If gender equity and human development remain stagnant, investing billions, and even trillions, will be an exercise in futility.

    The UN Millennium Development Goals are probably the best option when it comes to improving both gender equality and human development, especially in those regions where the situation is worst. Consider Figure 4:

    Figure 4 - GEI Decomposition (Economic, Education, Health, Political) by Country
    Source: Human Development Report 2007-2008 (UNDP)
    Vertical axis: 0% = inequality, 100% = equality.
    Horizontal axis: 128 countries ordered in descending value of GEI.

    The message of these trends is simple. Gender equity keeps decreasing in most countries, and especially in those where gender equity is already low. The economic, education, and political empowerment components follow similar declining patterns. The health component is more stable, and this may be due to the increased efforts regarding MDG4 (reduction of infant mortality), MDG5 (reduction of maternal mortality) and MDG6 (mitigation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic). For education, these results compare with the current trends reported by the World Bank on the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education

    The criticality of improving gender balance for human development and for all the other MDGs cannot be overemphasized:

    UN MDGs 1 TO 8:


    PLUS "MDG" 9:
    Freedom of Conscience






    7. Knowledge Management for SSNV

    It is difficult to find any information that is totally irrelevant to solidarity, sustainability, and nonviolence. This is even more so regarding knowledge and wisdom. Tools like Google and Wikipedia enable the researcher to find much of what is needed in a rather efficient manner. But it is also useful to keep collections of links to knowledge and data sources that are frequently used. SSNV readers are reminded about the following free resources:

    Updates of the SSNV-MDG knowledge taxonomy and links database continue as time permits. This is work in progress and will continue to evolve as the research unfolds. The best resource on the web that includes both a knowledge taxonomy and links to URLs with knowledge content is the Knowledge 2008: Map of Human Knowledge by Chaim Zins. It provides:

    There have been many recent advances in data/info/knowledge retrieval and visualization methods. The following websites are worth visiting:

    Regarding the SSNV Directory of Knowledge Content, there is one more column in the horizon: language. All the websites linked to the current database are in English. A few are translated to other languages, mainly French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish. Even if the websites are different, there are websites in various languages that provide essentially the same content. It would seem that providing links to websites in other languages may be useful for those who are not familiar with English, or who need material in another language. Russian, Chinese, and Japanese would be more difficult due to the differences in alphabets and fonts. If anyone has any suggestion on how to approach the transition from an English-only to a multilingual database, please let us know!

    8. Prayer, Study, and Action

    For Christians, during this Easter season, the best "prayer, study, and action" is to meditate on the paschal mystery, repent from sin after a good "examination of conscience," and start looking for concrete ways to follow "the straight and narrow path." This path is one in which we make a radical renunciation of violence. In particular, we renounce using others as scapegoats for our own sins. The following collage is a visualization of some of the divine mysteries revealed to us in Christ, as well as some of the many forms of human collaboration God needs in order to continue "building humanity" and "building the earth." This is a great mystery indeed, that God needs our cooperation in order to continue the mission of Jesus in the world.

    Click on the image to see a larger image

    Sources for the images of paintings and photos used in the collage include the following:

    The icon of the Holy Trinity by Sergei Rublev (Russia, ca. 1420)
    Photo of St. Therese of Lisieux (Lisieux, France, 1897)
    The Pelican symbol of self-sacrifice for the good of others (Physiologus, 4th century CE)
    Photo of Bishop Penelope Jamieson (Dunedin, New Zealand, 1990)
    Photo of Rev. Mary Ramerman, Spiritus Christ Community (Rochester, New York, 1996)
    Painting of the Last Supper by Bohdan Piasecki (Poland, 1998)
    Painting of Mary Magdalene preaching the gospel Emer O'Boyle (Ireland, 2003)
    Painting of a woman priest celebrating Mass by Farid de la Ossa (Colombia, 2008)
    Photo of Prime Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Suheil Dawani (Jerusalem, 2008)
    Painting of the crucifixion of Jesus (Grey Nuns’ chapel, Boston)
    The Yin-Yang symbol of masculinity and femininity (Tao tradition, China)

