About the Real Wealth of Humanity

Updated version of the „Manifesto of the Women’s Church Concerning the World’s Actual Situation“ The German Original is here.

 

1. Everywhere in the world women bear children. Everywhere women, men and others ensure through 
caring, nurturing and education that these children become responsible and mature 
adults. Everywhere in the world, people labour in the fields and 
provide prosperous life for their communities. Everywhere in the world people produce useful goods and live through 
sharing each other’s knowledge, skills and resources. Civilization in 
this basic form is a worldwide phenomenon that does not depend on „nationalities“, religions, systems or worldviews.

Thus, I speak out against the currently wide-spread idea that the
 world could be clearly divided into civilized and uncivilized areas or even into realms of good and of evil. Everywhere there are traditions that 
encourage and support life, as well as traditions that hinder life. In the current situation the practices of turbo-capitalism, the almost complete neglecting of the Care-sector in economics and daily speech on the oikonomia, nationalistic ideas of dominance and expansion, technological 
arms race, the inconsiderate treatment of natural resources, the reluctance to tolerate different views and accept foreignness, the transgression of transnational agreements and the dynamics of
 vengeance and revenge can be considered as extremely hindering to life.

 

2. Women’s achievements for civilization are traditionally focused on 
the well-being of individuals and groups, often within the context of
 families.
 In addition, there are more or less strict rules for
 women defining their public and political articulations almost everywhere. Their 
interests, values and contributions to a well functioning society are 
often belittled as irrelevant, disregarded and derided as naive. In spite of this it is a
 matter of fact that no coexistence would be possible without the daily 
sense-giving and life-encouraging activities of women. During 
preparations for war and warfare, too, one counts on the continuous unspoken activities of many more women than men in 
the background. Therefore, I call on women and others who are
 primarily focused on caring and nurturing to come out of the 
background and proclaim their ways of successful living together. Here 
I see a global perspective for peace already put into practice but 
that needs to be realized, appreciated and lived even more.

 

3. As a woman I appreciate the ways of means of
 freedom my ancestors have fought for. These freedoms are granted to us today in
 forms of equal rights for women and men in private and public life more and more. I do 
realize, though, that the goal of the women’s movement has not yet been 
achieved: although women have gained equality in some parts of the world, traditionally ascribed male virtues and models of conflict resolution, such as competition, 
interest-based dualistic propaganda, war threats, sanctions and other forms of pressure and conversation break downs, 
are still considered as the primary ways to solve political 
conflicts. I call on the public that the practices and values women have developed gain in recognition and use. Men as well as women can practice, use and live by them. They are such values as respect towards the 
wholeness of the other, prioritizing concrete issues before general
 principles, awareness of the needs and vulnerability of people, the arts of listening and patience.

 

4. Religion and beliefs are part of every human civilization. They can be used to define a „good Self“ and a „bad Other“ and are actually often misused in this way. At its heart, however, being religious means acknowledging realities that are beyond the availability of 
individuals, interests or calculations. To acknowledge and to respect something unavailable opens us up to a realm of meaning that is beyond the defense of particular interests. It is in the consequence of such an elementary religious attitude which does not depend on confession, to let OTHER people and ways of life their space for development, since nobody is able to claim the “Good as such”. Instead, being religious means a basic openness to surprises, new discernments, constructive conflicts and revelations that spring from the OTHER and cannot be made available for any purpose. For this reason, being religious condemns denigrating, endangering or even killing OTHER people in the name of a limited worldview.

 

5. All over the world one can feel people’s desire to shape the world as a common space that is habitable and worth living. The commitment of different individuals and groups for 
the good life for all can never and nowhere be brought to a stop . In the shadow of
 an approach that seems to obey the vanishing patriarchal logic and appears to have no alternative, the signs of a growing new 
order are obvious. Women and men in Western, Middle- and Eastern Europe and all over the world are speaking out – on the streets, in religious spaces, in proclamations, blogs, tweets and other texts – against open and hidden conquering expeditions of their governments. Women do not stop denouncing the depreciation of their civilizing work by the dominance of outdated practices. Tirelessly and often under unfavorable circumstances, they care for the maintenance of education, health care, clothing, food and worthy housing and for a democratic future of their countries, in which human rights are respected. In West, East and Middle Europe, in Ukraine as well as in Russia, in Israel and Palestine, in the States of former Yugoslavia, in every part of the world women, men and others have constantly proved that the common commitment for a peaceful coexistence is possible across borders and even deep rifts. Therefore with this text I underline my attachment to all those people on earth that express cooperative thinking and acting. Our real common wealth lies in the desire for a good life for all. It is about acknowledging our interdepenency, natality and freedom-in-relatedness. Our wealth lies in the willingness to learn from each other, treating each other and our environment honestly and carefully, trusting the unavailable OTHER that grows in and out of relationships. We will always handle this wealth generously.

 

The „Manifesto of the Women’s Church Concerning the World’s Actual Situation“ was published in November 2001, shortly after 09/11. It was signed by about 500 people and printed about twenty times. More on its history can be found here.

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  1. Feministisches Institut Hamburg / Interventionen / Über den wirklichen Reichtum im menschlichen Zusammenleben

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