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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    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.


          1. Rendir cuentas a las mujeres y las niñas
          o Dentro de las acciones de MERL: se incluyen evaluaciones y aprovechamiento de aprendizajes y los resultados siempre se devuelven a las niñas, adolescentes y mujeres jóvenes con quienes trabajamos, incluso la implementación presupuestaria.
          2. Basado en un análisis de poder de género
          o En Plan International partimos todas las intervenciones del análisis de género, con base en cuyos resultados se prepara la respuesta programática.
          3. Inclusivo e interseccional
          o Es principio en las intervenciones de Plan la inclusión, en tema de género, edad, capacidad, orientación sexual y procedencia entre otras. Además utilizamos enfoque interseccional en consideración de las múltiples identidades y características de las personas.
          4. Priorizar la seguridad de las mujeres y las niñas
          o Dentro de las principales preocupaciones de la organización, se encuentra la seguridad de las mujeres, sobre todo ante el acoso sexual ( según el último informe de investigación sobre seguridad de las mujeres en nuestra organización) por tal razón se ha priorizado en las acciones organizacionales implementar planes participativos que garanticen la seguridad de las mujeres.
          o En términos de nuestras destinatarias, tenemos una política de salvaguardia y seguridad que prioriza a las mujeres
          5. Empezando por nosotros mismos
          o Cada vez que pienso o diseño una intervención para mi país, inicio recordando mi situación y la forma cómo he logrado empoderarme y prevenir la VCM


          Accountable to women and girls: In the programme that I am familiar with, the project is not systematically accountable to women and girls, because participatory M&E is not part of the the programme’s monitoring, evaluation and learning processes. Participatory planning is a crucial aspect of the programme, but there is less emphasis on following-up in a participatory manner. The M&E is more for donors and government or, where it goes beyond that, is only qualitative and not rigorous enough.

          Based in a gender-power analysis: The programme that I am familiar with is based in a gender-power analysis because it collects qualitative and quantitative data about community’s demographics and sociopolitical context before beginning project planning and implementation.

          Inclusive and intersectional:The programme strives to be inclusive and intersectional by engaging as many community leaders and community organisations. It is not always possible to get past gatekeepers and, because the programme works at neighbourhood-scale, it can be challenging to find the more marginalised voices. This is an ongoing journey where programming is only as inclusive as the community participation team is able to make it based on their available resources, time and contacts in the community.

          Prioritising the safety of women and girls: This is a priority for the programme. Project planning involves strategizing for risk mitigation. Situational/environmental interventions such as walking buses are frequently used.

          Starting with ourselves: The programme has an ongoing transformation process that is consistently evolving and responding to the needs of the team and the communities where it is being implemented. At the same time, the programme is chronically understaffed and extremely busy – it is one thing to create the brave spaces for transformation and another to hold them regularly enough or to hold the team accountable for what they discuss. At the same time, informal conversations often occur between colleagues where people learn from one another and expand their perspectives together.

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