Men and Inter-Faith
Why is it that inter-faith events seem to attract more women than men, and that women’s events are often better attended than ones for men. These were some of the questions we considered at the consultation on the 21st March.
First of all we recognised that there is lots of good inter-faith work going on, and that there is an issue of needing to get more women involved in leadership. We also weren’t suggesting that events for women should be in anyway curtailed or undermined by this discussion.
We also acknowledges that there are good examples of men’s interfaith events especially some of the sporting competitions that take place.
We spent a good deal of time looking at what we thought might prevent men attending inter-faith events. Some the the suggestions we came up with included:
Enjoying competative activities that are often missing in inter-faith events
Not seeing the need for just building relationships, more interested in networking or making contacts
Wanting to engage through doing not just talking
Not wanting to be made to feel foolish, for example by sharing in small groups
Different communitities having different expectations of how and when an event is run
Not being convinced that it is worthwhile, so needing the aims and motives to be better articulated
We went on to discuss what we could do to overcome sdome of these obstacles. Some of our conclusions included:
Ensuring joint leadership from different communities in the planning of the events
Finding appropriate competative activities to form the basis for the discussions and engagment
Less talk of relationships and more emphasis on activity, contacts and networking
Focus on specific interest or work groups eg local business men, the elderly, sports
This was a consultation not a conclusion so please feel free to add your comments and thoughts, or discuss these questions amongst men that you know.