Gender Justice. Women’s empowerment. Advocacy. Theology. Cross-cutting priority.

We believe when church and society are committed to reaching just gender relationships, both flourish.

The Women in Church and Society (WICAS) network works toward the full participation of women in the communion’s life and pursues this commitment at all levels of LWF.

We address gender injustice by participating in United Nations forums, and by collaborating with Lutheran churches in the regions and with ecumenical partners worldwide.

The two main pillars of our work are women’s empowerment and gender justice, with a strong accent on women’s leadership.

Other program components include advocacy for women’s rights; mainstreaming gender; and gender and theology.


LWF Gender Policy

The Council 2013 approved the LWF Gender Justice Policy.

The 2009 LWF faith reflection on gender and power, and inclusivity and gender justice resolutions of the Eleventh Assembly in 2010 laid the foundation for this important tool.

The gender policy will assist the communion to achieve equality between women and men by implementing measures that promote justice and dignity.

Herstories: Telling the stories of women R/reformers

Our women’s networks are uncovering the stories of women who played important roles during the Reformation or in the years since.  We want to get to know these “forgotten” women, who have been agents for renewal in their communities.

Herstories seeks to empower women to reach gender justice and advocates on behalf of women’s citizenship.

Women’s Networks

WICAS works in a coordinated effort with regional women’s networks comprised of women officially designated as contacts of the member churches. They define their priorities in line with the WICAS broad objective of mainstreaming gender justice in every dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs.

The women’s networks include lay women and theologians. Women theologians aim to make women’s theological reflection more visible in the communion.


Young Women Christian Association

We work with the YWCA, particularly on advocacy at the UN.

WCC Women’s Program

We work alongside the World Council of Churches (WCC) Women’s Program at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), gender mainstreaming in church contexts, and advocacy.


WICAS helps shape DTPW theological reflection focusing on gender perspectives and women in theology. We interact with the Department for Mission and Development through programs on inclusiveness, both globally and regionally, and we work jointly with the Department for World Service to ensure that staff and policies reflect the LWF understanding of gender justice.

WICAS Milestones

1952 - Women’s section initiated at second LWF Assembly at Hannover, Germany

1970 - Women’s Desk instituted at the fifth LWF Assembly at Evian, France

1975 - First Advisory Committee to Women’s Desk is appointed

1984 – LWF ensures at least 40% women’s participation in assemblies

2009 - Council receives faith reflection on gender and power document

2010 - Eleventh Assembly adopts principles of inclusivity and gender policy

2011 – LWF ensures equal salaries for its female and male employees  

2011 - Gender Advisory Group provides guidelines and values for a gender policy

2013 - Launch of the LWF Gender Justice Policy

Get Involved

Learn about WICAS activities from country or regional coordinators   

Subscribe to the free, quarterly WICAS e-newsletter

Follow regional WICAS groups on Facebook

Rev. Dr Elaine Neuenfeldt
Secretary for Women in Church and Society
+41 22 791 6578
Ms Maria Cristina Rendón
Program Assistant in Women in Church and Society
+41 22 791 6270