Women's human rights
ADVOCACY FOR 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.
HOW DO WE WORK?
LWF is active mainly in some UN platforms and mechanisms such as:
- The Commission on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
- The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW);
- The Universal Periodic Review.
Other coalitions and platforms in which we actively participate at are:
- The 16 Days of Activism Campaign to overcome Gender-Based Violence. In recent years, LWF and a coalition of FBOs, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund, has developed resources to advocate for the end of child and forced marriage, with a special focus on the role that Christian and Muslim communities can play in this commitment. (For more information, please follow the link *http://www.genderjustice-interfaith.net/)
- The We Will Speak Out coalition is a global coalition of Christian-based NGOs, churches and organizations, supported by an alliance of technical partners and individuals who together commit themselves to see the end of sexual violence across communities around the world.
Supporting advocates to improve their skills
We also contribute to build capacity through an annual Women Human Rights Advocacy Training for Faith Based Organizations, held in Geneva in parallel with one of the CEDAW sessions, so that the participants can attend one of the reviews and interact with the CEDAW Committee during the training.
The training emphasizes on how to link local efforts with global advocacy tools using the above mentioned mechanisms and platforms. We also support member churches and their networks and collaborate with ecumenical partners to raise concern through the production of shadow/parallel reports and the organization of side-events during international UN gatherings.
RELEVANT LINKS TO LWF WICAS ACTIONS ON ADVOCACY
- CEDAW joint shadow report on Colombia, 2013 (The Lutheran Church in Colombia joined a wide national platform)
- CEDAW joint shadow report on Democratic Republic of Congo, 2013 (The Lutheran Church in DRC in collaboration with the Network of Women Lawyers in Eastern Congo)
- CSW 60 statement of the Ecumenical Women (LWF is a member of this coalition)
- Training material for the Women Human Rights Advocacy Training for Faith Based Organizations, Geneva, 2016
- UPR joint submission on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2014 (The Lutheran World Federation and the Young Women’s Christian Association –YWCA)