From October 12 to 22 the international educational training for female leaders takes place at the Evangelical Conference Centre on the Holy Mountain in Wuppertal. Ten participants coming from UEM member churches in Africa, Asia and Germany take part in the training. They already have leadership experience in their capacities as head of women department or spouses of church leaders traditionally responsible for the women's work within their churches. The various program aims at qualifying the female participants to improve their daily work but also to give an answer to the question "how can we move from the head of women's department to the overall church leadership?"
Besides, the program includes an exchange of best practice solutions and of strategies with regard to female issues among the female participants. One of the most important issue mentioned by female leaders from all cultures is the problem of violence against women, including sexual violence.
Leony Silalahi from the Indonesian GKPS church says for example: "We, the women are the columns of the families and thereby of the society. Only with a sound foundation we are able to bear the many tasks of the society."
Additionally to the group works the training also includes inputs from various international resource persons showing the issues of female leadership from German and international perspectives.
For example the former UEM Council member and financial advisor Dr Victoria Kisyombe from Tanzania who reports on the socio-economic development of women in leading positions. The German Prof. Dr Michaela Geiger gives a lecture on the biblical perspective of women in leadership while the German Prof. Dr Beate Hoffmann highlights the issue of 'women in leadership positions in church and society. The theologian Dr Al Fuentes from the US has specialized on trauma healing for women and will give various lectures on the issue.
Apart from the theoretical approaches the soprano singer Annika Boos from Wuppertal gives a very practical exercise: She teaches the female leaders some basics on how to use the language as an important instrument of leadership for a self-reliant and convincing appearance.
Irene Girsang (officer for the interregional women's work in UEM) has designed the international leadership training for women and conducts the training program together with her colleague Lena Wallraff (tutor of the UEM training centre Wuppertal).