Group of women smiling

Women's empowerment and gender equality

One of the most pervasive inequalities in the world is that between women and men. Gender justice is, therefore, at the heart of Christian Aid Ireland’s work.

Christian Aid Ireland’s work on gender equality seeks to ensure that woman and girls can access essential human rights such as education, health, work and shelter, that their voices are heard and respected in their communities and that they are protected from violence.  

Women disproportionately bear the burden of poverty. They have fewer ways to cope during crises and as they are often the main carers for children and family and often place their needs last. They can have more limited options for work, forcing them into to exploitative labour and their access to education can be curtailed.

It is estimated that over one third of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives.

Christian Aid Ireland believes that gender justice is about achieving equality and fairness between women and men but also that gender is a spectrum, which includes transgender women and men, intersex persons, and anyone who identifies outside of these definitions. We are committed to ensuring equality for all.

Our approach

Our work towards gender equality: 

  • Involves women and men to challenge unfair power relations, so that everyone, especially women and girls, can fulfil their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights, while protecting women from threats of violence or intimidation.
  • Ensures that women living in poverty have access to and increased control over resources, (e.g. land, housing, education, sustainable livelihoods, quality healthcare, finances).
  • Tackles gender-based violence, so that women, girls and vulnerable groups do not suffer harm.
  • Presses governments and global institutions to implement policies and laws to combat inequality and discrimination.  

We are a member of the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV), which works to address violence against women and girls.

We are a member of the Age and Disability Capacity Building Programme (ADCBP), a three-year programme to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian agencies to deliver inclusive emergency responses.

We are also committed to the ‘leave no one behind’ United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the Inclusion Charter which sets out key steps to achieve impartial humanitarian response for the most vulnerable.

Gender Based Violence Programming in Contexts Affected by Violence and Conflict - A Learning Paper

This paper explores the breadth of Christian Aid’s work on combatting GBV in different contexts and analyses programming practices across Nicaragua, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Myanmar and Zimbabwe. A partner peer learning event was held in Dublin, December 2017, which validated the key learnings and recommended the ecological framework. 

Read the full learning paper here

For more information, contact Grainne Kilcullen

Our Impact

  • In 2015, we supported the establishment of Side by Side - an independent global faith movement for gender justice, made up of 33 member organisations. We have seen faith leaders incorporate messages of gender equality in their sermons and national coalitions have begun to make an impact. In Kenya, failure by parliament to implement its constitution’s 'two thirds gender rule' was challenged by faith leaders in a joint public forum in August 2016, with #FaithForGenderJustice trending in Kenya.
  • In Kenya, we work with 177 members of the Maasai council of elders (traditional leaders) and 150 women leaders, to tackle gender equality and change attitudes and practices. 
  • In Mali, our partners have helped negotiate land titles for women, establish market gardens and formed associations, giving women greater influence in their homes and communities.
  • In Colombia, the Tax Justice Network, which includes local organisations we support, secured a reduction in tax on sanitary products from 19% to 5%, amounting to savings of approximately €100 million for women per year.