    For those who prefer readings, the following are suggested:

    Finally, for those who are looking for some concrete action, please consider participating in the following project:



    Western Michigan University
    Department of: Interdisciplinary Evaluation
    Principal Investigator: Michael Scriven
    Student Investigator: Daniela Schroeter

    Dear members of the Solidarity-Sustainability Group:

    My name is Daniela Schroeter. I am a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation Program at Western Michigan University. I am writing to invite you to participate in a validation study of my Sustainability Evaluation Checklist as it relates to sustainability evaluation in international contexts. Your knowledge and expertise will be highly valuable in assuring that the checklist is complete, correct, and useful.

    The checklist has been developed based on a literature review and provides guidance for general evaluation tasks as well as criteria of specific relevance to sustainability. Specifically, it distinguishes between evaluation OF sustainability (i.e., How well an evaluation object is being sustained?) and evaluation FOR sustainability (i.e., How well does an evaluation object address the larger concerns faced within sustainable development?).

    If you agree to participate, I will provide you with the checklist and a survey that asks questions about the checklist and about your professional background. In addition to the time required to read the checklist, the survey will take approximately 20 minutes of your time. Your responses will be treated confidentially. If you know of any person who may be interested in this project and who is not on this listserv, please forward this e-mail respectively.

    If you are interested in participating in the study and willing to volunteer some of your valuable time for providing critical feedback on the checklist, please reply favorably to my personal e-mail address: I will respond to you with a copy of the checklist and the survey. Please indicate if you prefer taking the survey via a web-based link or a word document in which you can save your answers.

    If you decide to participate, you will receive a synthesis of the responses to the survey as well as the improved checklist for use in your organization.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Daniela C. Schroeter
    PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Evaluation
    Western Michigan University Evaluation Center
    Associate Editor of the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation


    9. Links to Archived Newsletters

    The following are links to previous issues of the newsletter:

    V1 N1 May 2005: Cross-Gender Solidarity
    V1 N2 June 2005: The Phallocentric Syndrome
    V1 N3 July 2005: From Patriarchy to Solidarity
    V1 N4 August 2005: Synthesis of Patriarchy and Solidarity
    V1 N5 September 2005: From Solidarity to Sustainability
    V1 N6 October 2005: Dimensions of Sustainability
    V1 N7 November 2005: Analysis and Synthesis of Objective Evidence
    V1 N8 December 2005: Solidarity, Subsidiarity, and Sustainability
    V2 N1 January 2006: Synthesis of Solidarity and Sustainability
    V2 N2 February 2006: Sustainable Human Development
    V2 N3 March 2006: Patriarchy and Mimetic Violence
    V2 N4 April 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions
    V2 N5 May 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 2
    V2 N6 June 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 3
    V2 N7 July 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 4
    V2 N8 August 2006: Mimetic Violence in Patriarchal Religions 5
    V2 N9 September 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ September 2006
    V2 N10 October 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ October 2006
    V2 N11 November 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ November 2006
    V2 N12 December 2006: Sabbatical Activity ~ December 2006
    V3 N01 January 2007: MDG1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty
    V3 N02 February 2007: MDG2: Universal Primary Education
    V3 N03 March 2007: MDG3: Promotion of Gender Equality
    V3 N04 April 2007: MDG4: Reduction of Child Mortality
    V3 N05 May 2007: MDG5: Maternal Care Improvement
    V3 N06 June 2007: MDG6: Contain the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
    V3 N07 July 2007: MDG7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
    V3 N08 August 2007: MDG8: Global Partnership for Development
    V3 N09 September 2007: Integrated Analysis of the U.N. MDGs
    V3 N10 October 2007: Feasibility of the 2015 MDG Targets
    V3 N11 November 2007: If Not the MDGs, Then What?
    V3 N12 December 2007: Review of the 2007 State of the Future Report
    V4 N01 January 2008: Religious Dimension of Sustainable Development
    V4 N02 February 2008: Spiritual Dimension of Sustainable Development
    V4 N03 March 2008: Human Dimension of Sustainable Development
    V4 N04 April 2008: Gender Dimension of Sustainable Development

