1918 witnessed a significant shift in equality as women over the age of 30 were won the right to vote for the first time. This was not the start and is certainly not the end, but it was a major mile stone towards a fairer and more just society. 100 years on and unforgivably women continue to be confronted with prejudice on a daily basis simply because of their gender.

In 2018 women are paid less than men for doing the same jobs, one in four will experience violence from a partner and representation in positions of influence (CEO’s, MP’s, etc.) are more likely to be held by men.

Of course I don’t need to remind women of any of this. Women live this and always have. Women know what it means to receive unwanted attention, comments or worse from men. Women know the pressures placed upon them to look or behave in particular ways and the ridicule received when they don’t conform.

I am sorry to say that my own understanding of the issue has been poor, that I have unconscious bias and will have caused others to feel a lesser human being because they are a woman. For this I am sorry. I want to learn. I want to become a better person and I would love to be able to make a difference in the on going battle for equality.

The Just Voices 2018 conference is my attempt to make a difference; I believe the Church should be leading the way in restored relationships and have the drive to make this happen. Just Voices 2018 is an initiative to provide women with a platform to share honest life lessons with men who want to learn.

Ideas have consequences and we need to learn, to develop our ideas and for the consequences of our ideas to have a positive impact on our world and those we share life with.

I look forward to meeting you at Just Voices.

Rich (@abrokenpastor)