The JLI Gender-based Violence Hub held a webinar for an online discussion on Faith and Gender Justice on June 13, 2019.

The webinar speakers included Professor David Tombs, University of Otago, and Shahin Ashraf, Islamic Relief Worldwide. The webinar was moderated by Dr Elisabet le Roux, Stellenbosch University



Dr David Tombs spoke on his recent work ‘When did you see me naked’ project: How recognising Jesus as a victim of sexual violence may help the churches and FBOs to better address SGBV. The work outlines the biblical evidence and historical context for identifying Jesus as a victim of sexual violence through repeated stripping and forced nudity and the possibility of further sexual assault in the praetorium. It examines why the sexual humiliation and sexual violence experienced by Jesus remains ‘hidden in plain sight’, and unacknowledged as sexual violence, and how a contextual bible study might help to address this. It also explores the potential significance of this for addressing the stigma associated with sexual violence in churches and wider society, and why this matters for FBOs working on SGBV.

Shahin spoke about the Islamic Relief’s Gender Justice work and the ‘Islamic Gender Justice Declaration’ a global platform of Muslim civil society organisations dedicated to addressing the many injustices that women and girls face as a result of poor faith literacy, oppressive culture and structural power imbalances.


Webinar Speakers:

Professor David Tombs

  • Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues / Centre for Theology and Public Issues at University of Otago
  • David Tombs is the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues, at the University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand. He has a longstanding interest in contextual and liberation theologies and is author of Latin American Liberation Theologies (Brill, 2002). His current research focuses on religion violence and peace, and especially on Christian responses to gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture. He is originally from the United Kingdom and previously worked at the University of Roehampton in London (1992-2001), and then in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin (2001-2014).


Shahin Ashraf, MBE

  • Head of Global Advocacy at Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Shahin works on campaigns focused on gender, climate change and refugees. With over 25 years of experience, she is a faith and development expert, with a particular focus on sexual and gender-based violence (GBV). Her additional areas of expertise lie in the intersection of gender, social inclusion and social protection with a particular focus on authority and guardianship. In addition to having first-hand experience of working with women in humanitarian and development contexts. Shahin has worked at senior level at a number of global humanitarian, women’s rights and civil society organisations. She has conducted a wide range of policy research projects in a number of countries.


Gender Justice and Faith Webinar ppt

Gender Justice and Faith

Related resources

Recognising Jesus as a victim  IR Gender Justice Policy    Religion Development and GBV

Recognising Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse – Responses from Sodalicio Survivors in Peru                 Gender Justice Policy              Religion, Development and GBV

Read the FGM Summary      Read the Early Forced Marriage Summary

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION – Summary of Policy Brief                EARLY AND FORCED MARRIAGES – Summary of Policy Brief

One cut too many Policy Brief    Don’t Force Me Policy Brief



June 2019

We are happy to announce the publication of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI) Ending Violence Against Children Hub (EVAC Hub) three-part scoping study. The EVAC Hub began the scoping study in 2018 to better understand the role of religion and faith actors in protecting children against violence. Dr Carola Eyber at Queen Margaret University (QMU) led the scoping study with Dr Selina Palm at Stellenbosch University, Kathleen Rutledge at QMU, and Francisco Colombo under the guidance of Dr Olivia Wilkinson at JLI.

Thanks also to the JLI EVAC Hub co-chairs- Rebeca Rios-Kohn, Arigatou International, Neelam Fida, Islamic Relief Worldwide and Robyn Hagan, World Vision International. The study would also like to acknowledge the numerous hub members who contributed resources, case studies and interview suggestions.

The scoping study focused on two areas:

Firstly, the unique contributions of faith communities to ending as well as contributing to violence against children. Secondly, the role of faith actors in influencing and supporting the wider community and formal and informal child protection systems.

The scoping study had three components: an extensive literature review, a case study submission
process for hub members to share practice-based models and a consultation stage with experts through interviews. The study covered all regions and faiths.

Join the JLI Hub as a member to hear about the launch of the scoping study and soon to be release policy briefs on positive contributions of faith communities and faith engagement mechanisms to ending violence against children, and critical issues facing faith communities.


