What is gender justice?

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  • Side by Side understands gender justice to refer to a world where everybody, women and men, boys and girls are valued equally, and are able to share equitably in the distribution of power, knowledge and resources. We want to see all people free from cultural and interpersonal systems of privilege and oppression, and from violence and repression based on gender.

    Gender inequality is primarily an issue of unequal power relations between men and women. It violates human rights, constrains choice and agency, and has negative impacts upon people’s ability to participate in, contribute to and benefit from social, political and economic development. It is essential that we work together and use our influence to create just and equitable relationships between women and men in order to achieve fair, sustainable, resilient and thriving communities.

    The impacts of gender injustice are experienced most severely by women and girls.  Women may face discrimination at home and in the work place. They make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s poor. Women suffer heavily in times of war and conflict but are significantly under-represented at peace tables and in governance structures. Cultural constraints may hinder women’s movements and access to health care. The valuing of boys over girls leads to female foeticide and infanticide. Millions of girls and women are affected by female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage and violence based on gender.

    Gender inequality can also place unnecessary demands upon men and boys. Where economic and political power is concentrated among an elite few, where there is conflict and displacement of whole communities, where there are uncertain climatic changes and the depletion of natural resources, it is increasingly hard for men to live up to the traditional gendered expectations that most societies place on them. Gender justice brings greater freedom and increased well-being to all.

    Gender inequality is failing women and girls, and men and boys.
    Yet, as a movement of people of faith, we believe that transformation is possible.

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