The right to a life free from violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most pervasive and yet least recognized human rights abuses in the world. It can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty and gender inequality. COVID-19 has exacerbated this abuse, revealing a shadow pandemic of GBV.
CARE International understands GBV as a systemic social problem that cuts across sectors and perpetuates systems and relationships of dominance. It is shaped by patriarchal social norms, unequal relationships, discriminatory laws, and unresponsive institutions. CARE's goal is that by 2030, GBV will be reduced for 7 million people.
What is CARE International doing to prevent gender-based violence?
CARE International is committed to supporting the empowerment of women and girls in their challenges to confront gender-based violence. We respond to sexual violence by helping women to recover physically, psychologically and economically. We provide health support, counseling, and livelihoods support to help survivors to rebuild their lives.
We don't stop at helping survivors of sexual violence. We aim to address – and change – the attitudes that make gender-based violence possible, especially in crisis settings. That means working alongside local organizations and communities to support their response to gender-based violence in the local context. It means empowering women and girls through education, health, and livelihoods opportunities. It means supporting women to speak up for their rights. And it means engaging men and boys to break the cycle of violence.
CARE International’s Indashyikirwa project in Rwanda for example, focused on preventing GBV by working with men and women – as couples and individuals – to challenge harmful and restrictive constructions of masculinity and femininity that drive inequality and lead to GBV. One of the central points taught in the training is the importance of balancing power.
In one couple’s case, “economic violence” was present in the relationship, which meant that the husband had full control over the family’s property and finances. The couple now share this responsibility and teach their children that there are no separate jobs for boys and girls.
Indashyikirwa’s impact evaluation found substantial and statistically significant overall reductions in the experience of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at 24 months of follow-up among both women and men.