General News

Sexuality and Gender Diversity Toolkit launched for faith groups

Alice Blezard May 19, 2016

A new Faith, Gender and Sexuality Toolkit has been launched, which aims to build knowledge and provide crucial support for faith communities and leaders working to promote social justice in relation to gender and sexuality.

WEB.600Across the globe, religion plays a critical role in shaping attitudes about people’s gender and sexuality, which in turn have a profound effect on people’s everyday lives.

The new Faith, Gender and Sexuality Toolkit seeks to build knowledge and provide much-needed support for faith communities and leaders working to promote social justice in relation to gender and sexuality.

Developed by the Institute of Development Studies, Sonke Gender Justice and the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies alongside communities and leaders from a range of faiths, the free interactive Toolkit debunks dangerous myths whilst encouraging different ways of thinking about sexuality and gender diversity.

Crucially, the Toolkit highlights how faith leaders and communities can be effective allies in advancing human rights. It demonstrates how some religious and cultural practices enhance human life and how some can be misused to deny rights.

Elizabeth Mills
Elizabeth Mills

Institute of Development Studies research fellow Elizabeth Mills, who led the development of the Toolkit, said: “Increasing knowledge about the links between sexuality, gender and faith is a vital step in tackling the social injustices that affect millions of people globally, and faith leaders have a critical role to play in influencing attitudes, culture and policy. We hope the Toolkit supports faith leaders and communities doing vital work to promote the wellbeing of gender and sexuality minorities and we welcome their feedback on how it can be further developed.”

Comprised of six modules and drawing on faith-based case studies, the Toolkit helps to broaden understanding of key issues such as gender-based violence, sexual diversity, sexual and reproductive health rights and women, gender and power.

Designed for use with all faith-based groups including those of mixed faith, the Toolkit provides useful information and practical exercises that can be used to promote human rights and gender equality from the perspective of faith, and includes a wide range of further resources and information produced by leading research and faith-based organisations.

The Toolkit documents the learning from the Institute of Development Studies’ Sexuality, Poverty and Law Programme.

Follow #faithgendersex for further discussion around the Toolkit.

For more information about Institute of Development Studies, click here: