Justice for Women

The United Church of Christ has been a leader among churches on issues of justice related to women.  It’s in our DNA, you might say. 

Yes, we were the first Christian denomination to ordain a woman when Antoinette Brown was ordained in 1853. But even before then, women who were members of our congregations lived their faith through advocacy to end the practice of slavery in the United States, to establish homes for poor women, and support educational opportunities for women.  Later, they were active in securing women’s right to vote and to work for fair wages. 

From the mid-1900’s to the present day, the UCC has continued this legacy through its advocacy for reproductive justice for all women, its call to end violence against women, its critical work on gender inclusive language as an issue of justice for all humankind, and its insistence on connecting the realities of sexism and racism.  And more.

This work is local and global, personal and community-wide.  It comes from a faith which affirms the full personhood of women as created in the image of God and included in the ministry of Jesus as partners, disciples and bearers of the Good News.

Observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is an important time to remind ourselves that the church must be a safe place for victims to share their stories and seek support. We have an obligation to help end domestic violence. Even if we do not know their faces, victims and batterers alike sit in our pews and worship within our walls. Whether we want to be or not, the Church is at the front lines of this issue.

This month let's challenge ourselves and commit to bringing this important issue to attention in our congregations. Will you join us?

Read & Share:

Be a resource:

Take action:

  • Stand in solidarity with women & children around the world!
    Our faith compels us to reach for holistic solutions to end gender based violence. We know that as advocates we must prevent such acts of violence by comprehensively working to empower women and girls globally. Act now - Suppport I-VAWA.

Speak Out Sunday

We’re calling all congregations to dedicate November 23rd as Speak Out Sunday – a day for dialogue, teaching, prayer and action around sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and its prevention.

This date coincides with the United Nations “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women” and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Speak Out Sunday is the faith community’s way of uniting with and amplifying these global efforts.

Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court

An Update After the Hobby Lobby Decision: What It Means and Some Next Steps
Recently the Supreme Court handed down a decision with startling implications for individuals’ religious liberty and women’s access to contraceptive coverage. Find out what the decision means, and what UCC advocates are trying to do about it.

Health Equity, Racial Justice, and the Supreme Court Decision on Contraception
The Supreme Court decision giving some corporations the right to deny coverage of certain types of contraception to their employees based on religious freedom will have a great impact on women of color.  Although, the ruling does not single out women of color, our political and economic realities tell us that women of color often bear the brunt of the negative impacts of restrictions on women’s health.

International Violence Against Women Act

It is estimated that one out of every three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual abuse during her lifetime, with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. Such violence includes rape, domestic violence, human trafficking, honor killings, child marriage, and genital mutilation. Girls are denied access to education, the political and economic rights of women and girls are oppressed, and women and girls are used as tools of war. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a human rights violation, a public health epidemic, and a barrier to addressing broader global challenges such as extreme poverty and hunger, HIV/AIDS, and international conflict.
The recent kidnapping of nearly 300 girls in Nigeria has served as a grave reminder that unfortunately such acts of violence occur on a daily basis all around the world. Our faith compels us to both demand an immediate response as well as seek more holistic and sustained solutions to GBV. Both chambers of Congress have now reintroduced the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), and we must encourage our leaders to cosponsor and support this crucial legislation, which would make ending violence against women and girls a top diplomatic and foreign assistance priority.

Take action to end violence against women & children in Nigeria and throughout the world!

The Federal Budget & Women

Why Paul Ryan’s Budget Would Be Bad for Women
Commentary By Kristen Walling

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This scripture from Luke 12:34 reminds us that the places we allocate our money reveal what is truly important to us. Our federal budget—the decisions about how we will spend our money—reflects what we choose to value. The federal budget plan crafted by Representative Paul Ryan unfortunately presents a dishearteningly bleak future for women in this country. Low-income women, women of color, and elderly women would be particularly hard-hit if Congress were to accept Ryan’s budget proposal as is. (Read more.)

Justice for Women - Learn More:


Rev. Lois M. Powell
Executive Associate to the General Minister and President
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Ms. Kristen Walling
Justice and Peace Fellow
100 Maryland Ave, NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002