Discipline ¶2103

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  ¶ 2103. Responsibility-The general commission shall be charged with the responsibility of fostering an awareness of issues, problems, and concerns related to the status and role of women, with special reference to their full participation in the total life of the Church at least commensurate with the total membership of women in The United Methodist Church.
1. In the fulfillment of its mandate, this commission shall have the authority to initiate and utilize such channels, develop such plans and strategies, and assign staff as may be required in the implementation of the following primary needs across The United Methodist Church: leadership enablement, resources and communication, affirmative action and advocacy roles, and interagency coordination.
Such plans and strategies related to these needs shall be directed toward the elimination of sexism in all its manifestations from the total life of The United Methodist Church, including general agencies as well as the various connectional channels and structures that reach the local church. The commission shall work with the respective agencies as needs may determine in achieving and safeguarding representation and participation of women, including racial and ethnic groups.
2. The commission, through its various research and monitoring processes, shall continue to gather data, make recommendations, and suggest guidelines for action as appropriate to eradicate discriminatory policies and practices in any form or discriminatory language and images wherever found in documents, pronouncements, publications, and general resources.
3. The commission shall stimulate ongoing evaluation procedures and receive progress reports toward the end of effecting the guidelines in § 2 above in all responsible bodies of the Church.
4. The commission shall establish and maintain a working relationship with annual conference commissions, taking into account the objectives and guidelines for conferences in ¶ 643.1 and seeking to develop and strengthen the leadership of the conference for the realization of these objectives within the general context of the responsibilities of the general commission (¶ 2103.1).
5. The commission shall recommend plans and curricula for new understanding of theology and biblical history affecting the status of women. The commission shall also be encouraged to explore the relationships between spiritual gifts and women in the Bible.
6. The commission shall create needed policies and recommendations and program for immediate and long-range implementation related to the enhancement of the role of women in professional and voluntary leadership in the Church.
7. The commission shall serve in an advocacy role to ensure openness and receptivity in matters related to women’s role in the Church’s life, with particular attention to the contributions of clergy and lay professional women, racial and ethnic women, and those experiencing changing lifestyles. The commission in its role as advocate shall assist the local church, annual conferences, the councils, boards, commissions, schools of theology, and other related institutions on eradicating the problems of sexual harassment by developing policies and procedures for addressing these problems.
8. The commission shall generate active concern and give full support toward immediate efforts in the fulfillment of the following directive: Councils, boards, commissions, committees, personnel recruitment agencies, schools of theology, and other related institutions are directed to establish guidelines and policies for specific recruitment, training, and full utilization of women in total employment, which includes but is not limited to pastoral and related ministries, health and welfare ministries, and faculties and staffs of seminaries and other educational institutions.
9. Advise the General Council on Finance and Administration
(¶ 811.1) with regard to the policies and practices of agencies and Church-related institutions receiving general Church funds concerning their implementation of the denomination’s policy of inclusiveness and nondiscrimination on the basis of gender. This shall be done by: (1) consulting with the council in development, review, and maintenance of the certification form to be submitted to the council by agencies and institutions receiving general Church funds; (2) reviewing annually the submissions of certifications of compliance with
¶ 811.1a, b, and c; and (3) recommending to the council acceptance of the certifications, or other appropriate action, including withholding approval of the entire budget of an agency or institution because of noncompliance with ¶ 811.1a, b, or c.
10. The commission shall provide resources for the local church ministry group on the status and role of women.