The JLI GBV Hub has moved! This month saw the launch of JLI and SVRI’s new joint Faith & GBV Learning Hub.
JLI/SVRI Faith & GBV Hub previously hosted by Tearfund, has moved home to the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI). This exciting move and new iteration of JLI’s existing GBV Hub, comes out of JLI’s long-standing relationship with the SVRI.
It is the first time that one of JLI’s Learning Hubs will be moving beyond the JLI Hub structure. This will open up exciting opportunities to advance research on faith and GBV to wider audiences, and emphasise the importance of building research capacity on faith and GBV in lower and middle-income countries (LMIC).
In early December, the SVRI hosted an online event to launch the Faith & GBV Hub.
It featured contributions from Elizabeth Dartnall (Executive Director, SVRI), Kirsten Laursen Muth (CEO, JLI), Dr Elisabet Le Roux (Stellenbosch University) and Prabu Deepan (Tearfund).
Learn about the event participants on the padlet here
Kirsten Laursen Muth spoke of how, despite building a track record in research and advocacy on faith and development for 8 years, the JLI members and the wider world of faith actors still face the challenge of a secular bias against religion in the humanitarian and development field. The JLI/SVRI Faith & GBV Hub, she said, could play an essential role in mainstreaming the work of the Hub in the wider research community.
Dr. Elisabet Le Roux gave a historical overview of the evolving impact and influence of faith interventions and faith research on violence against women (VAW). While there was a time when faith was not always welcome in research and policy conversations on international development. There is now a growing acceptance of the importance of religion and faith in supporting and providing humanitarian and development VAW interventions. Research on faith interventions is increasingly being mainstreamed in academic discourse, and several governmental development ministries now have dedicated Faith & VAW initiatives. Despite this progress, however, there is work to be done to further mainstream and advance learning on faith and VAW.
Attendees participated in breakout sessions to share their ideas for the future of the JLI/SVRI Faith & GBV Hub. They answered questions on what activities the Hub should prioritise over the coming 12 months, how the Hub can best support members, and how the Hub can include more diverse voices and faiths in its work.
- Undertaking VAW research on faith with diverse faith backgrounds
- Creating safe spaces where faith actors and non-faith actors can jointly share, debate and discuss evidence on how to respond and prevent VAW
- Encourage and support research from non-Anglophone countries through various funding mechanisms, providing translations and actively reaching out to non-English speaking faith actors and researchers.
- Exploring the role of indigenous spiritual practices in VAW
- Creating a shared platform to facilitate knowledge transfer to LMIC based researchers, partners and faith communities, e.g. factsheets, videos or articles
see breakout full responses in the pdf below
Prabu Deepan offered an insight into the essential role of faith actors in shifting social norms. He presented a case study examination of Tearfund’s Transforming Masculinities programme. He specifically noted the role of faith actors in promoting family planning uptake among Protestant congregations in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Finally, participants were invited to apply to join the new SVRI/JLI Faith & GBV Hub’s Leadership Council to help guide and steer the new Hub.
Watch the online event:
View the launch page on the SVRI here
Read an interview here with JLI’s Kirsten Laursen Muth and SVRI’s Lizle Loots and Morma Moremi to learn more about the new JLI/SVRI Faith & GBV Hub.