May 31, 2021


Faith and GBV

The GBV AoR Community of Practice with JLI/SVRI Faith & GBV Hub, the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham and EQUISTY Gender Lab invites you to a webinar to explore and exchange information with GBV practitioners on how to better understand how religion, faith, and spirituality can shape GBV survivors’ resilience, recovery, wellbeing and vulnerability.

This webinar will provide a platform for learning exchange and examine the involvement of faith concerns in GBV service provision and make suggestions for how the humanitarian sector might respond. Speakers will discuss the impact of religion on GBV survivor’s experiences and discuss interventions that might inform future GBV policy and practice to support survivors in humanitarian and forced migration contexts.

Although many survivors identify themselves with a religious affiliation, the use of religion – including beliefs, identity, practices and experiences –in healing from GBV is not well understood. Faith and religion can be intersecting factors that shape the experiences of GBV survivors. While research suggests that many GBV survivors rely on their prayers, meditation and other religious resources as part of their identity and to cope with their experiences of violence, religious faith is rarely discussed in humanitarian interventions across settings.

Emerging evidence suggests that GBV service providers may be including religion in varying ways and to different degrees of faith sensitivity. The potential for collaboration between secular and religious actors in GBV prevention and response remains unclear and more discussion and learning could be fruitful in identifying opportunities and overcoming challenges in humanitarian settings.

This webinar will offer space to engage with the religious and spiritual dimension of responding to GBV survivors. It will explore how these aspects could be effectively accounted for in humanitarian responses to support survivors. Simultaneously, it will identify areas for future discussion and development to enhance sectoral capacities with consideration of intersectional religious factors in GBV prevention and response, as well as to ensure no survivor no matter their faith is left behind.


  • Sandra Iman Pertek, Doctoral Researcher at University of Birmingham and GBV consultant

Ms. Pertek will present part of her PhD findings that draw upon a global survey “Faith inclusion in GBV responses” conducted between November 2019 – February 2020 with 25 GBV practitioners and 16 key-informants, and interviews with 38 GBV survivors with forced migration experiences in Turkey and Tunisia. This presentation will report how service providers approached religion in their interventions and how religion influenced GBV experiences.

  • Dr Romina Istratii, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, SOAS University of London and PI of project dldl/ድልድል

Dr. Istratii will discuss the colonial legacies that underpin engagements with religious parameters in humanitarian response and public health. She will present a decolonial approach that responds to these legacies in the project dldl/ድልድል in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the UK. This   project seeks to prioritize the communities’ own understandings and experiences of intimate partner violence and to leverage religio-cultural resources to address the problem in practical ways.

  • Dr Elisabet le Roux, Research Director, Unit for Religion and Development Research, Stellenbosch University

Dr. Le Roux will reflect on engagement with religious actors working on GBV in humanitarian settings with an explicit focus on the local level actors. She will challenge both the ‘secular’ humanitarian sector, but also the ‘religious’ humanitarian sector in their thinking about how religion, religious actors and religious communities can be included in responding to GBV in humanitarian settings.

Other speakers from local organizations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have been invited to share in participatory breakout sessions with participants to exchange experiences and began what we hope will be a fruitful dialogue.



Date: June 3, 2021

Time: 11:00 London/ 12:00 Geneva/Cairo/ 13:00 Beirut/ Kampala/ 17:00 Bangkok/ 18:00 Manila Registration:

Please indicate if you need interpretation to join in the registration.

Interpretation will be provided in French and possibly Arabic.