Learning from practice: Engaging faith-based and traditional actors in preventing violence against women and girls


Faith-based actors (such as formal and informal faith-based leaders and organizations) and traditional actors (such as chiefs, traditional healers, elders and mothers-in-law) are increasingly recognized as key to preventing violence against women and girls and crucial to realizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 (achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls by 2030). 

These actors can promote beliefs, norms and practices that support and enable prevention of violence against women and girls, but they can also encourage and legitimize certain forms of violence. Therefore, their reach and influence cannot be ignored, especially given their unique position in households and communities.

This synthesis review explores how to engage faith-based and traditional actors by drawing on the experiences of 10 civil society organizations implementing projects to prevent violence against women and girls in different countries and contexts. It showcases the unique contributions of different types and sizes of organizations, from small locally based youth groups to large international human rights organizations.

The synthesis review also provides practical tips and recommendations for those working in the field, for researchers and for donors funding faith-based projects.

This review is part of a Prevention Series.

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Bibliographic information

Resource type(s): Learning
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