World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / What we do / Just Community of Women and Men

Just Community of Women and Men

Building just communities of women and men is a priority in all activities of the World Council of Churches as it sets out on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace. Just gender relations are essential for the transforming renewal of church and society.
Just Community of Women and Men

Prayer tree for gender justice at the WCC 10th Assembly.

Building just communities of women and men is a priority in all activities of the World Council of Churches as it sets out on a Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace in response to the call from the WCC 10th Assembly in 2013.

The experiences, perspectives and participation of both women and men are equally needed for the transforming renewal of church and society. Just gender relations are essential as we respond to climate change, build an economy of life and promote just peace and human dignity.

Ecumenical theological education and leadership training are key in this process. This includes reflection on what justice and peace entails for women in dehumanizing situations – refugees, trafficked and sexually violated women.

WCC trainings empower religious women to use United Nations advocacy tools for women’s rights and gender justice. Their voice is strengthened by networking between Christian women’s organizations and those participating at the annual sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

A gender advisory group involving representatives from member churches has been set up to develop a gender justice policy for the WCC and to provide gender expertise to the general secretary.

Thursdays in Black

The "Thursdays in Black" campaign, through the simple gesture of wearing black on Thursdays, promotes an end to violence against women and girls. It is a united global expression of the desire for safe communities where we can all walk safely without fear of being raped, shot at, beaten up, verbally abused and discriminated against due to our gender or sexual orientation. At its 10th Assembly in 2013, the WCC revived this campaign, born during the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), partnering with the Christian Aids Bureau for Southern Africa, Diakonia Council of Churches, Northern Territory Youth Affairs Network, Victoria University Students’ Association, Uniting Church in Sweden and Church of Sweden, among others.

Read more about past and recent activities

Related News

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

#WCC70: Dr Agnes Abuom: “I dream of a world where every man and woman’s dignity will be upheld”

It’s 70 years since the World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam on 23 August. In addition to a commemoration service in Amsterdam on 23 August, the WCC, its member churches and partners are planning a variety of events to move forward on our ongoing Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and at the same time honour and learn from these 70 years of ecumenical endeavour. Dr Abuom, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, is the moderator of the WCC Central Committee. She is the first woman and the first African in the position in WCC’s history. In an interview, she reflects on the evolution of the WCC in the past 70 years.

As Hollywood speaks out, will other wounded women go deeper in the shadows?

As Hollywood speaks out, will other wounded women go deeper in the shadows?

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson has a unique position in observing and advocating for women’s rights or, as she would quickly clarify, “the fair treatment of human beings” no matter what their gender. As bishop-in-residence at the Hollywood United Methodist Church, she ministers to church members who were not only present at this week’s Golden Globe Awards – they were the nominees. And, as vice-moderator of the WCC Central Committee, she is part of a global parish, traveling to communities far removed from the privilege of Hollywood, where violence occurs against women who are seen by their own communities as having no voice and no rights.

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: ‘living and working together - that’s the joy of my life’

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: ‘living and working together - that’s the joy of my life’

Sit beside Bishop Mary Ann Swenson for five minutes, and you see that she is constantly nurturing people to learn more about each other, walk together, and become more unified, no matter their differences.