Thanks and appreciation for the Expert Commission Women and Gender

Current members of the Women and Gender Commission of Mission 21.

Renate Bühler, President of the Expert Commission, Edith Shabnam Barth (staff member of the Expert Commission until mid-2022), María Inés Salazar-Gaam, Doris Nonnato, Vreni Blum, Kirsten Jäger, Claudia Hoffmann. Photo: Laila Danz/Mission 21.

There is a change in the work for gender justice at Mission 21. The accompanying and supporting expert commission Women and Gender will be replaced by an "Advisory Board". The members of the expert commission, who supported Mission 21 for many years in matters of gender justice, were therefore recently bid farewell with great thanks for their important commitment.

Gender justice has been an important issue for Mission 21's work for many years, in its engagement as an international learning community, in international development cooperation, and with regard to the organizational structure of Mission 21 itself.

This work was supported and accompanied by the Women and Gender Commission. Members of the expert commission included women from supporting associations of Mission 21, feminist-theologically committed women living in Switzerland, and former staff members of the Women and Gender Unit. For many years, Mission 21's gender justice work was broadly supported; the expert commission helped shape and strengthen it.

Thanks and appreciation

Now, support and guidance will be continued by a new, international committee. For the board and management of Mission 21, it was therefore recently a matter of appreciating and thanking the work of the expert commission at a social event.

Former members of the expert commission and former staff members of the Women and Gender Unit were invited to say goodbye. Barbara Heer, head of the staff unit, and Johannes Blum, president of the board, summed up the great thanks to the members: "Thank you for being advocates for women and gender at Mission 21 for so many years and for helping to shape Mission 21 and our networks with your inputs and your relationships." In her acceptance speech, Magdalena Zimmermann, deputy director of Mission 21, traced how the Women's Commission repeatedly made concrete efforts to ensure that gender justice was also implemented in the Basel Mission - and later in Mission 21.

Esther Gisler Fischer, theologian, pastor and former member of the expert commission, and Andrea Bieler, professor of theology in Basel, also praised the work of the expert commission. It has a great importance for the church women's movements, both said.

The president of the expert commission, Renate Bühler, thanked for her part for the trust and the opportunity to participate as an expert commission. The members of the expert commission in its current composition were Vreni Blum, Claudia Hoffmann (advisory, Mission 21 board), Kirsten Jäger, Elaine Neuenfeldt, Doris Nonnato, María Inés Salazar-Gaam, and Evelyne Zinsstag.

Network international

With the successor body, the Advisory Board Gender Justice, the partner organizations are now involved worldwide on an institutionalized basis. The women's delegates from the four continental assemblies, in which the partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America are organized, will now also be members of the Advisory Board. In addition, six external experts and one or two delegates from the Mission 21 Board of Directors will also sit on the Advisory Board.

With this further development of the support institution, Mission 21's work for gender justice is to be further strengthened and increasingly internationally oriented at the strategic level. The new body is thus the contemporary continuation of an activity that has been part of Mission 21 and also of its predecessor organizations such as the Basel Mission for decades: a body that acts close to the needs of women and works towards gender justice.

> Commitment to Gender Justice: The Women and Gender Unit of Mission 21

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