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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.

Power analysis: A learning review

This learning review explores how power analysis is integrated in Christian Aid resilience programmes funded by CHASE and General PPAs 2011-2016.

Picture Power: ECRP Malawi

Developed by Christian Aid, Picture Power uses participatory photography to provide communities with the skills and equipment to conduct their own project evaluation, most recently on our ECRP programme in Malawi. ECRP Picture Power project

Tackling violence, building peace: global strategy 2016

Violence and conflict affects almost one fifth of the world’s population or 1.5 billion people. The daily fear, uncertainty and suffering borne by people living through violent conflicts in countries such as Syria, Iraq and South Sudan is immeasurable and unimaginable. The war in Syria, has contributed to the highest number of displaced people since World War II; nearly five million having fled its bombs and bullets. Meanwhile, the catastrophe continues for people trapped in besieged villages across Syria and Iraq. Other countries like Colombia are striving to end protracted conflicts and push peace over the line. Today, one in every 122 people is now a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum, and the cost of world military spending is said to be nearly 250 times more than is spent on peace building. Christian Aid has adopted ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace,’ as a strategic priority to address these critical trends and because we know that human development cannot be achieved without tackling violence. Seventy years after Christian Aid’s establishment, the root causes and levels of violence in poor communities where we work persists, often at higher levels and irrespective of whether those communities are ‘at war’ or not. Most of the world’s poorest people live outside of any form of protection and remain vulnerable to war and conflict, violent criminal organisations, gender-based violence, police abuse, forced labour and violent theft of land and other assets on a daily basis. People who do not have a safe place to call home, reliable access to food and an income because of violence, cannot plan for the future. Communities living through daily violence cannot thrive. And children who are forced to leave school because of violence are denied a chance at their hopes and dreams. Women and girls are also increasingly subject to physical and sexual violence, a harrowing result of gender inequality. Conflict is complex and even when peace comes, it does not always signal an end to violence. It can mark a shift from militarised conflict to widespread social conflict. For example, in Central America more people die violently today due to crime than during the civil wars of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua combined. Our new strategy underpins our commitment to tackle violence and to promote just and lasting peace and security where we work. The strategy is deeply informed by our work in countries across the globe and reflects the aspirations and vision of our local partners. Peace is both an end in itself and a prerequisite for development. ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace’ is our pledge to work tirelessly and collectively towards a safer future that secures justice and human rights for all.

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.

Zambia Joint Country Programme Strategic Plan 2016-20

This new strategy for the Joint Country Programme (JCP) Zambia builds on years of experience working with partners in Zambia. The JCP is a joint venture of Christian Aid, DanChurchAid and Norwegian Church Aid.