Community transformation is unachievable if one gender is left behind.
We believe that God ordained men and women as equal partners in all spheres of life. When men, women, girls, and boys are free and encouraged to use their gifts and to fulfill their God-given potential, communities can truly flourish.
In development, gender equality means that women and men, girls and boys, have equal status in society. Gender equity means that girls and boys, women and men are treated fairly.
Both genders have....
- equal opportunity to develop gifts and abilities
- equal decision-making opportunities
- equal opportunity to participate in community projects and activities
- equal access to benefits and community resources
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.”
Gender justice addresses the brokenness in the relationships between men and women. Through our community development programs we see to prevent domestic violence, sexual abuse, honor killings, trafficking for sex and labour, victimization of widows and single mothers, female genital mutilation, and childhood marriage.
Our relationships with faith-based organizations in our partner network give us the opportunity to stimulate dialogue about gender, faith, and culture in different contexts. Through this dialogue we find positive ways of working on gender justice together. For example:
- 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 Senegal, World Renew educates adolescent girls in challenging gender norms. The young women are taught to form healthy relationships and develop better self-esteem; they 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, a woman 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. She became an example of transparent leadership in the group and modeled good development practice in her family and business.
- In Nigeria, World Renew is helping communities address the issue of transactional sex in schools (when teachers abuse their power in exchange for sexual favors).
World Renew’s Maternal and Child Health Program is also an important part of our community development work.
Making the health of mothers a top priority prevents illness and death during pregnancy and childbirth, and boosts their babies’ growth too.
Improving the nutrition that a baby receives during their first 1000 days of life (from conception to two years) will have a long term influence on how they develop, grow and learn.
Educating mothers in regards to breastfeeding, hygiene, family planning, immunizations, disease prevention, and potentially harmful traditional practices makes it possible for mothers to make positive, life-changing decisions for themselves and their families.