Reflect and discuss: VAW prevention principles

Home Forums Prevention Essentials Refresher Discussion Board Session 3: Prevention Reflect and discuss: VAW prevention principles

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    Think about a violence prevention programme you work on (or one that you’re familiar with). How do you use each of the violence against women prevention principles in this programme?

    1. Accountable to women and girls
    2. Based in a gender-power analysis
    3. Inclusive and intersectional
    4. Prioritising the safety of women and girls
    5. Starting with ourselves

    All VAW prevention principles are not used at the some level depending on project targets


    Ensuring the project beneficiaries are listened to, their needs are incorporated into programs and feedback provided to them

    Ensuring that the power differences are analyzed to avert imbalances in power and also providing equitable resources and opportunities for men and women

    Ensuring all our programs respond to the needs of all our beneficiaries irrespective of gender, colour, disability status, sexual orientation

    Designing and implementing prevention programs that do not lead to harm, programs that ensure integrity for women and girls and also assuring confidentiality for survivors of violence

    Ensuring that we take care of our mental health needs while providing services to the wounded clients so as to avert burnout and vicarious trauma


    The VAW prevention principles are pivotal to safeguard women and girls in our programs


    Am stuck, cant move beyond this section, any help from anyone. I wrote to the admin last week with no response

    Atusaye Nyondo

    Accountable to women and girls: Our intervention packages strengthened formal and informal justice services to ensure that they are accessible, responsive and accountable to women and children’s needs. The programme attained this by working with Women’s Rights Organisations (WROs) who implemented Survivor Support Fund (SSF) initiative; an innovative and unique intervention which supported survivors to gain and access support.

    Based in a gender-power analysis: The adaptation of programme activities were informed by the programme’s Gender Inclusion Power and Politics (GIPP) analysis.

    Inclusive and intersectional: The programme considered that the experiences of women and girls differ depending on many factors including disability. Therefore, we actively considered intersectionality and identified opportunities to work with the most marginalised. The program approach we used (Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA)) allowed us to tailor our activities to respond to the unique, real and changing needs of the target groups.

    Prioritising the safety of women and girls: We empowered girls and women across their lifecycles by expanding their choices, improving the services available to them, and enabling them to decide themselves how to engage with support services.

    Starting with ourselves: As a programme team and our Implementing Partners (IPs) we continuously reflected on our own attitudes and beliefs around gender, power, privilege, and violence and how this impacted our work. We used our power positively by influencing others to use to unlearn harmful masculinities including negative attitudes, beliefs and social norms.

    Langi Malamba

    1. Accountable to women and girls
    We facilitate circle dialogues with both men and women to create equal platform for engagement where women can lead discussions and offer creative solutions sharing of their own experiences. For example in a newly built transit camp, women were not consulted about the location of the ECD centre, water source and the toilets/ablution block. We made sure that their unhappiness was registered with the office of the regional director responsible for urban sprawl development and facilitated a session where women could freely raise their objections and offered women friendly solutions to mitigate safety and security risks.
    2. Gender power analysis
    a lot of educational awareness was done with the men leaders in the transit camp to make them aware of the power imbalance when decision making positions were created which further relegated women to ‘carer’ types of positions as opposed to strategists who can lead transformation programmes in the camp , which will benefit the women and young girls. a number of programs to dispel stereotypes about women were used for different age groups to further affirm women
    3. Inclusive and intersectional
    our programmes challenged the stereotypical way in which women were caricatured according to gender identities and characteristics attributed to them. WE deliberately created platforms to help both women and men to analyze the prevalence of GBV and SEA (sexual exploitation and abuse) in the camp and encouraged shared values and commitment to mitigate the escalation of VAW incidents in the transit camp.
    4. Prioritising safety of women and girls
    elimination of VAWCE( violence against women ,children and elderly) was an integral part of our community outreach programmes where we worked jointly with ward committee leaders of the section where the transit camp was situated. The relocation of the toilets and water sources to a well lit section of the transit camp was a clear indication of commitment from leadership to prioritize safety of women and girl children. The permissive environment created for open and honest dialogues around what affects women and children in the transit camp prevented potential backlash and resentment.
    5. Starting with ourselves
    Our motto has always been to start where the service end users are and have a non-judgmental attitude when working with vulnerable women’s groups. Self- appraisals were conducted with all recruited volunteers in the programme to ensure that they reflect on their own personal values, prejudices, stereotypes and unresolved issues, so they know why they want to be part of the SAME (society activation, mobilization and empowerment programme) activists who advocated for social justice, equity, human rights and equality. Everyone had to go through thorough screening and personal development programme to ensure that there is adequate support and relevant interventions before they can assist others.

