Side by Side is a growing global faith movement pursuing transformational change for gender justice. We are people of faith, faith leaders and faith-based organisations across the world committed to partnering together to challenge barriers to gender justice. We are united by our belief that each person is made in the image of God and has intrinsic value and dignity. At local, national and international levels, we partner together wherever possible to work towards gender justice, where everyone is valued equally and able to share equitably in the distribution of power, knowledge and resources. We acknowledge that religious teachings have often endorsed social and cultural norms that perpetuate gender injustice, and recognise that people of faith and our religious leaders have a responsibility to revisit sacred texts and promote faith values of love, dignity and gender justice.
Linking up with others is essential to achieve change. Side by Side seeks opportunities to collaborate with other movements and networks such as the World Council of Churches and the ACT Alliance, as well as PaRD – the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development.
This short paper is produced by Side by Side, a global movement of faith leaders and communities, faith-based organisations and individuals of faith, who are committed to removing barriers to gender justice. It is offered as a contribution to the emerging conversation about the distinctive role of faith representatives in advocating for gender justice. It sets out the context and the challenges to be addressed, and then shows with examples how faith leaders have been, and can be, part of the solution rather than part of the problem. It concludes with recommendations to faith leaders, governments and inter-governmental organisations.