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Gender Equality Theology (Pacific Region)

95% of people across the Pacific identify as Christian and the church’s teachings have a massive influence on people’s behaviour. But ~68% of women and girls experience violence in their homes and communities. We support Pacific churches to address gender inequality and violence by re-examining their theology.

We support a network of Pacific theologians to create theological resources (Bible studies, workshop materials etc) and lead dialogue in gender theology; run workshops to engage men and women in examining beliefs and behaviour; and invest in education and livelihoods projects that empower women.

Resources

Use our resources on gender equality theology in your church or Bible study group! Download them here.

This project is partly funded by the Australian Government through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative.

Our Impact

Seven mainline denominations in PNG officially adopted gender equality as their doctrinal position, and have committed to teaching this theology as part of their ministerial training.

In Fiji, the ten denominations that make up the Fiji Council of Churches made a joint public statement condemning violence against women as sinful, publicised through a cinema advertising video.

The Methodist Church in Fiji adopted a code of conduct for its leaders rejecting violence against women and children, and took disciplinary action against those who did not comply.

They also changed their advice to women seeking help for domestic violence, suggesting they access the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, an organisation previously condemned by the church for supporting divorce.

In Vanuatu, the Presbyterian Church appointed a focal point for gender equality, and held training for leaders across all parts of the church, developing resources for propagating the teaching of gender equality through sermons and bible studies.

Country

Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands

Partners

Methodist Church in Fiji, Kiribati Uniting Church, Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu, United Church in Papua New Guinea, United Church in the Solomon Islands (UCSI) and the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA).

Program Unit

Relief & Development (tax-deductible)

Category

Gender Equality

News from the Field

  • Turning tragedy into triumph | Mary’s story October 18, 2019 Turning tragedy into triumph | Mary's storyMary’s father told her not to do it. Her husband told her not to do it. Everyone in her community told her not to do it. She did it anyway… Mary went to college to begin training to become the first woman pastor in the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu. It may seem like a small thing, but in a ...
  • First female lecturer a win for equality June 17, 2019 First female lecturer a win for equality “90% of people in the Solomon Islands believe in God. When a message about women comes from the Bible, their eyes are open, they feel it has more weight. And that’s why we will see a reduction in gender-based violence and increased respect for women in our society.” If anyone has the insight to comment on what might make ...
  • Healthy families and safe communities in Kiribati April 12, 2019 Healthy families and safe communities in Kiribati Project Update: Kiribati Safe Families, Healthy Communities The Kiribati Safe Families, Healthy Communities project has gone through two phases. In the first phase of the project, we worked with RAK (Reitan Aine ki Kamatu – Women’s Fellowship of the Kiribati Uniting Church) to support the establishment of raised vegetable garden beds through resources and training. Kiribati women identified this ...
  • Turn the other cheek? March 27, 2019 Turn the other cheek? Gender Equality Theology changing hearts and minds in Papua New Guinea Salote and Jone have been married 11 years, members of a Christian church, and have two beautiful children. They love one another, but throughout their marriage they’ve had times of conflict and Jone has become angry, abusive and resorted to violence. Each time ...
  • Theology of gender equality making waves in the Pacific December 20, 2018 Theology of gender equality making waves in the PacificUnitingWorld hosted its annual five-day workshop on Gender Equality Theology in early November. Led by Pacific theologians Rev Dr Cliff Bird and Siera Bird, ministers from partner churches across the Pacific met in Nadi, Fiji, to wrestle with biblical themes of equality and anti-violence. They discussed how principles from the Bible can be powerful forces for ...