COVID-19 Pandemic response
Research has shown that during a period of crisis, the risk of domestic violence escalates. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a combination of economic and health uncertainties that can spur an increase in domestic violence in the Pacific. Many project activities cannot continue as normal, but our partners are finding innovative ways to get important messages out and continue their work. Your ongoing support is critical for project activities to continue during COVID-19 and beyond.
With no cases of COVID-19 in Solomon Islands and with physical distancing precautions taken, our partner church’s (UCSI) gender project team facilitated a retreat in late March with ministers and their spouses to address two global pandemics – COVID-19 hygienic messaging and preparedness, and addressing violence against women and girls. The Assembly office is planning to send staff to reach remote areas with COVID-19 awareness and preparedness together with Gender Equality Theology and Theology of Child Protection and care messages to people who are living in fear and confinement in isolated communities.
The Reitan Aine ki Kamatu (RAK – Women’s Fellowship of the Kiribati Uniting Church) will continue to deliver their radio broadcasts on Gender Equality Theology and Theology of Child Protection and Care through this project.
With a national lockdown measures in place, the Methodist Women’s Fellowship through the Gender Equality Theology project are exploring alternative ways to continue to share Gender Equality Theology and Theology of Child Protection and Care messages during this time.
The Presbyterian Women’s Mission Union (PWMU) Project Team are unable to carry out many of their activities as normal, but they be showing the ‘Violence is a Sin’ message from PCV leaders’ advert, on Vanuatu TV during this time. They will also be running a text message campaign and reaching people through alternative media such as Facebook where they can continue to share messages of valuing family life, healthy human relationships, the importance of hand washing and how to make homemade masks.
95% of people across the Pacific identify as Christian and the church’s teachings have a massive influence on people’s behaviour. But ~68% of women and girls experience violence in their homes and communities. We support Pacific churches to address gender inequality and violence by re-examining their theology.
We support a network of Pacific theologians to create theological resources (Bible studies, workshop materials etc) and lead dialogue in gender theology; run workshops to engage men and women in examining beliefs and behaviour; and invest in education and livelihoods projects that empower women.