Date(s) - 18/03/2017
10:30 am - 11:30 am

Church Center for the United Nations


Leaving No-one Behind: Women’s Economic Empowerment, SGBV and Faith

This event will focus on the role of faith in addressing stigma and social barriers to economic empowerment and participation for the most vulnerable and marginalised women. It will consider economic empowerment from the perspective of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), who are all too often excluded and ostracized within communities. This event will examine the vital role of faith groups in challenging harmful social norms and addressing some of these key barriers to women’s social and economic inclusion, particularly stigma.

Through an informal panel discussion, chaired by Azza Karam (UNFPA), we will consider challenges, opportunities and lessons learned, including research with 300 SGBV survivors showing how SGBV and stigma limit women’s social and economic resilience. The discussion will share the work of member agencies from the We Will Speak Out Coalition and Side by Side, who are working for gender justice, including economic justice, globally.

Addressing Women’s economic empowerment in changing world of work
Commitment to Leave No One Behind is key to the Sustainable Development Agenda. Ensuring women’s economic empowerment means addressing the challenges faced by survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), who are often excluded from social, educational and economic opportunities due to stigma. The economic cost of SGBV is estimated as up to 3.7% of global GDP. Gender norms fueling stigma and restricting female education / employment are often justified by religion; yet where equipped, faith leaders can be vital catalysts in tackling deep-rooted barriers to women’s participation. Where livelihoods programmes don’t address these barriers, they can be less effective and risk increasing SGBV.
We Will Speak Out (WWSO) is a global coalition of diverse faith groups and organisations, supported by an alliance of technical partners and individuals, who together commit themselves to see the end of sexual and gender based violence around the world.
WWSO coalition members also work to ensure that the voices of survivors are heard, to address stigma, and to provide economic opportunities that support reintegration with communities.
Side by Side is a growing international movement of faith leaders and communities, faith-based organisations and individuals who want to see gender justice become a reality across the world. It draws together faith communities working to meet local challenges in bringing about justice and equality, and ensuring that women and girls share equitably in the distribution of power, knowledge and resources.