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No more harmful traditional practices: working with faith leaders

In 2017 a consortium of members of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) undertook a study funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), entitled ‘Working effectively with faith leaders to challenge harmful traditional practices'. The United Nations has defined harmful traditional practices (HTPs) as follows: Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practicing them. Faith leaders are men and women recognised by their faith community, both formally or informally, as playing authoritative and influential leadership roles within faith institutions to guide, inspire or lead others (of faith). This may be within a formal religious hierarchy of accountability, but also includes informal movements. This report serves as a synthesis of the study findings.

Christian Aid gender strategy: just and equitable power relations

Our 2017 gender strategy reaffirms and renews our commitment to prioritising gender justice, especially for women and girls, throughout the organisation and in our work.  Our vision is to end poverty, and in our corporate strategy 'Partnership for Change', we identify three main goals which will help us to achieve this: Ensure just power relations Ensure equity and sustainability Ensure resilient and thriving societies Gender injustice is rooted in unequal power relations and the most pervasive gender inequality is between women and men. Gender injustice violates human rights, constrains choice and agency and negatively impacts upon people’s ability to participate in, contribute to and benefit from development and humanitarian relief. Unless we can help create just and equitable relationships between women and men of all ages and diversities, we will be unable to achieve equitable, sustainable, resilient and thriving societies. Gender justice is, therefore, at the heart of Christian Aid’s work. We also recognise that inequalities intersect and create complex disadvantages that compound gender injustice and poverty. We therefore take an inclusive and intersectional approach that enables us to address how inequalities, such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, class, religion, caste and disability, intersect with gender inequality and perpetuate poverty.

PACS programme summary film

A final wrap up film of the Poorest Areas Civil Society programme in India, showing achievements and learnings.

Pour la justice de genre: Un résumé de la stratégie de Christian Aid sur l’égalité des genres

Un résumé de la stratégie de Christian Aid sur l’égalité des genres. (French language version of our gender strategy)

Of the Same Flesh: exploring a theology of gender

This report provides a theological underpinning for Christian Aid’s gender justice work.

Christian Aid Ethiopia Country Strategy 2012-2017

Ethiopia has one of the world’s fastest-growing populations and is the second most populous country in Africa. While the country is experiencing high levels of economic growth, it still faces major challenges such as food insecurity, cyclical disasters, population pressure, unemployment, disease and natural resource degradation. Christian Aid has worked in Ethiopia for more than 30 years, initially responding to emergencies but gradually building a long-term development programme. Over the years, our work has focused on food security, secure livelihoods, HIV, accountable governance, economic justice, pro-poor energy and climate change. Christian Aid’s country strategy for Ethiopia contributes to several of the global goals laid out in Partnership for Change. We will create conditions in which poor women and men achieve greater influence over decision-making institutions and processes that affect their lives. Through our programme, access to the essential services necessary for good health will increase in remote and vulnerable communities. Christian Aid Ethiopia will work for more productive, sustainable and resilient livelihood opportunities, and fair shares of resources for disadvantaged people, through better market information and access.

Introducing Christian Aid Afghanistan

An introduction to Christian Aid’s programme in Afghanistan, which has been running for nearly three decades under four regimes – from the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which controlled the country during the Soviet invasion, to the current government that was voted in after the United States-led intervention of 2001. Today, our work in Afghanistan focuses on protecting human rights during conflicts, increasing food security, building the resilience of communities, and promoting the rights and empowerment of women. We work alongside local Afghan organisations on projects that reach and respond to the needs of communities facing high levels of poverty, disempowerment and inequality. Christian Aid works with its partners at every stage of a project – from needs assessment and design, to supporting partners and communities as they implement projects – and to regularly monitor and evaluate the impact and changes the work makes on the ground. All of our projects in Afghanistan are designed with our partners, and draw heavily on their relationships and lines of communication with communities. This approach means partners and communities understand the projects and are fully committed to them from the start. Since the majority of programme activities are implemented by the communities themselves, sustainability and a sense of local ownership are integral.