Gender Equality Blog
It’s a mistake to think that indigenous societies are monolithic, unchangeable. We assimilate behaviours like other cultures. We were doing this long before Europeans arrived. Adopting new customs does not mean turning our back on tradition.
In 1846, five leaders of the Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia made their way to meet with British colonial authorities in what they believed were peace talks after they had killed some British workers who had entered their land without permission. Instead, when the leaders reached the colonial authorities they were arrested, and subsequently tried and hanged. Like much of First Nations’ history in Canada, we are not taught this story in school.
When I started working as the first dedicated Gender Advisor at CAFOD nine years ago I wondered what it would be like - working on the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights in a Catholic organisation. Well, I can tell you this - it wasn’t always easy. The term ‘gender’ was then and continues to be now a hot potato, sparking heated debates in every gender training I had delivered over these years, both in Europe and in the many countries CAFOD’s partner organisations work in.
During Lent, most CIDSE member organisations run campaigns on a particular theme, showcasing the work of partners in the Global south and their own work at the national and international level. The objective of these campaigns is to raise awareness and political and financial support for their work and that of their partners.