    |Back to SUMMARY| |Back to OUTLINE|

    |Back to SECTION 1| |Back to SECTION 2| |Back to SECTION 3|
    |Back to SECTION 4| |Back to SECTION 5| |Back to SECTION 6|
    |Back to SECTION 7| |Back to SECTION 8| |Back to SECTION 9|

    |Link to Newsletter Home Page|

    |Link to Invited Paper|

    The Pelican Symbol


    The pelican is a legendary symbol of commitment to the service of others, especially those who are weak and most vulnerable to physical and/or psychological violence.

    Pelican Symbol (Physiologus)
    Poem (Thomas Aquinas)
    Priesthood (Gertrud of Helfta)
    Sermon (Rev. Sylvia Roberts)
    History (Rev. William Saunders)
    Eucharist (Patricia Kasten)

    Human Nature


    Human Beings ~ Man and Woman
    (Plaque in the Pioneer Spacecraft)
    Sources: Wikipedia and NASA

    Human nature, Wikipedia
    Homo sapiens, Wikipedia
    Homo sapiens, Smithsonian
    Human Nature - Bible, Phelps
    Human Nature - Culture, Mead
    Human Development, ICHD
    Human Sexuality, Wikipedia
    Anima and Animus, Jung
    Original Unity, John Paul II
    Two Wings of a Bird, Baha'is

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau

    World Religions

    Unity in Diversity

    The following are links to information about some of the major religious traditions and approximate numbers of adherents:

    Christianity (2.5 billion)
    Islam (1.4 billion)
    Hinduism (1 billion)
    Buddhism (375 million)
    Sikhism (23 million)
    Judaism (14 million)
    Bahá'í (7 million)

    For more information, see World Religions, which includes global maps showing geographic religious distributions.

    Global News/Issues

    The following are links to recent global news and emerging issues, in no particular order:

    Easter Freeze 2007
    Showed Paradox of Climate Change

    Unemployment, rich-poor gap
    two major MDG challenges

    Our Path to 2015

    UN calls on member states to
    ‘invest in women, girls’

    Faith and Feminism: A Powerful Force

    Gender Equality Now

    Petroleum Feeds Patriarchy

    Women must actively solve their challenges

    Gender equality
    prerequisite for attaining
    other development goals

    EU Report Cites Climate Change Threats

    South China Sea
    Energy Data, Statistics and Analysis
    Oil, Gas, Electricity, Coal

    Tortured Justice:
    Using Coerced Evidence
    to Prosecute Terrorist Suspects

    Patriarchy hampering women’s growth
    even after joining politics

    Slavery in our Times

    Depending on Nature:
    Ecosystem Services
    for Human Livelihoods

    The New Face Of Hunger

    Women hold key
    to reaching development goals

    Bicycles as part
    of a sustainable transport system

    The Renewable Path to Energy Security

    Comparing Effectiveness
    of Family Planning Methods

    Equal Human Rights

    Images, language,
    women, and patriarchy

    Child Survival Lies
    at the Heart of Human Progress

    Free Education on the Internet

    Universities with the Best
    Free Online Courses

    Information Sharing Platform
    on Gender Equity

    Patriarchy, sexism, and biology

    Kosovo is Kosovo

    Democracy Ascendant
    In States of West Africa

    Does GDP Really Capture
    Economic Health?

    "Gender Equality Essential
    for Growth And Poverty Reduction"

    Students tear down
    "Wall of Silence"

    Youth InfoNet February 2008

    Drinking Water ... A Challenge for All

    Globe Conference Gathers
    Business and Sustainability Leaders
    from around the World in Vancouver

    GLOBE 2008

    Correct Levels Of Stress Hormones Boost Learning

    Africa: The Democratization of Aid

    Bangalore and the Challenge
    of Inclusive Growth

    On the demise of the welfare state

    Quality of U.S. life is the real recession

    A Vicious Circle ending in a
    Systemic Financial Meltdown

    Water Sustainability:
    A Looming Global Challenge

    Redefine Gender Parity

    A Biblical Primer
    on Women in Christian Ministry
    Part 1

    Women and society in crisis

    Horror Killing:
    Patriarchy or Islam Rooted?

