Women and girls in the Pacific face alarming levels of gender-based violence, in particular violence in the home. Three in five women (60%) who have ever been in a relationship have experienced either physical or sexual violence (or both) by a husband or intimate partner . The high prevalence of this violence is symptomatic of entrenched gender inequality that devalues women and girls. Religious norms and customary interpretations of religious texts, primarily Christian, are often used as mechanisms to perpetuate and justify violence against women, and to reinforce gender inequalities. Across the Pacific, 93.3% of the population identify as Christian  (87% of the population of Vanuatu identify as Christian), with religion an important part of people’s every day life, and faith leaders carrying significant influence. World Vision, UnitingWorld and Anglican Overseas Aid work with Pacific Churches and faith-based organisations and apply faith-based approaches and frameworks to tackle gender-based violence in communities. Each approach is unique and operates differently within a larger faith framework.
Through the ACFID Gender Equality Community of Practice, this joint webinar presents an opportunity to hear from local faith and development actors and their respective Australian partners on the relevance, experience and impact of ongoing faith-based approaches to tackle gender-based violence in the Pacific and perspectives on gender programming within a faith framework.
This joint webinar aims to:
- Explore the relevance of faith and the role of faith-based organisations and actors for gender programming in the Pacific, in the context of secular state donors
- Enhance understanding of the value of an ecumenical as well as secular and faith-collaborative approach to gender-based violence in the Pacific
- Highlight perspectives from local faith-based actors about strengths and challenges of faith-based approaches to gender-based violence in the region
- Enhance understanding of differences and synergies in current faith-based approaches to gender-based violence in the Pacific, and successes, challenges and available lessons from these approaches
- World Vision Vanuatu: Millie Greaves, Senior Program Manager (REACH) and Safeguarding Focal Point and Pastor Fiama Rakau, Faith and Engagement Mentor
- UnitingWorld: Natasha Holland, International Programs Manager and Martha Kalwatman, Gender Focal Point, Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu
- Anglican Overseas Aid: Belinda Lauria, Program Manger - Quality and Compliance and Safeguarding Focal Point and Anglican Church of Melanesia: Ethel George, Woman's Desk Officer/ ANCP Project Coordinator
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 UN Women, Asia and the Pacific, http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/countries/fiji/co/vanuatu
 PBS Learning Media - World Religions Map