Original note available in Mission 21. By Mara Wirthlin, Catalina Schriber

Photo: Mission 21

The “I walk with...” campaign entered to its third round at this year’s Synod week and focuses on violence against women in Latin America. In general, the rights and empowerment of women were given high priority at the International Conference of Mission 21.

Mission 21’s commitment to gender justice is a fundamental component of its project work. One element that makes the joint commitment to gender justice visible is the “I walk with…” campaign: Mission 21 shows its solidarity with important actors from partner countries, joining them for a year and focuses on their achievements in the fight for gender justice. Every year “I walk with…” illuminates the commitment of another woman and thus strengthens the intercontinental networking of our partners.

Last year Suzan Mark from Nigeria symbolically transferred the blue T-shirt to Obertina Johanis from Indonesia, who this year passed it on to Ebed Grijalva Yauri from Peru. “We focus on violence against women and feminicide,” said Ebed Grijalva Yauri. “With “I walk with…” we sensitize the public to this important topic and show to the affected women that they are not alone.”

The T-shirt handover took place during the women’s pre-conference. There, the women’s delegates and coordinators from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe reported on the most burning issues and challenges. Burning issues were defined as feminicide, gender-based discrimination and violence, trafficking in women and human beings, and religious fundamentalism. The delegates then drew up a joint official message to the Synod, which contains the main concerns of all four continents and concrete proposals for the fight against persistent gender inequality.