Wednesday, 14. June 2023

Feminism and the Realities of Women’s Lives in East Asia

DOAM anniversary and conference in Neuendettelsau


The German East Asia Mission had reason to celebrate: 70 years ago, in 1952, it was registered as a mission society in Hamburg. But its history goes back even further. Since its original foundation in 1884 as the "Allgemeiner Evangelisch-Protestantischer Missionsverein" (AEPM), the German East Asia Mission, or DOAM for short, can look back on a history of more than 140 years of mission, social exchange and interreligious and intercultural learning with the cultures of East Asia.

The interest in exchange was expressed in this year's conference "Feminism in Controversy – Contentious Concepts in East Asia", which took place from 2 to 4 June in Neuendettelsau together with the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), Mission Eine Welt and the Berliner Missionswerk (BMW). The topic had come to the fore through the experiences and observations of younger DOAM members and attracted a very interested younger audience.

Prof. Heike Walz opened the conference with the keynote speech "Feminism as a Global Movement Today", setting the scene for presentations by Vivian Wu from Taiwan, Hanbeet Rhee from Korea, Pui-Fong Wong from Hong Kong and Rae Fujimori from Japan. They covered the history of the women's movement, gender mainstreaming and identity politics in Taiwan, openly anti-feminist politics in South Korea, spirituality as a basis for engagement in Hong Kong and women's ordination in Japan. Workshops brought to life the experiences of women in the various East Asian countries, which have been influenced by Confucianism in different ways. Pui-Fong Wong, currently teaching in England, presented Christian meditative practices for emotional healing in her workshop.

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