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2018 Consortium on Christianity, Gender, and Development

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“Mainstreaming Gender Equality Is a Journey” 

Last week representatives from 18 organizations – a mix of Christian NGOs including Compassion International, Opportunity International, World Vision, World Relief, IJM, Tear Fund, Bread for the World, along with advocacy institutes, foundations, churches, and research/academia — gathered together at Wheaton College to contemplate how we might work together as our organizations navigate the shared challenges and opportunities that exist at the nexus of faith, gender, and global development.

In part motivated by the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and the political moment we are in where around the world religion is increasingly becoming a handmaid for authoritarian politics, the three organizers – Amy Reynolds, Associate Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College; Eeva Sallinen Simard, Chief of Staff at World Relief; and Emily Nielsen Jones, Founding Partner at Imago Dei Fund – convened this working group to share struggles, best practices, hopes and dreams for how we might together create greater collective impact in the ongoing journey within the Christian relief & development ecosystem to create a more just, gender-balanced world.

We came having read a shared collection of readings, and dove into a full agenda which set the table to explore various topics together, including examples of high-impact gender programing which create safe spaces for gender norm change, tools to assess and progress an organization’s own internal culture and gender-lens journey, research gaps, sensitive yet brave approaches to navigating religious/cultural obstacles within/outside our organizations, existing models of effective collaboration, and lastly next steps to continue the dialogue and create a framework for ongoing collective impact.

Tangible action steps came out of the event, including 1.) creating a statement/score card that organizations could sign onto as peer organizations seeking to continue to move forward wherever we are on the gender-lens journey and 2.) compiling a running list of research questions and resources, 3.) convening another consortium to continue the conversation, deepen the partnership, and expand the table of faith-based organizations seeking to move the gender needle forward in their own organizations and in the world.

Thank you Wheaton College for hosting and everyone for attending and adding your insights and voice to such a rich conversation!

Organizations Represented:
Compassion International
World Vision
Strategic Impact UK
Quest Church
One Day’s Wages
World Relief
International Justice Mission
Christians for Biblical Equality
University of Richmond
Bread for the World
Imago Dei Fund
Institute for Global Engagement
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University
World Faiths Development Dialogue
Opportunity International
Tearfund UK
Development Associates International
Wheaton College
Medical Teams International
Evangelicals for Social Action
Cornerstone Trust

Trafficking at Illicit Massage Parlors Hidden in Plain Sight

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A new report from Polaris reveals an estimated 9,000 illicit massage businesses across the country, where vulnerable women are bought for sex in thinly veiled brothels. The report found that sex buyers pour around $2.5 billion in revenue into this industry annually, with the proceeds supporting organized criminal networks. It also states that women trafficked in massage parlors are usually immigrants from Asia who speak limited English, have little education, are under extreme financial pressure, and are victims of force, fraud or coercion. Read More

“Shaking Up Beliefs and Behaviors About Gender” – Great Resource from the World Economic Forum

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We are excited to share highlights from WAPPP director Iris Bohnet’s trip to Davos, Switzerland last week for the World Economic Forum. The 2018 gathering was a historic moment for gender equality with the summit being chaired entirely by women. Read More

“Justice Over Greatness” by Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation

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Threats to truth and justice are mounting. How should we respond? During the spring of 1816, four decades after Thomas Jefferson drafted the United States’ Declaration of Independence, he exchanged letters with an old colleague and companion from his days as minister to France’s court of Louis XVI. This friend, Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours, had written to Jefferson to share a treatise he had composed about the purpose and virtues of republican government. And with characteristic eloquence—and the wisdom of an extraordinary 73 years behind him—Jefferson responded boldly to du Pont’s manuscript: “Justice,” he penned, “is the fundamental law of society.”

World Vision’s 2018 Every Last One Conference is Coming Up!

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Each year, God brings together over 300 like-minded women and men from all over the United States who share the desire to learn more, to do more, and to be more for the Kingdom. Join us February 23-24, 2018 in Carlsbad, CA as we gather to learn about what World Vision is doing to lead the way in the global effort to end extreme poverty and to reach the world’s most vulnerable, especially children. You’ll be inspired and challenged by stories of need, transformation, and triumph. You’ll have the chance to ask questions, connect with a room full of people a lot like you, and experience hope as we unite to pray, to praise God for what he has enabled us to do, and to boldly seek his favor as we forge ahead to reach every last one.

Mutual By Design – CBE’s New Marriage Book is Here!

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Marriage certificates don’t come with how-to-manuals, and marriage is full of tough questions like “How do we manage our money?” “How do we build a healthy sex life?” or “How do we handle serious arguments?” While an actual how-to-manual may not exist, we’re here to help.

CBE is proud to announce the release of their new marriage book, Mutual by Design!

Mutual by Design lays a theological foundation for egalitarian marriage; provides practical help on issues like communication, sex, and money; and doesn’t shy away from thorny topics like abuse, divorce, and “male headship.”

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Desmond Tutu