Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a public health, development,
and human rights issue which requires a comprehensive multi-sectoral
response in order to address its many facets, root causes and
consequences. With 84% of the world’s population affiliating themselves
with a religion, the faith sector is a key partner in addressing SGBV.
Thus a DFID-funded scoping study on the role of faith communities in
SGBV prevention and response explored the existing evidence base for
faith involvement in SGBV intervention. It found that evidence for the
role, nature and impact of faith-based SGBV involvement is needed to
facilitate inter-sector collaboration, but that such evidence is
currently lacking. Research on and increased documentation of
faith-based SGBV intervention programmes will not only contribute to the
development of better and more impactful faith-based programming, but
also contribute to a growing body of evidence that can facilitate
inter-sector partnerships, which in turn hopes to contribute to the
reduction of the prevalence and incidence of SGBV and the adequate and
integrated response for survivors.
Six key focus areas have emerged as highly relevant for having the faith
sector and its work contribute to building the body of evidence, and for
strengthening faith-based response and developing inter-sector trust and
collaboration, all with the goal of reducing SGBV and providing quality
of care to SGBV survivors. These six areas are framed as a set of
recommendations for three groups of actors, namely local faith
communities and faith-based organisations (FBOs), donors and policy
makers, and academics and researchers.
Evidence for faith involvement in SGBV prevention and response need to
be strengthened by documenting, evaluating and disseminating information
on faith groups’ activities.
Prioritise rigorous programme development
Rigorous programme development should ensure that longer-term,
context-appropriate interventions are developed.
Recognise faith leaders as key stakeholders
SGBV prevention and response should target faith leaders as important
community gatekeepers, but also authoritative and influential opinion
Use multiple modalities, engaging multiple stakeholders, in
Various well-integrated methods should be implemented during an
intervention, in partnership with various stakeholders from different
Actively seek out and develop networking and collaboration
Both faith and secular actors should actively attempt to network and
collaborate on SGBV intervention. This includes networking and
collaboration between different faith actors, but also between the faith
and secular actors.
Develop inclusive global policies and strategies
Donors and policy makers should include various faith actors in the
development of policies and strategies that ascertain to SGBV.
Anon. Policy Brief - The role of faith communities and organisations in prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence: implications for policy and practice. (2015) 5 pp.
Policy Brief - The role of faith communities and organisations in prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence: implications for policy and practice