Research shows that societies with greater gender equality experience faster economic growth, better outcomes for children, and more representative government institutions. And yet, up to one in three women report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
Gender-based violence and discrimination costs everyone. We address gender inequality by working with entire communities — women, girls, men, and boys — to transform discriminatory practices together. We also work with faith leaders around the world to acknowledge and act upon gender injustices in their communities.
These are just a few examples of the many types of projects we facilitate.
of gender-based violence in Zambia
preventing child marriage
by engaging men and fathers in India
addressing prenatal sex selection
by working with men, women, and youth in Armenia
Our Gender Equality Approach
Why is gender equality so foundational to development work?
At World Vision, we believe that promoting gender equality is core to effective and sustainable development. Gender inequality and gender-based violence costs everyone. An estimated one out of three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime… In its extreme form, gender-based violence is manifested through crimes such as rape and honor killing, harmful cultural practices such as early marriage and prenatal sex selection, but many of its forms are often subtler and more pervasive, such as restriction of behaviors and opinions and control over choices and resources.
Gender-based violence spans cultures and social groups, religion, education levels, and has devastating consequences on the lives of women, children and their families. It is deeply rooted in gender inequalities, in cultural norms that assert men’s superiority and power over women, and in rigid norms about men’s and women’s roles.
What is your approach to gender equality work?
We strive to design programs that address gender inequality and prevent gender-based violence. We address gender inequality by working with men, women, girls and boys as equal partners in transforming discriminatory beliefs and practices. We believe in the importance of working with faith leaders as catalysts in changing harmful attitudes and behaviors in their communities. By engaging church leaders in respectful dialogue regarding their culture and the Bible, we affirm those aspects of culture that positively impact communities and challenge those that entrench power imbalances between men and women. By educating faith leaders on gender issues and emphasizing the unique giftedness and important role of women in the families and communities, women are empowered to influence their own futures, girls have improved opportunities to attend school, and churches become centers of justice against gender inequities in their communities.
How do you engage men and fathers to reduce violence, child marriage, and prenatal sex selection?
Prenatal sex selection — choosing to continue or terminate a pregnancy based on the baby’s sex — is one of the most blatant forms of gender-based violence. In Armenia, more than 1,400 girls are unborn every year because of this practice. To combat it, World Vision’s work in Armenia focuses on examining and challenging harmful gender attitudes and practices that support son preference. In partnership with Promundo, World Vision has developed the Caring for Equality curriculum to work with men, women, and youth to examine, question, and transform social norms.
In India, World Vision works with men as fathers to address the issue of early marriage, child abuse, and gender-based violence in families. A More Equal Future is a curriculum that is used by community facilitators to engage with fathers, daughters, and entire families to critically examine and change norms that support child marriage.
In Sri Lanka, we work with fathers to prevent violence against women and children, and to promote the involvement of men as partners and caregivers. Community facilitators create safe and constructive spaces for men to reflect on and redefine what it means to be men and fathers in their communities. A qualitative assessment of this project showed strong indicators of success, including a decline in domestic violence, increased school enrollment, reduced alcohol consumption, and an increase in shared caregiving.
Gender Equality Resources
Faith and religion are integral aspects of culture, with implications for those advocating for gender equality, yet in development practice they are frequently not examined overtly.
In June 2012, World Vision International commissioned an 18-month gender equality study to examine our influence on and contribution to gender equality for boys, girls, women, and men. The research took place in four countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Bolivia, India) and discovered a number of significant positive findings.
Gender-Based Violence: Survivor Support (GBVSS) is our USAID- and DFID-funded project that aims to strengthen the prevention of and response to GBV in Zambia.
Faith leaders are often among the most influential members of communities where World Vision works. Our Channels of Hope methodology challenges faith leaders to acknowledge and act upon injustices within their families, faith groups, and communities.
Ways to Give to Gender Equality
Give Monthly to the Girls & Women in Crisis Fund
You can help protect a girl from abuse, child labor, sex trafficking, early marriage, and other frequent offenses against girls born in cultures where females are poorly valued. Learn more >
New Mother and Baby Kit: $95+
The first weeks of a newborn’s life are the most critical. You can help save young lives by giving a new mother the essential things like a bassinet, cloth diapers, blankets, a container for clean water, and soap. Your gift also provides life-saving infant care training.
Together, we work to help communities develop the perfect recipe for sustainable success.
Choose one and see how our work gets done.