Feb. 8, 2022

“Go for Gender Justice” initiative opened by Protestant Church in Germany in Berlin

A “Go for Gender Justice” initiative was launched by the Protestant Church in Germany in Berlin on 1 February with calls for overcoming gender clichés and traditional role models. Germany’s "First Lady,” the judge Elke Büdenbender called on women and men to fight together for social change. Under the motto "Go for Gender Justice,” nine regional churches invited people to move together toward gender equality.

Elke Büdenbender speaks at the launch of "Go for Gender Justice" by the Protestant Church in Germany, 1 February 2022, photo: Ulf Beck/EKD
8 February 2022

Gender equality was never “self-perpetuating," said Büdenbender in the kick-off event, which was broadcast via livestream. Cultural rules must be changed in all areas—in parliaments and parties, corporations, and business, in science, culture and the media "and also in places of worship.” Equal participation and influence for everyone should become a reality, demanded Büdenbender. The "imbalance between the sexes" should be straightened out.

During “Go for Gender Justice,” committed people from the Protestant Church in Germany as well as civil society groups want to promote more gender equality. The focus is on fair sharing of work, power and influence, overcoming devaluation and violence, and recognizing diversity. The ideas for more justice and the reduction of discrimination will be presented at the World Council of Churches 11th Assembly (https://www.oikoumene.org/about-the-wcc/organizational-structure/assembly) in Karlsruhe, Germany in August-September.

Regarding the economy and society, Büdenbender explained that it was about distributing power more equitably, removing "glass ceilings" and filling positions on an equal footing. Women should help shape digital change and not leave this field to “a few, especially men.”

She called on the operators of social networks to get more involved in the fight against hate and hate speech. Büdenbender expressly welcomed the social diversity regarding family models, partnership, and sexual orientation.

Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, head of the Department for Ecumenical Relations and Ministries Abroad of the Protestant Church in Germany, said in a prayer service that gender justice is about God's justice. "All human beings are created in the image of God,” she said, adding that gender justice is "about nothing less" than questioning and changing power structures in church, politics, society, and the economy.

Local “Go for Gender Justice” initiatives will kick off in during the next several months.

“Go for Gender Justice” website (https://www.go-for-gender-justice.de/)