Choosing to Challenge the Uptick in Gender-Based Violence: International Women’s Day

A gathering of Zambian mothers shaking hands and smiling

Today is International Women’s Day, and World Renew is thrilled to join gender justice champions around the world by celebrating a few of the inspiring members of our team who advocate for gender justice every day.

Last week, in World Renew’s first ever International Women’s Day Award Ceremonies, Executive Directors Ida Kaastra Mutoigo and Carol Bremer Bennett highlighted the work of World Renew staff, regional teams, and partners who have brought fierce passion and significant impact to the cause of gender justice in the last year.

Since early 2020, COVID-19 has triggered an 80% uptick around the world in the reporting of gender-based violence. This crisis of abuse has not escaped World Renew’s notice, propelling staff to intensify their efforts in addressing root causes of domestic violence and catalyzing a giving campaign in partnership with UN Women and the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) for 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. That campaign raised over $187,000 (USD)/ $236,000 (CAD) to fund gender justice programming in 16 different countries during 2021.

While the progress accomplished in these areas could not have occurred without the hard work and collaboration of all World Renew participants, donors, staff, and partners, we also want to take time today to recognize and thank God for the unique sacrifice, creativity, and faithfulness of the following award recipients:

  • World Renew’s All-Time Gender Champions:
    Marie Harouna, West Africa, for her consistency working with vulnerable women and girls and authoring the Cry of a Woman’s Heart Gender Curriculum

    Faye Yu, Malawi, for her role as an emerging gender champion and a leader in the 16 Days of Activism Campaign (also known as the Tamar Campaign)

  • World Renew’s Proactive Home Office Staff:
    Alice Ng Bouwma, Canada, for supporting gender advocacy initiatives and ensuring gender integration in World Renew’s grant proposals

    Peter Bulthuis, Canada, for strongly leading and supporting the 16 Days of Activism Campaign (also known as the Tamar Campaign)

  • World Renew’s Most Proactive Team for Gender Justice:
    East Africa Regional Team, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, for enhancing gender programming, sharing stories of transformative gender programming and adapting programming to continue transformation

  • World Renew’s Most Proactive Gender Justice Partner:
    Nebbi Diocese, Uganda, for their intentional engagement of issues surrounding gender-based violence in surrounding communities

Each and every one of these Gender Champions have helped to share the love of Jesus in ways that encourage both women and men to thrive.

Later this month, award recipients Marie Harouna (West Africa Regional Team) and Barbara Kayanja (East Africa Regional Team) will present on World Renew’s gender justice work at an event during the annual Global Women’s Right Conference(CSW). Their presentation is intended to foster further collaboration, advocacy, and education surrounding effective means of addressing gender inequalities and transforming communities, especially in the context of COVID-19.

Praise God for this bold and vital work!

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