Occupation: Gender, Public Policies and Women’s Human Rights consultant. Part of the volunteering team, Board of Directors,Latinamerican Board of Churches (CLAI). Theologist and Lawyer. Master in Theology and History, Methodist University, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
1. What was your first connection with Mission 21 or Basel Mission?
In 1986 I learned about the work of the Basel Mission through two ecumenical collaborators, Teresa and Mark Riesen. They worked in the Pentecostal Church, where I am a current member. Then, in 1989, I worked in a project called Christian Education United (PUEC, Spanish initial) funded by ecumenical churches that helped with resources, as well as some collaboration agencies, including Basel Mission. Mark Riesen was the Executive Secretary. Later, in the 90’, I worked with Claudia Bandixen on women issues in the Pentecostal Church Mission and since 1993, in the women’s program of SEPADE. (Evangelical Service for Development)
2. What have been your contribution to the empowerment of women?
My contribution to women empowerment is linked to my own mutual enrichment process in and from different women and men groups working on their empowerment. While I was studying Theology in 1983, I got involved in different ecumenical spaces that were fighting against the military dictatorship in Chile and Latin America. I was called by the Christian education based on Paulo Freire’s model and materialized in the PUEC project. Afterwards, I entered into the world of liturgy and gospel, based on the militant/activist training promoted by CLAI at that time. In addition, I worked in Public Policies and social inclusion in Brazil between 1997 and 2011. During this process, it was essential to include the women’s point of view from the biblical theology to get to today’s topics on gender justice and ecofeminism.
3. Why the empowerment of women is important in the faith based organizations world?
We still have to work more and with more persistence for gender equity, and even more for gender equality. From my identity and conviction as an ecumenical woman, a possible way is through feminism. There is no contradiction in declaring oneself a feminist inside the churches, because from here we can denounce the capitalism and patriarchalism that belittle and suppress everyone of us without any gender, sexual, class or ethnic distinction. Through diverse feminist dialogues, we can tackle concrete actions for the climate justice and protection of our “common home”. That is where the women’s movement networks are headed, with gender justice and sisterhood, as a political act, until it becomes a reality.