Click below to read the different parts of the scoping study.

Literature Review                       Case Studies                        Experts’ Consultation


Join the JLI Ending Violence Against Children for next steps and collaboration.

June 4, 2019

Religion, Development and GBV Agenda Setting Report: Recommendations for a Strategic Research Agenda for the PaRD Gender Equality and Empowerment Workstream Report published.

The PaRD Gender Equality and Empowerment Work-stream (SDG 5) commissioned this research from the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities ( JLI). The report was prepared under the auspices of the JLI’s Gender-based Violence (GBV) Learning Hub authored by Dr Elisabet le Roux at Stellenbosch University, Unit for Research and Development Research.

The report shares what we know considering research on religion, development and GBV in the last couple of decades, where are the current gaps and current recommendations regarding the development of a research agenda.


To learn more about the JLI Knowledge Partnership with the International Partnership on Religion and Development (PaRD)


Related Gender Justice webinar coming up on June 13

Copenhagen May 2019

JLI, in its role as a PaRD Knowledge Partner, attended the PaRD General Assembly of Members in Copenhagen to report to the PaRD workstreams on study progress as well as share JLI Hub and Project work.

JLI is currently supporting evidence building for the workstreams on  Health – SDG 3Gender Equality and Empowerment – SDG 5and Sustaining Peace – SDG 16. JLI Research Advisor, Susanna Trotta, President, Jean Duff and Senior Programs and Knowledge Manager, Stacy Nam attended and reported to the workstreams in parallel sessions. Members agreed to start new working groups in capacity building and Environment, Water and Climate Action. JLI looks forward to aligning the JLI climate webinars and evidence building with the working group.

Jean Duff, JLI President, reporting on JLI-PaRD Workstream Studies in plenary on May 2


JLI presented in the open sessions on both days on three themes:

  1. UNICEF Faith for Social Behavior Change Initiative
  2. Refugees and Forced Migration Hub and accompanying policy work on related to the Global Compact on Refugees and Local Humanitarian Leadership-see the upcoming Beirut Event
  3. Ending Violence Against Children Study. to be launched soon. stay tuned for launch webinar details

Read more about the sessions on the PaRD website here

Editors: Emma Tomalin and Caroline Starkey

The University of Leeds is looking for contributors to a new and exciting handbook on the topic of Religion, Gender and Society. Underpinning the volume, is an awareness that it is impossible for scholars, activists and policy makers to understand and explain contemporary societies and to contribute towards positive social change unless attention is paid to the role that religion plays in shaping gender identities. This handbook will provide a survey of the current state of research on religions, gender and society. Its aim will be to make a major contribution to the research agenda for the next 5-7 years, to redefine existing areas within the context of international research, and to highlight emerging and cutting edge areas.

If you are interesting in being considered, please send a short abstract/chapter outline to Dr Caroline Starkey ([email protected]) by Monday 1st April 2019. Final chapters will be due in autumn/winter 2019, with publication planned for mid-2020.

See more information and topics here

March 11, 2019

By Olivia Wilkinson and Susanna Trotta on the Georgetown University Berkley Center blog

This blog post highlights Education and Refugee Response from the JLIFLC policy brief on the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees with faith actors.

“In the Global Compact on Refugees’ program of action, education falls within a section on meeting needs and supporting communities. The main provision within the compact is for the support of national education systems, which in many cases will include schools that are run by faith-based institutions and operating within national laws and policies. However, refugee children can struggle to gain places (especially in over-burdened systems) and integrate into new education systems. Issues related to which curricula to follow and to accreditation between home, host, and destination curricula have caused problems. Instead, children on the move may seek non-formal education opportunities, which can also be run by faith actors, such as sessions in religious buildings with provisions funded by the faith community.”

See full Georgetown Berkley Center Post Here

New Knowledge Partnership between Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) and the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD)


On October 27, 2018, JLI and PaRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at JLI’s Annual Board Meeting. Jonathan Duffy, JLI Board Chair and Jean Duff, JLI President and Thomas Lawo, PaRD Secretariat Coordinator signed for their respective organizations. The PaRD Steering Group ratified the MOU at its meeting in Toronto in November 2018.


