Religion, tradition & culture


  Ideas wall

  • Community leaders and duty bearers are representations of social norms and can reinforce either positive or negative social norms.
  • We expect change to come from political leadership and yet political leadership usually relies on/is enabled by change in society (“people’s permission”).
  • Working with religious leaders should allow for immediate and sustainable change at individual and community level.
  • Some traditions have been invented recently to justify gender-based violence.
  • We must distinguish religion itself and the interpretation made of it.
  • The rise in religious extremism is linked to an increase in violence against women and impacts women and their rights in general.

Strategies used by Oxfam in Pakistan:

  • Identify progressive local religious and political leaders.
  • Create spaces for them to dialogue.
  • Cultural barriers are always present.
  • Expense of legal recourse = Alternate dispute resolution and interaction with court system
  • Influence of the apostolic  churches
  • Women participate in NGOs and in the church: potentially parallel processes of empowerment and disempowerment


  • How to engage and influence religious leaders, especially with the difficulty to align the necessity of elimination gender-based violence and religious and social norms?
  • How to address attitudes and norms dictated by religion and culture?



Skills Building Session “SASA Community Mobilization”


Joselyn Bigirwa.
Marketplace.  “Multi-stakeholder”

Joselyn Bigirwa_Multistakeholder program Uganda_P2P

Saleema Munir.
Think tank. "Translating online change to change on the ground."
SVRI presentation.  “Women’s political participation”

Saleema Munir - Women's Political Leadership Pakistan - SVRI presentation

Marketplace/SVRI.  “Indigenous women, traditional leaders”

Monica Bau - Indigenous Women Guatemala - SVRI forum

SVRI.  “STAV project Solomon, community mobilization”

Doreen Fernando - STAV Solomon Islands - SVRI presentation

Marketplace/SVRI.  “Edutainment”

Conor Malloy- Bangladesh Edutainment- SVRI forum

SVRI.  “Conceptual framework”

Laura Haylock - Oxfam's Conceptual Framework on Changing Social Norms - SVRI and P2P

Sian Maseko.  
Marketplace.  “Religious leaders”.
Think Thank.  “Translating online change to change on the ground”.
Think Tank.  “Involving youth in monitoring changes”.  
Brigitte Topinanty.
Think Tank.  “Theatre for advocacy with traditional leaders and government”.