The most widespread, yet least visible human rights violation is violence against women and girls. The Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) reminds of this fact commemorating tomorrow’s international Human Rights Day with a call to stronger commitment in the fight against gender-based violence.
In its position paper on gender-based violence, the International Women’s Network of EMS insists on a clear zero-tolerance approach towards all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The resolution was presented to the delegates of the EMS General Meeting in November 2022. It is the churches and the mission associations that play a decisive role in the fight against gender-based violence.
“The churches must take a leading role in talking about gender-based violence. They must not keep silent but use their role in society actively. On the one hand to protect and support those affected, on the other to show a clear attitude against any form of harassment and violence against women and girls, particularly in public debate,” Rev. Dr Rima Nasrallah van Saane (Beirut) reports in her function as representative of the Women’s Network. “Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, violence against women and children is on the rise. We need clear theological statements, advocacy and well worked-out educational programmes to fight this development,” adds Dr Kerstin Neumann, head of the unit Women & Gender in EMS. Of supportive use are the already existing Capacity Development projects that EMS finances; they help spreading information and creating awareness.
The newly published EMS magazine “Our Voices” can be understood as a guide for entering into the topic. It contains important information and links for real help, best practice examples from Africa, Asia and Europe, biblical and theological reflections as well as liturgical elements – for group work or personal study. The 40-page magazine can be downloaded free of cost here: ems-online.org/en/ourvoices
One of the principal focal endeavours of the Women’s Network is a proper and just handling of cases of violence. The establishment of structures and processes are of vital importance. Dearly required is the networking with churches and ecumenical organisations within and beyond the EMS framework, be it for the exchange of experiences or policy papers.
All forms of harassment and violence against women and girls must stop. The members of EMS are determined to make their communities safe spaces where people feel welcome and respected. The urgent appeal of the women´s network reads as “Listening, acting, transforming”, reflecting the reconciling love that Christ shows to all people.
Press contact: Ulrike Pfab, pfab@, Tel. +49 711 63678-11 ems-online.org