Date of Meeting: 22 March 2019

Meeting Organizer: 

UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect 

UNITF on Religion and Development

ACT Alliance

ISJC Staff Present: Stephanie Marinelli, Captain Swetha Vincent, Paula Mendes

Reporter: Stephanie Marinelli

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5, 16 

Type of meeting: CSW Side Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

The members of the panel came from governments of different countries along with others from various faith traditions including Christian, Muslim, and the Baha’i faith.

Some of the panellists:

Peca Mezzo from Finland

Binolo Bineci Burns from Botswana

Rudilmar Bueno de Faria from ACT Alliance

Lopa Banerjee from UN Women


Why should Faith-Based actors be involved in the prevention of Gender-Based Violence?

  • Critical to involve civil society
  • Religions are not the problem, patriarchy is the problem, toxic masculinity
  • There is a desire to make places of worship a place of refuge
  • Our faith tells us that every human is equal, created in the image of God
    • This includes the marginalized and oppressed
  • Faith-based organisations uphold a belief in community and humanity
  • Focusing on how we can prevent gender-based violence
    • Most funding is provided once the violence has already occurred


Why should faith-based actors get involved in preventing Gender-Based Violence now?

  • There is an unprecedented backlash on gender equality
    • To combat this, ACT Alliance launched the Created Equal campaign
  • “There is no way to uphold human rights if it doesn’t include everyone”
  • There has been a decline and erosion of trust in public institutions and an increase of trust in faith-based institutions
  • When talking about the patriarchy, we haven’t talked enough about the resilience of the patriarchy
    • We’ve made slight improvements throughout the years, but this has made patriarchy manifest in different ways
  • Gender-based violence is an atrocity and there is an urgent need to act
  • Patriarchy is not always men perpetuating these beliefs, sometimes it is also women

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

It is important to understand how faith-based organisations fit into the United Nations system. Given that the UN is a secular organisation, it is noteworthy that they are providing the room for conversations like this to happen. The fact that the secular world is acknowledging the need for faith-based organisations to contribute is hugely significant and The Salvation Army should be finding opportunities to participate. More conversations need to happen between the secular world and faith-based organisations as it is more difficult to accomplish anything on our own.

Web links for more information

For more information about ACT Alliance Created Equal Campaign:

Tags: SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG5: Gender Equality