The time is not far when the women will head the administrative bodies of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church.
The Church is all set to have woman members in its administrative bodies from this year onwards. A resolution recommending 30 per cent reservation for women has been passed at the annual general meeting of the Jacobite Syrian Association held at Puthen Cruz on Thursday.
So far, women were kept away from the administrative structure of the Church. Their representation was limited to spiritual organisations and Women’s Association. Even for Women’s Association, priests or Metropolitans were the presidents.
The new decision is going to be a revolution in the history of Jacobite Church, said Fr Varghese Kallappara, spokesperson of the Church.
“In the wake of reservation to women in Parliamentary politics, there have been demands from various corners of the Church to introduce reservation for women. When the Church was announced as a semi-episcopal democratic Church, it was stipulated that women should be given adequate representation in Church bodies. But it was not implemented fully,” he added.
Jacobite Church Synod secretary Metropolitan Joseph Mar Gregorios said that the proposal to introduce women participation was not a new one.
“The proposal was already there. However, we could not implement it fully owing to various reasons. According to the bylaw of the Church, laity should be given adequate participation in the church and women also come under the definition of laity,” Mar Gregorios said.
Fr Kallappara said that women would be nominated as members to the managing committee and working committee of the Church.
At present the managing committee comprises elected members. However, the Catholicos, in his capacity as Metropolitan trustee, can nominate members to the managing committee.
As many as 36 woman representatives were invited to the general meeting. A few of them are likely to be e nominated to the managing committee, he said.