More than 90% of people across the Pacific identify as Christian, and the Church’s teachings have a significant influence on people’s attitudes and behaviours. But ~68% of women and girls experience violence in their homes and communities.
Our Church partners are acting as change agents in society to address gender equality through Biblical teaching on gender relations and human dignity. What is preached from the pulpit impacts life within the home. They are challenging traditional views on gender and addressing institutional inequality.
We support a network of churches and Pacific theologians to create theological resources (Bible studies, workshop materials etc.); lead dialogues with church leaders 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.
You can help!
COVID-19 Pandemic response
Research has shown that during a period of crisis, the risk of domestic violence escalates and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Domestic violence has increased in the Pacific in line with health and economic concerns. With many planned project activities disrupted, our partners have found innovative ways to get important messages out and continue their work including through social media, television, and radio. We are all learning to live with COVID-19, but many of the long-term social and economic consequences continue. Your ongoing support is critical for project activities to continue to make a difference.
Use our resources on gender equality theology in your church or Bible study group! Download them here.
UnitingWorld Gender Equality Theology Poster series. Download the high resolution files here.
This project was partly funded by the Australian Government through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative between 2016-2021.
Seven mainline denominations in PNG officially adopted gender equality as their doctrinal position, and have committed to teaching this theology as part of their ministerial training.
In Fiji, the ten denominations that make up the Fiji Council of Churches made a joint public statement condemning violence against women as sinful, played at cinemas around the country.
Churches in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Kiribati developed and adopted Safeguarding and Protection Policies at the national level including complaints mechanisms and Codes of Conduct for ministers and church workers in line with local protection laws.
The Methodist Church in Fiji changed their advice to women seeking help for domestic violence, suggesting they access the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, an organisation previously condemned by the church for supporting divorce.
Churches in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Kiribati appointed focal points for gender equality and identified trained ministers to resource the church with sermons and bible studies about gender equality. Together, they hold training for leaders across all parts of the church promote key messages on social media, television and radio, and provide school students and young couples with information about gender equality and healthy relationships.
In all countries, church ministers, pastors and other leaders have publicly shared anti-violence and gender equality messages in churches and online, including during COVID-19 lockdowns when rates of domestic violence dramatically increased.