The JLI and PaRD seek full and appropriate engagement of the capacities of faith-based and religious groups in the achievement of the SDGs through effective partnerships with public sector and secular entities, as well as among religious groups themselves. JLI brings knowledge partner capacities, a proven track record in preparing evidence reports, briefs, calls to action, conference programs, peer-reviewed article, and journals. PaRD focuses on joint  joint activities in its three areas of engagement knowledge exchange, capacity building, and joint advocacy.


JLI will provide evidence support to PaRD’s three work streams:

  • SDG 3 Health with a focus on faith and adolescent sexual and reproductive health,
  • SDG 5 Gender Equality and Empowerment with a focus on the role of faith-based partnerships in preventing and addressing gender-based violence and
  • SDG 16 Sustaining Peace with a focus on effective peacebuilding


The studies and evidence briefs will be co-designed and will draw upon PaRD and JLI members’ information and experiences, which will, in turn, inform joint research and advocacy agendas. Each of the three workstreams will present preliminary reports for discussion during the PaRD annual meeting on May 2 and 3 in Copenhagen.


Please visit and read more on PaRD and its members’ activities! Read about the JLI’s work through learning hubs and partnerships at

Migration and Society is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal advancing debate about emergent trends in all types of migration. The journal publishes work that situates migration in a wider historical and societal context, including attention to experiences and representations of migration, critical theoretical perspectives on migration, and the social, cultural, and legal embeddedness of migration. Global in its scope, we particularly encourage scholarship from and about the global South as well as the North.

Issue 3 of Migration and Society (to be published in early 2020) will be dedicated to critical explorations of migration from and through the vantage point of Southern, decolonial, anticolonial and postcolonial theories and methodologies. The issue will focus on theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of historical and contemporary processes of migration within, across, and between what can be conceptualized as ‘the Global South’.

Submissions are welcome for consideration.

The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2019.

Contact Information:

Mette Louise Berg ([email protected])
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh ([email protected])
Johanna Waters ([email protected])


View full details of the Call for Submissions

More information on Submissions:
For more information about the journal, including the style guide, visit

SEREDA (Sexual and Gender-based violence in the refugee crisis: from displacement to arrival) is a major new international research initiative led by University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research Into Superdiversity (IRiS) in partnership with Bilkent University, Uppsala University and University of Melbourne. The project aims to understand the incidence and nature of SGBV experienced by women, men and child refugees who have fled conflict in the Levant Region.

One of the SEREDA-attached doctoral research projects is focused on SGBV at the intersection of religion and displacement, it examines the influences of religion on SGBV experiences of women in the refugee journeys.

The specific objectives are

  1. to examine the role of religion in shaping refugee women’s vulnerability toward SGBV;
  2. to explore how religion shapes refugee women’s resilience to cope with their experiences of SGBV;
  3. to examine the ways in which religion, faith and/or spirituality are incorporated in SGBV responses.


Data collection is planned in two phases: April-May, 2019 and November-December 2019 in Turkey (Istanbul and Ankara) and online with faith-based and secular SGBV respondents. The project will comply with the University of Birmingham’s research ethics and rigid SGBV research standards.


Organizations interested in cooperation and/or learning exchange please contact Sandra Iman Pertek at [email protected] for further information. The project is looking for partners and supporting organizations to help facilitate the research process, e.g. the recruitment of potential research participants. There are also opportunities for co-production and upscaling the research sample.

SGBV & Religion Research Bio

From JLI Board Members: Episcopal Relief & Development, President & CEO, Rob Radtke and Islamic Relief USA, President, Anwar Khan

Opinion in Newsweek

Read about religious leaders role in ending sexual and gender-based violence

“Despite the #MeToo movement, sexual and gender-based violence is rising, under recognized and urgently in need of redress. It’s so prevalent, and surging so fast that we’re in danger of becoming inured to it, which is why November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, is worth observing. ”

Click here to read the article