Women speaker database launched
A database of women who can speak at local, national and regional Christian conferences and events has launched
The database has been a long held goal of Project 3:28, which since 2013 has gathered data on the number of women and men speaking on the national Christian platform. According to its statistics, women make up around 66 per cent of the UK church, yet just 34 per cent of Christian conference speakers are women.
Project 3:28 has learnt from conference organisers that one of the barriers is a lack of women across their networks who they can invite to events.
The database aims to provide a practical solution. It gives women the opportunity to be listed alongside their areas of expertise and links to their audio and video content. It has wider information about their qualifications and testimonials from referees who can vouch for their gifting.
‘Since envisaging the database back in 2013, we have been working towards creating an online resource for event organisers and Christian women that will enable the gender balance at Christian events to improve,’ said Natalie Collins of Project 3:28.
‘As we go forward we are hopeful that this database will become an invaluable resource for event organisers to increase women's representation and to broaden the topics and types of speakers who are invited to contribute to Christian events.’
Baptist theologian Steve Holmes is one of the project's backers. He tweeted that the database is designed 'to end the weasel excuse about we couldn't find a woman,' and later published a blog post expressing his hope 'that there will be a mighty army of gifted women offering themselves to the UK churches to preach the gospel and to teach the faith.'
The database will be used by two groups of people.
Women with an interest in speaking! Whether women have years of speaking experience or this is their first time putting themselves forward, Project 3:28 is encouraging women to create a profile with a photo, bio, and their specialist areas.
‘We know there is a huge wealth of knowledge and expertise among Christian women that the wider church has yet to appreciate. The database will offer a practical solution to help their work and gifts be seen, whether at local or national level.’
Conference and event organisers, producers and media people will be able to register to use the database, and by searching a name, subject, or key word discover women speakers with specialisms in Christianity, including the Bible, missions, church planting, and apologetics, and an extensive range of wider topics including politics, society, culture, the arts, media, business, ethics, and much more and then contact them directly.
Project 3:28 originates from Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Baptist women with an interest in speaking are encouraged to register on the database.