Women and Gender Unit
Mission 21 is part of an international, human rights-based movement for gender justice. Mission 21 strives for gender justice at all levels. This is achieved when all people can live a life free of discrimination, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. This principle and the working attitude of Mission 21 are anchored in the Gender Policy.
The Women and Gender Unit advises and supports all Mission 21 departments in working in a gender-sensitive manner and working towards the transformation of gender relations. The office advises, raises awareness, evaluates, produces information and work materials, and networks the members of our partner organizations who are committed to gender justice.
Mission 21 works with the strategy of the Gender mainstreaming: All Mission 21 programs and projects should contribute to strengthening gender justice. Either by considering gender justice as an overarching theme, or by integrating gender equality-related themes or target groups into the project.
To actively work toward gender equity, Mission 21 works with a gender-transformative approachthat addresses causes of gender inequality, critically challenges gender stereotypes, and changes them.
Mission 21 relies on three approaches to achieve this:
Advancement of Women
Mission 21 focuses on the advancement of women, i.e. the education and professional advancement of women. This should they can assume leadership positions in their communities as well as in partner churches and partner organizations. The prerequisite for this is, that non-discriminatory working environments be created: Mission 21 measures the Prevention and the Protection from sexual exploitation, from Abuse and harassment in the workplace high priority with. This applies to Mission 21 as overall organization as well as in the cooperation with the partners.
Mission 21 aims to, Local capacity for advocacy (Capacity Development for Advocacy). We want to strengthen partner organizations and key persons to stand up for gender justice and women's human rights as agents of change (agents of change). Mission 21 supports the networking of women's and gender activists and their organizations. This networking is an important prerequisite for joint action. They should be able to work for changes in laws and policies in the national context and to conduct public campaigns. To this end, they should also be able to use global instruments such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) and UN Resolution 1325. Contextual feminist theology is also important in this regard.
Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to eliminate structural causes of gender-based inequality. Gender mainstreaming consistently takes into account that people are in different life situations and have different interests.
Gender mainstreaming enables women to access political and social decision-making processes, financial resources and services through gender equality measures.
In order to implement gender mainstreaming, knowledge management is of Gender Competencies important: we want to ensure that knowledge on gender justice is shared and further developed in the departments, in the programs and in the international women's and gender network of Mission 21. Work aids and checklists facilitate the assurance of gender sensitivity in everyday life.
At Mission 21, moreover, the Structures geared toward gender mainstreaming: Women's delegates from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America represent the interests of women in the Synod, the strategic body. Together with external experts, the women's delegates sit on the Advisory Board Gender Justice, which advises the Executive Board on strategic gender issues. At the level of the Executive Board, gender mainstreaming is ensured by the seat of the head of the Women's and Gender Justice Unit. Gender focal points represent gender issues in the departments. And there are gender advisors in all cooperation programs.
Gender Equity Fund
The Gender Equity Fund provides additional financial resources to programs and partner organizations to enable them to respond quickly to societal developments that may reinforce gender inequality. In particular, the fund is intended to finance pilot projects with new approaches, new partners, or new topics that have the potential to strengthen the activities of the gender justice cooperation programs in the long term. A portion of these projects is funded annually through the collection of the Swiss World Day of Prayer financed. In 2023, the fund has the focus Masculinities.
Advisory Board Gender Justice
The Advisory Board Gender Justice advises Mission 21 as an expert body. Its task is to support the strategic orientation of Mission 21 for gender justice and gender mainstreaming. The four coordinators of the Continental Assemblies, representatives of the Mission 21 Board of Directors, and external gender experts participate in the Board. The board meets online three times a year and works on a voluntary basis.
The Advisory Board is intended to further strengthen Mission 21's work for gender justice and to increase its international focus at the strategic level.
16 Days Against Violence Against Women" Campaign
Mission 21 participates annually in the international campaign "16 Days Against Violence Against Women." ((link: https://www.16tage.ch/ )) The campaign runs from November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day. This date also highlights the core of the campaign: violence against women is a violation of human rights.
World Day of Prayer
The World Day of Prayer is a day of church action by grassroots women working for a more just world. As a partner organization of many churches and organizations working for gender justice, Mission 21 receives a contribution from the collections for the Gender Justice Fund.
Materials on the respective country can be ordered from Mission 21. Contact us here.
Women's Letter Archive
For many years Mission 21 published the "Frauenbrief". It was published once a year in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Indonesian and German. It reported on the activities of the international women's network.
You can find the latest women's letter here:
The Women's Letter to 2021 offered interested parties exciting insights into the calendar year of our women's network. The result of intercontinental cooperation, the Women's Letter reported on diverse experiences from different perspectives and provided insight into the activities of our women's network. It was published once a year in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Indonesian and German.