Gender equality

The majority of the world’s poorest people are women.

Globally, women are less likely to be involved in decision-making, to own land or property or to have access to education and employment than men. Violence against women is one of the most widespread abuses of human rights globally. Confronted with this reality and with a mission to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged, CAFOD has prioritised its work with women and girls. 

Our vision is of a world where women are safe and respected and where women and men share equally in shaping their societies.

Tackling gender inequality is not just an issue for women - everyone suffers when so many people are prevented from realising their full potential. Equality is essential to tackle poverty, and both men and women need to be part of the solution.

Alongside our partner organisations, we address gender inequality in many ways, including:

  • Taking action on violence against women. We work with like-minded organisations to speak out on violence against women, on the ground our partners are providing medical help and counselling for survivors of violence and supporting local structures such as gender and peace networks.
  • Challenging economic, political and social barrier which stop women reaching their full potential.  Our partners are supporting women to access local markets, ensuring that girls affected by HIV can continue to receive an education and providing training so that women can start their own businesses.
  • Transforming unequal power relations between men and women, by promoting their voices, decision-making power and access to leadership roles in their communities. 

16 days of activism against gender violence

16 days of activism against gender violence is an annual global campaign to raise awareness and galvanise action to end sexual and gender-based violence. The campaign starts on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, International Human Rights Day. The dates symbolically link violence against women and human rights and emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights. World Aids Day, 1 December, also falls within the period of activism.

CAFOD uses 16 days of activism against gender violence to speak out with like-minded organisations to raise awareness about gender-based violence, to share strategies and to demonstrate our solidarity with survivors.

Read about our work with women and gender violence around the world:

Resources on gender

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