In development, gender justice means that girls and boys, women and men, have:
- equal opportunity to benefit from community projects
- equal access to community resources
- equal opportunity to make community decisions
- equal opportunity to develop their talents
Community transformation is unachievable if one sex is left behind.
Gender justice also means helping communities right some of the terrible things that have gone wrong between women and men: domestic violence, female genital mutilation, honor killings, sex trafficking, victimization of widows and single mothers, and unhealthy expressions of masculinity.
In 2006, the World Renew board made the following commitment to gender justice: “In accordance with Scripture and acknowledging the role that gender inequality has played in perpetuating poverty and injustice around the world, World Renew will work for gender equality in all aspects of its programs and organizational culture.”
Our relations with faith based organizations in our partner network give us the opportunity to stimulate dialogue about gender, faith, and culture in different contexts and to find positive ways of working on gender justice together with communities:
- In Bangladesh, World Renew partner SATHI has trained 50 groups of young people who perform street theatre to raise awareness on human trafficking, HIV AIDS, and early marriage.
- In Kenya, women’s involvement in deep democracy in conflict zones is building systemic, peaceful resolutions.
- In Senegal, World Renew educates adolescent girls in challenging gender norms. The young women are taught to form healthy relationships and to increase their self-esteem, and then become mentors to girls in their own neighborhoods.
- In Zambia, gender sensitization is a key element of World Renew’s programming with its partner CCAP Relief and Development. As a result, women like Margaret Banda of Samuel Village, was not only chosen to lead the group of thirty farmers from the village but also to organize other programs, becoming an example of transparent leadership in the group and modeling good development practice in her family and business.
- In Nigeria, World Renew has just begun a new program, in partnership with CIDA, that will be helping communities address the issue of transactional sex in schools, when teachers’ abuse their power in exchange for sexual favors.