Power and Interpretation of Languages
By Sarah Medina, Policy Intern at The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission
At our last meeting of Ecumenical Women, we opened up with a devotional about “power” and gave many examples from the Bible that we thought exemplified power. One statement was made about God’s power being shown through us and our relationships with the people around us. Power was also seen in the story of Rahab, when she refused to hand over the spies to the king of Jericho. We also spoke about the abuse of power and how this does not reflect how God wants us to use the power He gives us. We need to use the power God gives us in a way that allows us to give Him the glory.
The good thing about power is that we can share the power God gives us. We must give power to those around us through allowing them to use their voices to stand up against the injustices we face. However, in order for everyone to be able to stand up against these injustices, their voices need to be heard. One of the problems that arise from this situation is language barriers. Not everyone can understand everyone else’s native language, which may, in the end, limit the effect and power of a person. Ecumenical Women believes that everyone- including women- has been given power. Once we receive that power, we can share it with others, testifying wherever we go. But because some women are limited to how they can share that power with others, we must take a stand.
Everyone, no matter what his or her native language, is entitled to be heard. This is why we at Ecumenical Women are discussing interpretation options for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 57 Conference. We believe that every voice has power, should be heard, and has the ability to hear from others who are speaking in other languages. We need to provide interpretation where needed for our delegates in as many languages as is possible at the conference.
For more information on the CSW 57, go to http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm