The Bible tells us that God created all men and women with equal value and that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. The UN Declaration of Human Rights says that all people have equal rights, no matter what their gender, race, nationality, religion, politics, opinions or social status. And yet when we look at our world today we can see so much injustice, discrimination, violence and suffering caused because people do not respect the rights of others.

It is easy to feel angry and sad at the injustice in the world, but harder to find practical solutions to the problem. In this issue we look at some of the ways people are addressing problems in their communities, and advocating for their rights.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 66 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 66 click here (PDF 426 KB).

  • Access to justice in Peru

    by Ruth Alvarado and Alfonso Wieland. Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope) is a Christian organisation in Peru that promotes social justice by defending the human rights of individuals and communities that are marginalised, or have no access to justice. Peace and Hope believes that because all people are created in the image of God, everyone has an equal worth. This must be defended and promoted. All people should therefore have equal rights, but often this is not a reality for those who are ...

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  • Advocacy practitioners

    Many people who suffer injustice feel unable to take any action. They may fear further injustice, they may be poor and feel they are of no importance or they may lack understanding of their rights. The advocacy department in Kale Heywet Church in Ethiopia has been training church leaders as advocacy practitioners to support people when they suffer injustice.

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  • Bible study: Men, women and God

    Men, women and God It is easy to let our own cultural ideas and assumptions influence our understanding of biblical texts. For example, the idea that men are called to lead in the church, and women only to follow, has dominated the thinking about gender for centuries. This is in spite of the large list of women leaders whom Paul greets in the last chapter of Romans. It’s also in spite of the fact that he refers to Phoebe, who has taken the letter to Rome, as a minister. He uses exactly the ...

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  • From needs-based to rights-based approaches

    Many organisations now use ‘rights-based approaches’ to development. These approaches hold institutions and powerful people accountable for their responsibilities to those with less power. Rights-based approaches differ from ‘needs-based’ or ‘welfare’ approaches that create dependency on development agencies. They use participatory and empowering approaches and start by identifying violations of human rights rather than focusing on human needs.

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  • Letters

    Participatory learning about HIV and AIDS It is vital to use a participatory approach for introducing and also for building competence around the many different issues relating to HIV and AIDS.

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  • Poster with a gender challenge

    Tearfund’s partner in Ethiopia, Kale Heywet Church, has supported work in water and sanitation over many years in Ethiopia. They have a team of health educators who work with communities, raising awareness of hygiene, sanitation and capacity development. Water and Sanitation committees are elected and the educators train the committee members in hygiene and management. Many of these committees are now well organised and effective. However, changing attitudes is a slow process. The Water, ...

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  • Resources

    Created in God’s Image This is a manual for churches on gender awareness and leadership development, produced by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches to help men and women to work together in equal partnership within the church, community and wider society. It is a helpful guide for facilitating work shops, with a workbook for participants.

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  • Restoring hope

    by Baliesima Kadukima Albert Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence, sexual or otherwise, that is due to gender inequalities. It is recognised as a human rights abuse. Women and girls are the main victims, as gender-based violence is rooted in traditionally unequal power relation ships in society, although boys and men are also targets of sexual violence. It is particularly common during armed conflict, where it is often used deliberately as a weapon of war, and in post-conflict situations. ...

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  • Self-help groups: empowering women

    by Kuki Rokhum. The Indian constitution grants equal rights to men and women. Yet the reality is that women’s lives are still shaped by customs and traditions that work against them. Daughters are viewed as less valuable than sons. Girls are taught to believe that they are less important than boys. The number of women dying in childbirth is among the highest in the world and more than 40% of women are unable to read. Women currently make up only 6% of the Indian Parliament.

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  • Small World Theatre

    Small World Theatre is an educational charity that uses performing arts in community development, advocacy and awareness-raising. They train local theatre groups in participatory drama methods, and work with communities to explore governance, rights and environmental issues.

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  • The UN Declaration of Human Rights

    The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all people have the same equal and undeniable rights, no matter what their gender, race, nationality, religion, politics, opinions or social status.

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  • Working with disability

    This article is adapted with permission from an article by Alexandra Frean, © The Times, London, 26th July 2005. No copying, photocopying, reproduction or electronic rights are available in this article without the prior permission of the copyright holder.

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