Women’s Empowerment and Gender Justice

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.

Gender Justice 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.

The Policy in practice

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.

 

Focus Areas

Networks

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.

Human rights

Women’s human rights

Standing for gender justice is essential to what we are as a communion of churches. Be it from the pulpit, in our decision-making bodies or in the gender balance of programs, for LWF being vocal and proactive in ensuring the respect of women’s human rights is indivisible from the understanding of justice in its biblical meaning.

Our efforts focus concretely on:

  • The role of faith communities in ending harmful practices for women and girls, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation;
  • The collaboration with the United Nations and Civil Society Organizations to overcome gender discrimination and gender-based violence;
  • The empowerment of women through the knowledge of their rights and the support to women’s networks to interact with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, using UN mechanisms.
  • Deepen the reflection of our member churches and other faith communities to avoid the misuse of religion as a justification for abuse of power over women and girls and to justify gender imbalances.
Theology

Women doing theology

The LWF is committed to facilitate discussions to develop structures and actions to build a global Lutheran Women Theologians Network  

Some of the reflections are:

  • How to ensure that women theological production is visible and relevant in the process of commemorating 500 years of reformation?
  • How to articulate the stories collected in the “her-stories” project with theological production in our theologians’ network?
  • What publications and / or consultations should be planned?
  • To map what we have so far in our theological reflection and network in the communion
  • To work a research on the status of women in leadership positions, in the ordained ministry and doing theology

Partners

  • Young Women Christian Association
  • World Council of Churches
  • Church of Sweden
  • Finn Church Aid
  • Mission 21

WICAS Milestones

  • 2017 – Twelfth Assembly resolutions on Gender Justice, Women in the ordained Ministry, and Sex education & sexual and gender based violence
  • 2013 – Launch of the LWF Gender Justice Policy
  • 2011 – Gender Advisory Group provides guidelines and values for a gender policy
  • 2011 – LWF ensures equal salaries for its female and male employees
  • 2010 – Eleventh Assembly adopts principles of inclusivity and gender policy
  • 2009 – Council receives faith reflection on gender and power document
  • 1984 – LWF ensures at least 40% women’s participation in assemblies
  • 1975 – First Advisory Committee to Women’s Desk is appointed
  • 1970 – Women’s Desk instituted at the fifth LWF Assembly at Evian, France
  • 1952 – Women’s section initiated at second LWF Assembly at Hannover, Germany

Get Involved

LWF News

12 December 2018
BUDAPEST, Hungary/GENEVA
10 December 2018
BEIRA, Mozambique/GENEVA
10 December 2018
GENEVA, Switzerland