Sent by Ebed Grijalva, Coordinator of CELA-ACLA Women team

Photo: Ebed Grijalva

The Mission 21 Latin American Assembly (ACLA) was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra from 23rd to 25th of April, 2019. Claudia Bandixen, Director of Mission 21 and Josefina Hurtado, Head of Women & Gender Desk, were part of the Assembly.

The meeting started with the topic that concerns us in our institutional work: Violence and femicide/ feminicide from a social and global view. We define violence against women as a result of social norms, rules and practices that legitimize and stimulate the patriarchal structure, where men have the right and obligation to exercise power over women. We talked about the difference between femicide and feminicide together with Carmen Elena Sanabria Salmón.

Secondly, ISEAT  ̶  partner of Mission 21  ̶  shared its experience of work called “gender based violence: The look of faith and spirituality”. ISEAT is not exempt to social problems, by opposite, it is in constant dialogue with society. In this path, ISEAT has found alarming data regarding violence against women, also within ecclesiastic spaces where women have lived violence situations. This issue has showed us the importance of faith in searching for answers that can help us to live in a more harmonious and equalitarian way.

We had a moment to share the participation in both Women Conferences organized under the context of the Synode of Mission 21 in 2017 and 2018. Declarations and results of the Conferences were presented. In addition, we shared the training process: ToT (Training of Trainers) in advocacy for women’s rights covering topics such as integral leadership, contextual theology and sustainability (SDGs)

Another experience presented by Doris Muñoz from CEDM was the seminar with Ivone Gebara in Chile “Violence against women and the silence of the church”. Etel Nina Caceres from ISAIAS also presented the experience “Walking through gender mainstreaming”.

Campaigns were also shared: “Thursdays in Black”, “I walk with” and “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence”, all of them with participation from different partners. Hereupon, we joined the campaign “I walk with Obertina Johanis” and expressed our solidarity to her work in Indonesia.

Finally, as a result of the Assembly, we wrote a declaration which expresses our commitment and challenges at institutional level to reach gender justice.