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Learning Paper on Gender-Based Violence Programming in Contexts Affected by Violence and Conflict Launched

gender-basedA Learning paper on designing and implementing interventions to address Gender Based Violence (GBV) in contexts affected by violence and conflict is being launched by Christian Aid Ireland. The learning paper was conducted by Dr Amiera Sawas and Ms Sian Maseko (independent consultants), Ms Grainne Kilcullen of Christian Aid Ireland and Dr Gillian Wylie, assistant professor in International Peace Studies. The paper was funded by the Irish Research Council's New Foundations Scheme.

Read the document here

The paper draws on analysis of existing policies, a review of relevant global programming approaches and an examination of case studies from five countries affected by violence and conflict – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Myanmar, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe. Based on this analysis, the paper offers recommendations for programming and policy. The learning paper concluded from the country visits, interviews and the existing literature, as well as a conference in Dublin in December with all organisations involved in the learning paper, that there are two necessary approaches when designing and implementing interventions to reduce the risk of GBV:

1 The use of an analysis tool - the ecological framework - to fully and deeply understand the context where violence occurs, the risks that exist in these contexts and how they interrelate with each other to cause or exacerbate GBV. For example, first looking at the societal level and the risks identified such as inequalities and discriminatory gender norms that give rise to GBV and can contribute to a normalisation of discriminatory, violent or harmful practices. For example, patriarchy and amplified expectations of men (aggression, sexuality, physical strength) during conflict can contribute to GBV against women and girls. At the societal level, legal systems can also reinforce such discriminatory norms and enable the continuation of different forms of GBV through limited access to justice and high levels of impunity.

2 The application of seven core principles that should guide the design and implementation of GBV programming:

a) A survivor-centred approach recognises and maintains the centrality of the agency of all those who have experienced violence

b) A humanitarian/human rights based approach that recognises that gender inequality is at the root of GBV

c) Community-based approach involves survivors, communities and at risk populations as active partners in preventing, mitigating and responding to GBV

d) Do No Harm is foundational in ensuring no further harm comes to survivors or the community as a result of programme interventions

e) Inclusive participation and empowerment including a deep understanding of intersecting identities and multiple forms of discrimination and stigma

f) 6 Multi sectoral approach which includes aspects of health, psychosocial, legal and security that have individual responsibilities and resources to respond to the specific needs of survivors

g) Accountability to affected populations, namely survivors of GBV and those most at risk such as women, girls, and people with diverse sexual and gender identities.


Last updated 24 July 2018 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).