A reflection on government ministry and intergovernmental agency engagement with religious actors in pursuit of SDG 5
In December 2020, DanChurchAid, Side by Side Faith Movement for Gender Justice, Act Church of Sweden and Christian Aid approached the Joint Learning Initiative on Local and Faith Communities (JLI) to assist in a research project exploring the stances (both formal and informal) of government ministries, intergovernmental agencies (IGAs) and donors towards engaging with religious actors on gender justice, gender equality and/or ending gender-based violence (GBV). For those commissioning the research, the hope was that it would enable better understanding, relationships, collaboration and accountability between government ministries/IGAs/donors and religious actors in the light of Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5). While there are examples of such engagement and collaboration between religious, bilateral and multilateral actors on gender, for example the gender workstream of the International Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), there needs to be a better understanding of whether this is happening elsewhere, to what extent, and what is promoting or inhibiting such collaboration. In the light of this, the overall objective of the study was to reflect on how select donors, government ministries and IGAs are engaging (including partnership and providing funding) with local, national and international religious actors on gender equality, gender justice and GBV.