    Women and the Labyrinth of eadership

    When Growth Stalls

    World's Glaciers Melting Faster

    IBM Helps Universities
    Prepare Future Software Leaders
    for Globalization

    Uganda: Religious Leaders
    Asked to Help Achieve MDG Targets

    Mercy Not Sacrifice:
    Non-Violent Atonement

    Energy for Sustainable Development
    Analysed in New Company Profile

    State of the World's Minorities 2008

    Often Eyed, Rarely Seen

    'Why Women Should Rule the Wolrld'

    Gender Matters More Than Race

    A new activist twist
    on the Stations of the Cross

    Sustainable development
    proving a complex problem

    Gender sensitive governance
    for sustainable development

    50th anniversary
    of the European Parliament

    Better sanitation has huge
    economic spin-offs

    Coal Can't Fill World's
    Burning Appetite

    Oil Price Rise Causes
    Global Shift in Wealth

    OECS puts focus on youth issues
    for 2008 Human Development Report

    World Water Day Focuses
    On Sanitation In Poor Countries

    Ten principles for economic
    and community development

    Expenses At U.N. Balloon 25 Percent

    The Psychopathology Of Male Psyche

    The World Is Round

    It's still a long road to race and gender equality

    ‘Change taking place,
    but not quick enough’

    Cuba: Inevitability of market reform

    We live in a culture of blame -
    but there is another way

    The Scourge of Globalization

    Climate change poses new challenges
    to health experts

    Black Carbon Pollution Emerges
    As Major Player In Global Warming

    Integrating Environment
    and Human Health

    Whither global economic system?

    Globalization Intensifies
    The Need For Standardized Tests
    To Ensure Safe Drugs

    'Green' bandwagon is getting a big push

    A Better Way to Go

    The Optimistic Thought Experiment

    Muslim Philanthropists Call for
    Collaboration to Aid
    Global Common Good

    Gender Discrimination Deprives
    Girls of Education

    The future of agriculture

    New Limits to Growth
    Revive Malthusian Fears

    Science & Engineering Indicators 2008

    Eight Years In,
    Are the Millennium Development Goals on Track?

    Multiculturalism does not threaten sovereignty

    There's More to Measuring Development
    Than Growth

    The Three Trillion Dollar War:
    the true cost of the Iraq conflict

    'Right to information is
    fundamental for development'

    Muslim Leaders Speak out
    Against Forced Marriage

    The patriarch and the prostitute

    Fall of the American Empire
    and the Rise of a New Economy

    New gender equity index 2008

    ‘Sustainability Calculator’
    To Measure Environmental Efficiency

    Clothing conceals religious patriarchy

    Mixed Record
    On Millennium Development Goals
    Underlines Need For Sustained Push
    To Meet Targets

    Interfaith Leaders Celebrate
    Human Development

    Gender equality one key to sustainable world

    China to deal with global slowdown

    Necessary tolerance
    of religious vilification

    Is Globalization as Old as the Earth?

    Cost of the War in Iraq
    (JavaScript Error)

    Editor's Note: For more news sources, visit the SSNV News Sources and RSS Feeds Page. See also the SSNV Knowledge Taxonomy & Links Database and the SSNV Tools Directory.

    Global Citizen

    Asha-Rose Migiro, Tanzania
    UN Deputy Secretary-General

    "'Empowering women is not just an end in itself; it is a prerequisite for reaching all of the Millennium Development Goals – our common vision to build a better world in the 21st century,'" she said of the targets, known as MDGs, that aim to slash a host of global ills by 2015."

