Expert Commission Women and Gender

    The Women and Gender Commission (FaKo) supported the Women and Gender Unit until February 2023. The commission consisted of the following members: Verena Blum, Renate Bühler (president), Rev. Claudia Hoffmann, Rev. Kirsten Jäger, Rev. Dr. Elaine Neuenfeldt, Doris Nonnato, Rev. María-Inés Salazar, and Rev. Evelyne Zinsstag. Since spring 2023, the work for gender justice has been supported by the even more internationally oriented body "Advisory Board on Gender Justice".

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    Dr. Claudia Hoffmann, Pastor

    Claudia Hoffmann, born in 1977, studied theology at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Zurich. Already during her studies she spent half a year in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. After her studies and vicariate, she worked for three years as a pastor in a Protestant Reformed parish in Zurich. Since January 2012, she has been working as an assistant at the Basel Faculty of Theology in the Department of Non-European Christianity (Missions- und Oekumenewissenschaften). Her dissertation sheds light on a piece of mission history of Kalimantan with a focus on funeral rites. Claudia Hoffmann is a mother of two daughters (born 2008, 2017), a member of the Mission 21 board since 2018, and a member of the Women and Gender Commission since 2012. Her involvement with Mission 21 gives her the opportunity to gain in-depth insight into a mission organization and to stand up for the special concerns of women worldwide.

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    Doris Nonnato

    Doris Nonnato was born in 1964 in the highlands of Perú. She has lived in Switzerland since 1984. The mother of two adult children has completed training as a nurse FA SRK and has several years of professional experience. In addition, she has trained as a Nordic Walking trainer and also offers courses on a regular basis. Her three years of theological training with a CAS degree in Intercultural Theology and Migration enriches her work in the Women and Gender Commission of Mission 21. In addition, she is involved in the Sunday room at St. Matthew's Church in Basel and in the Ecumenical Vacation Week. She is also active in the 60+ working group in the Hofstetten - Flüh congregation. She has been a member of the Women and Gender Commission since 2020.

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    Dr. Elaine Neuenfeldt, Pastor

    Elaine Neuenfeldt is an ordained minister of the Lutheran World Federation. As a gender expert, she has experience both in cross-cultural team work and in working for gender justice in international organizations. For example, she worked for 10 years at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva. Prior to that, she was a pastor in El Salvador and northern Amazonia. She uses her academic background to combine biblical hermeneutics with the development of women's empowerment and gender equity programs in international Faith-Based Organizations. As a temporary senior expert staff member on Mission 21's Women and Gender team, she was instrumental in Mission 21's new Gender Policy and Code-of-Conduct revision. She is currently Gender Program Manager at the international church network ACT Alliance in Geneva. Mission 21 is part of this network. As a member of the Women and Gender Commission, Elaine Neuenfeldt remains actively involved with Mission 21.

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    Evelyne Zinsstag, Pastor

    Evelyne Zinsstag, 1989, studied Protestant theology in Basel, Zurich and Bern, with vicariate in Meyriez/Merlach FR. Mother of one son. She has been pastor of the Église française réformée de Bâle since 2018. During her studies, she discovered feminist theology through Marga Bührig's Introduction to Feminist Theology (1987). During her studies she worked at Mission 21 and since then she is also very involved in intercultural theology. She is a member of Tsena Malalaka, the intercontinental network of feminist theologians, and on the board of EFECW (Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women) and IG feminist theologians. She has been a member of the Commission on Women and Gender since 2016.

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    Kirsten Jäger, Pastor

    Kirsten Jäger, born 1973 in Lucerne, studied theology in Basel and Montpellier, France. After ordination in 2000, she worked in various parishes and at the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) in the then External Relations Department (ecumenism; international church relations) and at the Institute for Social Ethics. Afterwards, Kirsten Jäger worked for ten years in the parish pastor's office in Muttenz BL, with a work focus in global church. Since summer 2014 she has been an assistant at the Institute for Practical Theology at the Faculty of Theology in Bern.

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    Maria Ines Salazar-Gaam, Pastor

    Maria Ines Salazar-Gaam, born in 1960 in Talcahuano, Chile, is married and mother of two grown daughters. She studied theology at ISEDET in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 1985-1991. From 2001-2002 she completed the Vicariate in the Reformed Church of Alterswilen-Hugelshofen TG and in the Spanish Evangelical Parish in Winterthur. After ordination, Maria Ines Salazar-Gaam gained congregational experience in various churches in the canton of Thurgau and Zurich, especially in the parish church of Ermatingen. Since 2007 she has been working as a pastor in the canton of Zurich, first in Wiesendangen, now in Wetzikon. She is interested and involved in worldwide development and mission work.

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    Renate Bühler, President of the Women and Gender Commission

    Renate Bühler was born in Wuppertal on March 18, 1959. She has lived in Binningen near Basel for 25 years. She is the mother of three children and grandmother of two grandchildren. After the family break, she studied theology at the University of Basel (Bachelor's degree) and graduated with a Master's degree in Religion -Economics -Politics. She served for four years as a church councilor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Basel-Landschaft and was the theological director of the Protestant home "Leuenberg". At present, she devotes her time to her family and her extensive network work in various committees. Continuous education is central for her. For example, she completed a training as a Focusing facilitator and obtained the certificate in adult education SVEB.

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    Vreni Blum

    Vreni Blum, born in 1959, lives in Basel and works as a textile teacher. Under her guidance, a women's group sews and the articles sold support a hospital in the Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo. Together with her husband Johannes Blum, she worked for four years in a mission hospital in the DR Congo. Since 2004, she has traveled to the African country for a few weeks almost every year, doing short-term outreach to various women's groups on the ground. She is a board member of the "Evangelical Mission in the Kwango" (EMiK), a supporting association of Mission 21, and a delegate in the synod of Mission 21. Vreni Blum is the mother of two adult daughters.

    Women and Gender Unit

    Learn more about the work of the Women and Gender Unit. ► Learn more

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