Community-based interventions can halt violence against women, UN study says
Rape in Mauritania, domestic violence in Mexico and Romania, child marriage in Bangladesh, and female genital mutilation or cutting in Kenya are just a few of the abuses explored in “Programming to Address Violence Against Women,” which offers 10 case studies that show how carefully targeted and planned interventions can actually reduce gender-based violence, the agency said.
“What is unusual about this manual is that we have actually demonstrated how entire communities can change their attitudes to violence against women as a result of a few, specifically targeted interventions,” said UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid in a news release.
“In many of these cases, the extent of violence against women was so prevalent and so entrenched that it first seemed impossible to budge the prevailing mindset,” she said. “What we learned is that persistent advocacy targeting community leaders and the larger public can bring about huge changes in a relatively short time.”
The lessons from the 10 case studies are distilled in a companion booklet, Ending Violence Against Women: Programming for Prevention, Protection and Care, as well as an online multimedia exhibit.
“Communities can and will change, but the dire consequences associated with gender-based violence constitute a human emergency that requires global and local action,” said Ms. Obaid. “We need to treat it as such.”