    MDGs + 1

    MDG Pubs and Data

    Millennium Development Goals:
    mdggoals PLUS GOAL 9:
    Universal Religious Freedom

    Links to key MDG resources:

    U.N. MDGs Home Page
    MDG Core Documents
    MDG Basic Indicators
    U.N. Millennium Project
    MDG Targets & Indicators
    MDG Atlas
    MDG Dashboard
    MDG Monitor
    MDG Slideshow
    MDG Report 2007
    GEO Report 2007
    HDR Report 2007-2008
    Youth and the MDGs
    Health and the MDGs
    State of the World Children 2008
    State of the World's Girls 2007

    HDR Report 2007/2008
    Fighting climate change:
    Human solidarity in a divided world

    UNDP November 2007

    State of the World Children 2008
    Child Survival
    UNICEF December 2007

    Gender Equity Index 2008
    Social Watch & UNESCO, 2008

    Signs of the Times

    Rev. Ella Pearson-Mitchell
    Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta

    "Gracious, gifted and witty, the Reverend Doctor Ella P. Mitchell (89) is a sought-after preacher, lecturer and mentor. A pioneer educator and theologian, she was the first woman Dean of the Sister’s Chapel at Spelman College and is the editor of three of the four volumes of the Those Preaching Women series. She has been married to the Reverend Doctor Henry Mitchell for more than fifty years. In addition to jointly preaching dialogue sermons around the world, they have co-authored a book entitled Together for Good."

    For more information:
    Faith and Feminism, 8 January 2008

    Rev. Canon Nangula E. Kathindi
    Anglican Church of Southern Africa

    "In 1993, Canon Kathindi was one of the first two women to be ordained deacon in the Anglican Diocese of Namibia and a year later was ordained a priest," said the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins, executive director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at VTS. "Since this time she has had many 'firsts' associated with her life. First woman archdeacon in the Diocese of Namibia [1999], first woman elected General Secretary in the Namibian Council of Churches [1999], first woman dean of St. George's Cathedral [2004], and the first woman Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa."

    For more information:
    Namibia's Nangula Kathindi, 13 March 2008

    Hillary for President

    Wife, Mother, Lawyer, Stateswoman
    Senator from New York
    Next President of the USA

    Visit the [hillaryforpresident2008]
    Official Web Site


    Senator Hillary Clinton
    is the best qualified person to be
    both commander in chief
    and chief promoter

    of peace and justice,
    solidarity, sustainability,
    and nonviolence
    in the USA and worldwide.
    She has been tested
    in the fire of humiliation;
    and this is the best preparation
    to become a champion of
    human rights and
    human development

    in the years ahead.
    We still don't know much about
    Senator Barrack Obama
    except perhaps that his fund raisers
    are better than Hillary's.

    Fund raising can be orchestrated
    and driven by rhetoric and infatuation.
    Ballistic surges in popularity
    are seldom the mark of a leader
    who is really committed
    to truth, freedom, and care.
    Are we going to let money prevail?
    Are we going to let rhetoric prevail?
    May God help the voters
    to vote wisely.

    Subscribe to Hillary'sVoice

    Powered by

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    Selected Links

    Resources worth visiting:

    Platform for Sharing Information
    on Gender Equity

    OECD Environmental Outlook to 2030

    Children’s Environmental Health
    Executive Summary
    Full Report

    Breaking Down the Barriers
    to a Green Economy
    UNESCO, February 2008

    Education for All
    UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2008

    Global Gender Gap Report
    WEF, 8 November 2007

    General Environmental Outlook 4 (UNEP)

    World Economic Outlook:
    Globalization and Inequality
    IMF, October 2007

    World Development Report:
    Agriculture for Development
    World Bank, October 2007


    Mimetic Theory of René Girard

    Socioeconomic Democracy
    Robley E. George, Director
    Center for the Study of Democratic Societies

    International Energy Agency

    Climate change:
    Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation
    in developing countries
    UNFCCC, 2007






    Bible & Koran
    Search Side by Side

    Men, Masculinities,
    and Gender Politics
    (600+ links on male-female politics)



    The World's Most Deprived
    (IFPRI, 2007)

    Earth Charter

    Gender Links

    Gender Symbols
    Source: Wikipedia

    Gender inequality is the greatest obstacle to human development. The following are links to knowledge that is relevant to the gender dimension of the MDGs and sustainable development.

