'Significant increase in platform equity for some organisations'
The latest report monitoring gender balance at Christian festivals and conferences has been released
This is the sixth year Project 3:28 has collated the number of male and female speakers at Christian conferences across the UK.
The National Youth Ministry Weekend (49 per cent male/51 per cent female) and Wildfires (51/49) had the most balanced platform in 2018. Premier Digital and HTB Focus were second (52/48); Greenbelt and the Church Media Conference (45/55) were third; while Devoted and New Wine (56/44) were fourth.
The Baptist Assembly was fifth (59/41), alongside Naturally Supernatural.
As the span of data increases, the report highlighted for the first time events that have consistently achieved more than 40 per cent of women speakers.
The Baptist Assembly, Greenbelt and the Church and Media Conference were in joint first place, having achieved this balance for the last five years. New Wine (four years) and Premier Digital (three years) also scored highly. The Assembly was also one of 14 events to have improved its gender balance since the reporting began in 2013.
Lynn Green at last year's Baptist Assembly
More and more events are now featured in the report: data was recorded from 34 UK events in 2018, up from 25 in 2017. This increase has in part contributed to an overall one per cent decrease to 38 per cent female. However, there has been a ‘significant increase in platform equity for some organisations’ said Natalie Collins, who co-ordinates Project 3:28.
‘In 2018 five events increased the number of women speaking on their platform by over 10 per cent. There were also four events during 2018 who had more women speaking than men, suggesting things are changing, even if there hasn't been an improvement overall.
‘‘We remain appreciative of the efforts being made by many Christian events to overcome the barriers which leave platforms male dominated.’
Natalie also noted that in 2018 the Speaker 3:28 database was launched to profile some profile some of the excellent women speakers across the UK and to resource Christian events in finding a more diverse range of speakers for their events.
Project 3:28 was set up in 2013 to provide an insight into the gendered dynamics of Christian events, where women speakers are often a minority despite the fact that in many churches, women are a majority. Its name is taken 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."