    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.

    Joan Lanyero

    1. Accountable to women and girls;
    Engage the women and girls through participatory approaches at programme design and through out the entire Programme life cycle; continuous asset mapping, baseline, implementation of the project as Activists, consultation meetings, evaluations, feedback sessions from the appropriate feedback and complaint mechanisms and responding to any complaints with reflections on the complaints mechanism policy or pathway while protecting them, providing safeguarding information, working with Women centred organizations.

    2. Gender Power Analysis;
    Conducting a gender power analysis is done at baseline and continuously in the programme life cycle so that we are able to identify and respond to the different needs of women and girls in a timely way through analysis of the gendered power dynamics between males and females. This thus informs programming to be adaptive and safe depending on what the results are and responding to it that improves the safety and dignity of women and girls. understanding the barriers’ to women’s participation and access to services.

    3. Inclusive and intersectional
    Our programme is all inclusive and does not discriminate (race, sex, religion, tribe, nationality, gender, age) as we believe in ones dignity being respected and human rights upheld. Women and girls are at the centre of our programme, this does not mean we do not work with men and boys. We do work with them as allies and acknowledge that we have to work everyone as VAW prevention is everyone’s responsibility as it harms everyone. Violence is thus not condoned whether perpetrated towards a female or male, our programme responds to this and also ensures same sex interviews. We are also very cognisant of the different needs of the groups like women with HIV, disabled and put in place strategies to ensure easy access to programme interventions in terms of location or venue – have rumps, interpreters, encurage caretakers to bring or guide the disabled to the venue, venue within the same location so that people do not have to move fr long distances, timeliness of our programme , we use the local language that the community understands,

    4. Prioritize safety of women and girls
    Minimise and mitigate potential backlash by identification of safety risks assessments, constraints to access of services, safety planning, referral pathways, lists, directories development and functionality (shared during all interventions, engagements and during data collection), use of women only safe spaces so that they can discuss their own concerns, having interventions in safe locations, ending at appropriate time giving them enough time to get home before dark and reducing further violence as a result of not being able to do the whore chores. Safeguarding policies, code of conduct implemented by staff, share feedback and complaints handling mechanisms, identification and use of feedback mechanisms and PSEA. Working in a multi-sectoral approach – coordinated, networked and collaborative way with actors working on GBV prevention and response.

    5. Starting with ourselves;
    Capacity building of staff to increase knowledge and skills on GBV prevention and response (survivor centerdness, GBV programming, guiding principles, GBV core competencies through trainings, onsite mentorship and support visits, exchange learning visits, Community of Practice sessions, GBV working group/cluster/network sessions.

    Staff care and support through proactively including a line on staff care and support in the project proposals, work plans, funding it – allocate resources. Having it as an organizational duty so that its looked at as legal or moral obligation to protect, mitigate and address any foreseeable risks that may harm staff. Recruitment processes; include budget for sufficient staff, working with Women centered organizations, PSEA for staff and programme participants, building a culture of staff care and support, setting clear boundaries, clear induction processes, JDs, hours of work, leave being an entitlement and taken not forfeiting it due to lack of time to take it or work load, health insurance schemes, team building sessions.

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