"Women in Action"

Guest speakers (left to right) Arrais, Gober, and Small

[Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany] The first Inter-European Division (EUD) Women’s Ministries congress in early September brought more than 700 attendees from 20 European countries to Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.

Guest speakers included the supportive mayor of the city, Heather-Dawn Small, GCWM director, Raquel Arrais, GCWM associate director, Carla Gober, Loma Linda University professor, and Dr. Cornelia Strunz of Desert Flower Center at the Walfriede Hospital in Berlin. Workshops included WM Leadership Training Certification with 22 women receiving their Griggs University Certificates for completing the first three of four levels.

enditnow, an Adventist Church initiative to counter violence and abuse against women and girls, played a central role in the conference theme, “Women in Action.” Women staged a flash mob nearby to introduce enditnow to the community and stood in formation to spell the letters of enditnow (pictured above). Women learned about the impact of abuse on mental health. A charity concert raised money for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya. Strunz introduced her work in Berlin for reconstructive surgery in victims of FGM.

Orange scarves to draw attention to violence against women and children

Congress organizer Denise Hochstrasser, EUD WM director, provided attendees with an orange scarf in keeping with the United Nations gender-based violence campaign, "Orange Day." She encouraged women to wear orange every 25th day of the month to break the silence about abuse and to draw attention to GCWM initiative, "enditnow Adventists Say No to Violence Against Women and Children."

Contributed by Hannele Ottschofski, South German Union Conference, Adventist News Network, and EUD staff.  See EUD Women's Ministries reports and photos here.