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Gender Equality | World Vision

Help promote gender equality

Research shows that societies with greater gender equality experience faster economic growth, better outcomes for children, and more representative government institutions.

Up to one in three women report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.

Gender-based violence and discrimination costs everyone. We address gender inequality by working with entire communities — women, girls, men, and boys — to transform discriminatory practices together. We also work with faith leaders around the world to acknowledge and act upon gender injustices in their communities. Here are just a few examples of our work:

Providing support

to survivors of gender-based violence in Zambia

This is just one example of the many types of projects we facilitate.


child marriage by engaging men and fathers in India

This is just one example of the many types of projects we facilitate.


skewed sex ratios at birth in Albania and Armenia

This is just an example of the many types of projects we facilitate.

Evaluations and Evidence

Gender equality study executive summary

In June 2012, World Vision International commissioned an 18-month gender equality study to examine our influence on and contribution to gender equality for boys, girls, women, and men. The research took place in four countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Bolivia, India) and discovered a number of significant positive findings, including increased access to education for girls; progress on reducing gender-based violence, early marriage, and other harmful practices; and increased participation by women and girls in community life and decision-making. Read the report (pdf), which includes additional findings and information about challenges that remain.

Engaging men and fathers to reduce violence, child marriage, and prenatal sex selection

In order to advance women’s empowerment and end discriminatory practices such as domestic violence, child marriage, and gender-based violence, we are engaging and changing the lives of men and boys. In Sri Lanka, we work with fathers’ groups to prevent violence against women and children, and to promote the involvement of men as partners and caregivers using the MenCare Fathers’ Group Manual (pdf), a practical tool for community facilitators that allows safe and constructive spaces for men to reflect on and redefine what it means to be men and fathers in their communities. A qualitative assessment of this project showed strong indicators of success, including a decline in domestic violence, increased school enrollment, reduced alcohol consumption, and an increase in shared caregiving.

In India, World Vision works with men as fathers to address the issue of early marriage, child abuse, and gender-based violence in families. “A More Equal Future” (pdf) is a manual that helps community facilitators engage with fathers, daughters, and entire families to critically examine and change norms that support child marriage.

Prenatal sex selection — choosing to continue or terminate a pregnancy based on the baby’s sex — is one of the most blatant forms of gender-based violence. In Armenia, more than 1,400 girls are unborn every year because of this practice. To combat it, World Vision’s work in Armenia focuses on examining and challenging harmful gender attitudes and practices that support son preference. In partnership with Promundo, World Vision has developed this curriculum (pdf) to work with men, women, and youth to examine, question, and transform social norms.

Channels of Hope: Gender and Faith

Faith leaders are often among the most influential members of communities where World Vision works. Our Channels of Hope methodology challenges faith leaders to acknowledge and act upon injustices in their communities, contributing to harmonious relationships within families, faith groups, and communities.

Addressing skewed sex ratios at birth in Albania and Armenia

Emerging statistics show that Eastern Europe has some of the highest inequalities in sex ratios at birth globally. A recent study (pdf) on sex imbalances at birth conducted by World Vision and UNFPA in Albania shows that this practice is rooted in patriarchy, a bias favoring sons, and societal norms about the role and value of males and females. World Vision works in Albania and Armenia to address the issue of son preference and sex selection by shifting attitudes and behaviors. We thoughtfully involve men and women in examining, questioning, and changing norms that contribute to this discriminatory practice.

Supporting survivors of gender-based violence in Zambia

In Zambia, almost half of all women report having experienced physical violence. World Vision implements the Gender-Based Violence Survivor Support project to increase the availability and uptake of quality services for adult and child survivors of gender-based violence. In the scope of this initiative, World Vision runs 18 one-stop centers across the country that provide survivors with access to psychosocial, medical, and legal support.

Our Approach

+ Why is gender equality so foundational to development work?

When people think of gender equality, most envision empowerment of women. However, oppression of one means oppression of all. Discriminatory gender practices hold back the growth and development of entire countries and societies, to the detriment of both women and men. Addressing inequality helps tackle issues of crippling poverty, illiteracy, and abuse. Once we recognize the roots and costs of gender discrimination and inequality, we can work together for everyone’s benefit.

+ What is your approach to gender equality work?

To eradicate poverty, we must address the inequitable systems and beliefs that hold people back from achieving their God-given potential. This is why we take an integrated approach, incorporating gender equality into all of our programming to transform communities. Addressing gender inequalities across the life cycle of a community project is key to breaking cycles of poverty and deprivation, thereby allowing all children to enjoy life in all its fullness.

+ What steps do you take in communities where you work?

World Vision partners with men and women in communities as we work toward gender justice. This partnership promotes a more equitable world where every man, woman, boy, and girl lives with dignity. We do this by supporting programs and policies that transform harmful norms and practices that hinder the development and well-being of individuals and societies.

Our Areas of Impact

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Clean Water

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Child Protection

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Economic Development

Financial empowerment for communities

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Equipping children for a future of opportunity

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Promoting well-being for children, families, and communities

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U.S. Work

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Our Faith

Following Jesus’ example through our global work

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Promoting gender equality to bring fullness of life for all

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