Colonel Janet Munn on Women in Leadership and her New Book on Gender Equality in The Salvation Army
By: Laura Poff
Colonel Janet Munn, currently serving as the training principal for the USA Eastern Territory, made her first official visit to the Southern Territory this year as a special guest speaker at the annual Southern Bible Conference, where her speaking, demeanor and example engaged women. After her teaching sessions, women could be heard gathered in small circles, speaking about how her empowering message on women of the bible, and her personal stories of growth and change had inspired them.
Colonel Munn, who has mentored and impacted younger women officers for years, speaks passionately about the need for more women in leadership roles throughout the Salvation Army world.
Her new book, “Theory and Practice of Gender Equality in The Salvation Army,” addresses the history of equality among officers and how that policy has, and has not, been practiced.
“I felt compelled to write this because of women I met while serving at IHQ,” said Colonel Munn, who will be one of the main speakers for the upcoming We Will conference for young women leaders, to be held in Orlando, Sept. 23-25 . “During my time there, I became more aware of women who were suffering.”
With the General’s blessing, she conducted research on the issue, surveying international leaders about gender equality in the organization and its theological roots in the Bible. The results of that survey are included in the book and reflect her findings that while gender equality is supported, women remain underrepresented in leadership roles. While 53 percent of officers worldwide are female, fewer than 10 percent hold leadership roles and only 1.7 percent of married women are appointed to these roles.
Corps officers, she said, have the ability to effect change in this area.
“Corps officers have a lot of freedom,” she said. “Just by being you, you can have a significant influence.”
Conferences like We Will, which affirm and gather young women who are leaders, also have the ability to make an impact.
“I commend the Southern Territory for this initiative,” she said. “It’ an acknowledgement of younger women in the army who are strong. Certainly this is a sign and an answer to prayer.”
For more information on We Will, visit sawomensministries.org
Colonel Munn’s book is available for order on Amazon and for download as a kindle eBook.