CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE ASIAN
BAPTIST WOMEN’S UNION
We, Baptist women in Asia, conscious of our calling as witnesses to the redemptive act of God in our history, and believing:
That women are loved by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim freedom to those who are bound by the sinful fetters of this world;
That, as part of a region-wide and global network of Baptists, we must promote a deep and profound fellowship with our sisters, upholding one another in prayer;
That women are called to ever broadening avenues of service to the least of our brothers and sisters.
In order to establish an organization that will embody our ideals, do hereby ordain and promulgate this constitution.
I. NAME AND DOMICILE
1. This organization shall be known as the Asian Baptist Women’s Union, hereafter referred to as ABWU, a recognized continental union of the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance.
2. The principal office of ABWU shall be located as established each quinquennium as the Executive deems fit.
The objectives of the organization shall be:
1. To support and implement the objectives and ideals of the Baptist World Alliance among Baptist women of the world.
2. To promote fellowship, deeper sympathy and fuller understanding among Baptist women.
3. To encourage Baptist women to organize themselves into national bodies which shall, in turn, join one of the recognized continental unions which work together as BWA women.
4. To encourage and promote through the continental union the development of women’s leadership at all levels of our Baptist world fellowship.
5. To facilitate the exchange of information concerning activities and methods of work in women’s organizations.
6. To promote the worldwide Baptist Women’s Day of Prayer.
7. To coordinate our programs and activities with the BWA Women’s Department and other continental unions.
Unless otherwise determined by the Assembly, memberships in ABWU shall be limited to the national organization of groups in the conventions and unions of Asia affiliated with the BWA Women’s Department.
IV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. The General Assembly shall be composed of the duly designated delegates of the member Unions and/or Societies, visitors and guests. It shall meet at least once in a quinquennium.
2. Each member Union and/or Society shall have one vote. Any action taken by a majority vote of the member Unions and/or Societies present at a meeting in which there is a quorum shall be a valid act of ABWU.
V. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1. The Executive Committee shall be a representative body composed of the President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer.
2. The Executive Committee shall have the power and authority to administer the affairs of ABWU and to act on matters affecting the same in between sessions or meetings of the General Assembly.
3. The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by delegates to the General Assembly in a manner as hereinafter provided.
4. The Executive Committee shall have the power and authority to make policy decisions between meetings of the General Assembly; and to create working committees, determine their composition, and define their duties as may be necessary or expedient to administer the affairs of ABWU.
5. The President shall be the recognized liaison between. ABWU and the BWA Women’s Department.
6. The Executive Committee shall plan the program of work, prepare the budget and determine the manner in which the duties of a vacant office shall be discharged for the unexpired term.
VI. CONTACT PERSONS
1. The President of each member. Union and/or Society shall designate one woman to serve as contact person for ABWU.
2. The duties of the contact person shall be:
a. To serve as liaison between her member group and ABWU.
b. To promote the Baptist Women’s Day of Prayer and other activities, projects and meetings sponsored by the BWA Women’s Department and/or ABWU.
VII. POWERS AND DUTIES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1. The President shall perform the following duties:
a. To preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
b. To be liaison between member Unions and/or Societies.
c. To make a written report at the General Assembly.
d. To serve as vice president of the BWA Women’s Department as called for in their By-laws.
e. To be liaison with the Asian Baptist Federation of the Baptist World Alliance.
2. The Vice President shall perform the following duties:
a. To assume functions of the President in the absence or incapacity of the latter.
b. To be responsible for coordinating programs of the General Assembly and other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Committee.
3. The Secretary shall perform the following duties:
a. To keep an accurate membership profile.
b. To record all proceedings of the General Assembly and Executive Committee meetings.
c. To send notices of meetings to the officers
d. To keep an updated and complete file Of documents of ABWU.
e. To turn over all the files to the Incoming Secretary.
4. The Treasurer shall perform the following duties:
a. To send an audited annual report to the Executive Committee.
b. To present an audited written report to the General Assembly of ABWU.
c. To promote fund raising activities for ABWU.
VIII. TERMS OF OFFICE, ELECTION AND SUCCESSION
1. Only the duly designated official voting delegate of each member union and/or society is qualified to vote in the General Assembly.
2. Only those who have gone through the process determined by the Officer Search Committee shall be voted on in the election of officers.
3. The election of officers shall be held during the General Assembly upon presentation by the Officer Search Committee.
4. The officers shall assume office immediately following election and shall serve for a term of five years. No officer shall serve in the same capacity for two successive terms.
5. In the event of a permanent vacancy among officers, the vacancy may be filled by appointment. The officer so appointed shall serve only the unexpired portion of the term of office of her predecessor.
IX. THE OFFICER SEARCH COMMITTEE
1. There shall be an Officer Search Committee composed of five members and named by the Executive Committee.
2. The Officer Search Committee shall be responsible for obtaining suggestions for officers, shall make nominations to the General Assembly and shall conduct the process of election.
X. MEETINGS AND QUORUM
1. The General Assembly shall meet every five years halfway between the congresses of the Baptist World Alliance. The meeting shall be held in a country which agrees to host the General Assembly and at a time designated by the host country in concurrence with the Executive Committee,
2. The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice between the General Assemblies.
3. At any meeting of the General Assembly or of the Executive Committee, a majority thereof shall constitute a quorum and a majority vote of those present at which there is a quorum shall be a, valid act
1. The responsibility for administering finances shall reside in the position of Treasurer as deemed feasible and appropriate by the Executive Committee.
2. All member unions and/or societies shall remit the Day of Prayer offerings to the Treasurer. Fifty per cent of the total offerings shall be sent to the BWA Women’s Department while fifty per cent shall be retained by ABWU for its continental union ministries.
3. The member unions and/or societies may send free will offerings for the work of ABWU in addition to Day of Prayer offerings.
XII. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER BODIES
ABWU is one of the continental unions of the BWA Women’s Department and maintains fraternal relationships with other continental unions of the Women’s Department.
XIII. RULES OF PROCEDURE
The business of ABWU shall be conducted according to accepted rules of procedure and proceedings consistent with democratic principles.
1. Any amendment to this constitution and by-laws may be proposed by a member union and/or society in writing, provided such proposal is sent to the Executive Committee at least three months before the scheduled General Assembly.
2. Any amendment to this constitution and by-laws shall take effect upon adoption or ratification thereof by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly in its quinquennial meeting.
XV. EFFECTIVE DATE OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Except as otherwise provided herein, these by-laws shall take effect on the day following their adoption and ratification.
(Ratified at the 8th Assembly, April 12-17, 1993, in Manila, Philippines)