    Basic articles in Wikipedia:

    Gender Inequality
    Gender Differences
    Christian Feminism
    Men and Feminism
    Sex Differences in Humans
    Defeminization and Masculinization
    Wikigender (OECD GPMPS)

    Other recommended resources:

    Gender (Merriam-Webster)
    Gender (WHO)
    Gender Information Site
    Gender Equality (UNICEF)
    The Equality of Men and Women
    Gender and Society
    Feminism and Nonviolence
    Women Watch
    Gendercide Watch
    Women's Empowerment (UNDP)
    Promote Gender Equality (MDG3)
    Gender Matters
    Women and Gender Studies
    Men and Masculinities
    International Gender Studies & Resources
    Gender Difference News
    Diotima: Women and Gender in the Ancient World
    Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt
    Feminae: Medieval Women & Gender Index
    Men, Masculinities, and Gender Politics Gender at Work
    Gender Fair Language
    Kinsey Institute on Human Sexuality
    Gender, Science and Technology Gateway
    Gender and the Law
    International Gender Policy Network
    Gender & Sustainability
    Promotion of Gender Equality
    Gender and Energy for Sustainable Development
    Gender Balance
    Gender Balance in Decision-Making
    The Roots of Sexism in Religion
    When Religion Reinforces Sexism
    Human Sexuality Resources
    The Theology of the Body (Vatican)
    Apostolic Letter Mulieres Dignitatem (Vatican)
    Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Vatican)
    Suppressed Histories (Max Dashú)
    Women's Power DVD (Max Dashú)
    Gender Violence Institute
    Gender Violence and Homophobia
    Rape and Gender Violence
    Gender Balance

    Note: This list of links is recommended for the purpose of reviewing various schools of thought about gender and human sexuality. It does not imply full agreement with everything as stated in the linked documents.

    Yin-Yang Symbol
    Source: Wikipedia

    Bishop Katharine & Bishop Suheil
    Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori made Anglican history on March 16 becoming the first woman ever to preach at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem.
    Source: Episcopal Life Online

    Web for Kids



    SSNV Call for Papers
    Short articles about the impacts of all forms of secular and religious violence on
    • social solidarity
    • ecological sustainability
    • human development

    During 2008, articles are especially desired on incentives for solidarity and sustainability and all dimensions of sustainable development. How can people be motivated to collaborate in the transition from patriarchy to solidarity, sustainability, and human development? What is the proper role of secular institutions? What is the proper role of religious institutions?

    Accepted papers will be published when time and space allows. Please email your submission to the editor at


    International Sociological Association (ISA), Barcelona, Spain, September 5-8, 2008. Abstracts should be sent to Roberto Blancarte and Olga Odgers.

    IUCN World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 5-14 October 2008. Ten days with 8,000 of the world’s leading decision makers in sustainable development. See the conference website.

    ECREA 2008
    CFP, ECREA's 2nd European Communication Conference. Barcelona, Spain, 25-28 November 2008. Hosted by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). See the conference website.

    Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), University of Hull, UK, 27-28 November 2008. Contact: Jane Ellison.

    Bamako International Conference Centre, Bamako, Mali, 17-19 November 2008. See the conference website.

    Will take placed 1-5 December 2008, Mérida, México. See the conference website. The conference coordinator is Jaime Grace Engel .

    SCARR 2009
    Managing the Social Impacts of Change from a Risk Perspective, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 15-17 April 2009. See the SCARR web site. For details contact Jens Zinn or Peter Taylor-Gooby.

    Gendered Cultures at the Crossroads of Imagination, Knowledge and Politics, 4-7 June 2009 Utrecht, The Netherlands. Visit the conference web site. For more information: 7thfeminist

    ISSR Conference, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 27-31 July 2009. See the list of ISSR Contacts.


    Knowledge Taxonomy
    Links Directory

    The SSNV-MDG knowledge taxonomy and links database can be downloaded as either an HTML web page or an EXCEL spreadsheet with embedded table-building HTML code that can be modified to fit the user needs.

    Download the
    HTML Web Page

    Download the
    EXCEL File with URLs and HTML Code


    Donations are gratefully accepted.

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    to make this work possible.

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    "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."

    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)


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