World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / Pacific churches strengthen efforts to address violence against women and girls

Pacific churches strengthen efforts to address violence against women and girls

Pacific churches strengthen efforts to address violence against women and girls

Photo: Marcelo Schneider/WCC, 2020.

03 August 2020

The Pacific Conference of Churches and the Pacific Partnership programme are jointly implementing a new programme, “Just and Safe Pacific Communities of Women and Men,”  which aims to contribute to the attainment of safe, inclusive and violence-free faith communities in the Pacific. The programme aims to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, using strategic, collaborative and innovative approaches, through religious leaders and faith communities across the region.

“The Pacific region has some of the highest recorded rates of violence against women and girls globally, with almost 2 out of 3 women who have been subjected to physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, almost double the global average,” said Rev. James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches. “Across the Pacific, faith has been identified as a particularly important avenue for social norms change, and of particular importance are faith-based organisations which are central to everyday life.”

The Pacific Partnership brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

“Churches and faith leaders play a uniquely influential role in determining values in the Pacific, and can be a powerful force in re-shaping attitudes, beliefs and behaviours about gender equality and the acceptability of violence against women and girls at the individual and community levels,” said Bhagwan.

The Pacific Conference of Churches

WCC member churches in the Pacific