Reply To: Reflect and discuss: VAW prevention principles

Anne Ngunjiri

    Accountable to women and girls: In the intervention design stage, we tend to have the stories from women on the group on what has worked, what hasnt,what they woud like addressed. This way their voices are ‘heard’ in the strategy proposed. Some of the data could be from analysis of the program data we have. We have also conducted participatory action research where the community embers, AGYW, are the ‘researchers, data collectors and evaluators’ of the data coming from the research component.

    Based in a gender-power analysis: Gender power analysis is done as part of risk mapping. before we design an intervention, strategy for any project, we include a component of risk maping which involves understanding the gender dymanics in the commuity we intend to intervene. We understand the causes of the inequities at relationship, household, and commnity level. and this is by having forums with the community members, men, women, children. We also look at the survey results where social norms questions are normally asked and indicative of some of the gender inequitable norms in the society that may lead to the unequal power distrobution at household levels. This would provide a clear picture of gender dynamics in the setting. We would also identify the norms that are protective and have this as part of the intevention as the community would be ore recepotive to these too.

    Inclusive and intersectional: We always consider data that shows different suvsetsof women are more vulerable to violence that others, and thus incude interventions for them too. For example we have included in our project women with hearing impairement, as data shows those with disabilities face low levels of health literacy thus cannot understand or take action on vilence prevention, by virtue of commubication barriers and inaccessible services. We ensure that there is a sign language intepreter in all VAWG prevention programmes. Another subset we consider are those living with HIV who (due to stigma and discrimination) have severe challenges in accessing services and yet face the dual challenge of HIV and GBV. We therefore tailor our services to ensure that we can intergrate these two services to cater for this particular subset. Therefore these are elements we consider to ensure that our strategies are inclusive.

    Prioritising the safety of women and girls: As part of our programming, we conduct (to some degree) safety audits where we identify where the violence hotspots are in the community, develop referral directories listing shelters and other response services (police, health, social welfare like Children officers) for women should they experience or be at risk of violence. We also train all our HTS providers LIVEs on how to identify survivors of violence and how to offer approporate referrals based on the surivors’ needs and concerns. All this is to prioritise the safety of women, allowin them to disclose violence and receive support. some programs also have the Community Advisory Boards where any community backlash is reported and handled; its members are community leaders and representatives who we trust to pass the right inormation to the communnity members incase of any backlash on our women empowerment programs

    Starting with ourselves: At organisational level, we do trainings with service providers where a huge component is understanding key concepts on gender bad gender based violence, the providers examikning what the risk factors are in their households, communities, and value clarification where they are informed on what is myths and facts on GBV (myths that tolerate/normalise violence). This way, they also challenge thieir own values ansd beliefs that tolerate gender inequitable norms and hopefull change.