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An evidence-based approach to transforming harmful concepts of gender
and masculinities, and to promoting gender equality.

One in every three women and girls will OUR APPROACH experience and understanding is that faith
experience physical and/or sexual violence A significant majority of the global leaders and faith traditions can equally be
in their lifetime. That is 1 billion women population are affiliated to a religious powerful agents for change in addressing
and girls in our world today. Violence tradition or faith beliefs*. Belief systems sexual and gender-based violence. While it
against women and girls happens in every influence and shape social norms, is important to challenge existing gender
sphere and strata of society in various including gender norms on roles and roles directly, our approach is also to
forms such as rape, physical abuse, values, and can have a negative or positive question the values that underpin those
harassment and discrimination. Sexual and impact on achieving gender justice. Faith gender-ascribed roles, and the values,
gender-based violence (SGBV) deprives leaders (who are predominantly male) and power and status assigned based on
women and girls of a life of dignity which certain interpretations of scriptural texts peoples gender identities. The goal is to
is why ending it is critical. Statistically, the can play an influential role in reinforcing promote positive models for being men
majority of perpetrators of SGBV are men patriarchal norms, dominant forms of and women, for leadership, for restoring
and boys; our work specifically addresses masculinity and rigid gender roles and relationships and for promoting gender
the understanding and behaviour of responsibilities that are harmful to both equality in every sphere of society.
individual men and boys as well as the men and women, boys and girls. These
Our engagement with faith leaders and
social norms that lead to male violence interpretations perpetuate and sustain
our training of Gender Champions who
against women and girls. It is important to gender inequality, and are often even used
then facilitate community dialogues, aims
note that men and boys also experience to justify violence, and shame survivors of
to promote change in individual behaviour
sexual and gender-based violence. Our sexual and gender-based violence.
and social norms on gender, masculinities
goal is to change social norms and
The aim of the Transforming Masculinities and SGBV. We strongly believe that this
behaviour around SGBV, which will have a
approach is to work towards gender will lead to systemic changes in social,
positive outcome in the lives of both men
justice through a gender transformative political and economic structures that will
and women.
model, founded on the principles and build a society that lives out the values of
sacred texts of the world faiths that value gender equality and is free of sexual and
the wellbeing and equality of all human gender-based violence in all forms.
beings. As a faith-based organisation our


National, provincial and community Community faith leaders select Small groups of men and women meet
level faith leaders attend workshops key male and female members of weekly in their communities for six
that engage and equip them to the community to be trained as weeks for discussions led by Gender
provide leadership and support for the facilitators of small group discussions Champions. Weeks 1-5 are conducted
Transforming Masculinities process. named community dialogues. in single sex groups and Week 6 in
combined sex groups.

The Transforming Masculinities process works with both men and women through workshops or structured small group discussions,
which draw on scriptural reflections on gender equality and positive masculinities. Themes include understanding sexual and gender-
based violence (SGBV) and how it affects everyone, addressing unequal power and privilege, and discussing positive masculinities.

100 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8QE T 020 8977 9144 E
Registered Charity No. 265464 (England & Wales) Registered Charity No. SC037624 (Scotland)
Community dialogues run for six weeks and follow key themes in the order described below.

2 Gender roles and
norms in daily life
4 Faith and
6 Looking ahead/
envisaging a
community free



1 Introduction/SGBV
root causes
3 Power, status
and SGBV
5 Moving forward
and reflections

Male only sessions are led by male Gender Champions and female only sessions by female Gender Champions.

The Transforming Masculinities curriculum and process have Sexual and gender-based violence is not purely a womens issue;
been designed and developed based on the evidence from our it is a gender issue that warrants work on gender justice and the
formative research. Distinctive aspects of the approach are: equality of individuals, rather than solely a focus on womens
empowerment. The contextualised Transforming Masculinities
It is structured to accompany men and women in a process
approach focuses on the cultural norms, theology and beliefs that
of identifying and unlearning harmful norms that impact
promote harmful gender norms and concepts of masculinities
their lives.
that perpetuate gender inequality.
It brings the discussions on gender, masculinities and sexual
Our hope, through this gender transformative approach, is to
and gender-based violence within the context of participants
see men and boys on a journey of transformation that will lead
faith and culture, and aims to address underlying beliefs
to them living and promoting a lifestyle of positive masculinities
rather than to prescribe behaviour.
and gender equality. This will significantly improve the lives of
It engages both faith leaders and faith community members both men and women, their relationships and the wellbeing of
through discussion and activities with practical application. their families. We desire to see both women and men living with
dignity, being equally valued and able to live free of violence and
It involves group learning and a safe space for dialogues with
abuse. We hope to see more men and boys involved as allies in
single sex groups for men and women separately and then
the work to prevent violence against women and girls and living
joint sharing in the mixed-group discussion.
as role models motivating others to do likewise.
It promotes accountable practices at all levels (participants,
facilitators, church leadership and related staff).
It is designed to integrate easily into church activities
including marriage counselling and men and womens small
discussion groups.

The key resources

for the biblical
reflections on the
topics of SGBV, Resource provided to faith Training manual used for faith Guide used by Gender
gender equality leaders regarding healthy leader workshops and to train Champions to facilitate the
and positive gender relationships, as a Gender Champions. community dialogue group
masculinities are: support in delivering sermons, discussions.
sharing testimonies and
counselling couples.

Resources are written from a Christian faith perspective with suggestions for adapting to a Muslim/mixed faith setting with references from the Quran.

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Pew Research Centre, April 2015

100 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8QE

T 020 8977 9144 E
Registered Charity No. 265464 (England & Wales)
Registered Charity No. SC037624 (Scotland)