In 1997, 30 women and men of different ages and from a range of cultural, religious, social, and geographical backgrounds, participated in an Encounter to seek a deeper understanding of the implications of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ in their lives and their societies. Each had responded in writing to questions like: how did I become aware of ‘womanhood’ and ‘manhood’? How are these differences expressed in my society? How far do I see social changes that are taking place as a result of 50 years of women’s movements? The process provided a challenge to move beyond the feminine/masculine divide towards fundamental issues of human dignity. This article draws on the written and oral contributions of the participants.
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