Working with faith communities

Policymakers and other stakeholders should engage and dialogue with faith leaders and communities to facilitate effective implementation of laws. Faith leaders and faith communities are powerful forces in the lives of women, girls, and families worldwide.  Faith communities often drive the development of, or changes in, social attitudes and practices.  They have a critical role to play in educating about and helping to implement laws on violence against women. Accordingly, any integrated strategy to end violence against women must include consideration of how communities of faith will impact the effort, both positively and negatively. The power of faith communities to provide messages that are supportive of women’s human rights should be mobilized at every opportunity. Many implementation, awareness-raising, and education programs find that early engagement with influential faith leaders can be a large part of their success. The following resources are designed specifically for faith communities and those working with faith leaders to protect women and girls from violence:

Restoring Dignity: A Toolkit for Religious Communities to End Violence Against Women (Religions for Peace, 2009)

Mobilizing Religious Communities to Respond to Gender-based Violence and HIV: A Training Manual (USAID, 2009)

A Call to Act: Engaging Religious Leaders and Communities in Addressing Gender-based Violence and HIV (USAID, 2009)

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