Overview and Root Causes

Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence in Middle and Low Income Countries: A Global Review and Analysis (Pgs. 3-15)

Gender-based violence has been a frequent global discussion topic in recent history.  This article, published in 2005, gives a brief summary of the information that the World Bank has collected to understand the subject.  This article addresses what gender-based violence is, where it is happening, how often it occurs, who is committing these acts, and what initiatives have been taken so far to end it. “In general, gender-based violence prevention has received far less attention than treatment for survivors. Empirical evidence about effective interventions is scarce, though numerous research projects are underway that may contribute to the scientific knowledge base in the near future. While recognizing the limited number of high quality studies on program effectiveness, this review has attempted to highlight emerging good practices.”

For readers who are looking for a detailed introduction with visuals and analysis, this is the perfect read for you.

Bott, Sarah. Morrison, Andrew. Ellsberg, Mary. “Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence in Middle and Low Income Countries: A Global Review and Analysis” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, Washington D.C.: World Bank, June 2005. 4 July 2016.


Keeping Women Safe

This article discusses the root causes of gender-based violence in South Asia.  It goes into detail about how laws may or may not be helping the “war on women,” as well as how work and education lead to less violence in the household. The author further explains the social background of sexism in these countries and how it makes significant differences in the population of women and men.

“In his first Independence Day speech, India’s current prime minister, Narendra Modi, chided the entire country, saying, “Today when we hear about these rapes, our heads hang in shame.” And since December 2012, numerous policies have been proposed (and several enacted) to stop this “war on women.” But how many of these short-term protective measures will fail, or even create perverse incentives opposite to those intended—possibly leaving women less safe in the long run?”

Finally, after analyzing the data, the author goes on to speak about implementing policies that will actually help the cause.  Rohini Pande does an amazing job of breaking down GBV piece by piece and by doing this, the audience gets a clear view of the many complexities in the subject.  

Pande, Rohini. “Keeping Women Safe” Harvard Magazine, Harvard Kennedy School Center for International Development: Harvard Magazine Inc., 15 Dec. 2014. 25 June 2016. <http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/01/keeping-women-safe>.

Why Violence Against Women and Girls Happens, and How to Prevent it

Many articles develop an analysis on gender-based violence based on societal norms. However, this author explains what they actually are and what they mean.  Boys and girls (this article does not mention trans or nonbinary) statistically show that violence against women has been normalized in Australian society.  The author suggests that media, culture, social groups, and peer pressure can put adolescents into harmful relationships that are physically and sexually abusive.  

Being a witness to physical or emotional abuse, alcohol abuse, drug use, etc. can actually lead people to become abusive themselves.  Through the education and promotion of healthy relationships, communities could make a serious change in the way that women are perceived and treated in their society.  Although this article focuses on Australia, this idea can be applied to almost any culture, especially ones where violence is more prominent.  For more information on domestic abuse, see category 2.

Social norms play a large role in violence against women and girls. Men are brought up to expect aggressiveness and in some cases be aggressive. As a result, forceful behavior becomes normalized. This leaves women, children, and even some men in a strenuous state of fear. Many of these victims eventually come to the conclusion that it’s easier to oblige the needs of the abusers than fight for their preferences. This toxic cycle needs to end.

Flood, Michael. “Why Violence Against Women and Girls Happens, and How to Prevent it” Redress Journal, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University in Melbourne: The Association of Women Educators (AWE), Aug 2007. 25 June 2016. <http://www.awe.asn.au/drupal/sites/default/files/Why_Violence_Against_Women_and_Girls_Happens.pdf>.

Men, Boys Must Speak Out, Take Action to End Gender-Based Violence, Delegates Tell Commission on Status of Women

Gender-based violence has remained as a movement for women, by women, for far too long.  Delegates from around the world have acknowledged this, and addressed that a key part of resolving the issue is to get men and boys involved in the discussion and prevention of GBV.  After much talk of men being either perpetrators of violence against women or tolerating it, Iceland’s delegate stated that, “[Men and boys] have a responsibility to take the lead and influence their peers.” This article gives full coverage of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women, including statements, briefings/interactive dialogue, replies, and a brief summary in the beginning.

“Men have to engage men to speak out against this scourge,” said Yvonne Towikromo, Manager of the National Bureau for Gender Policy, Ministry of Home Affairs of Suriname, one of several delegates to underline the importance of changing male attitudes, whether towards physical abuse, psychological control or domineering decision-making.

United Nations. “Men, Boys Must Speak Out, Take Action to End Gender-Based Violence, Delegates Tell Commission on Status of Women” UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases, New York, NY: United Nations, 11 March 2013.  24 July 2016. <http://www.un.org/press/en/2013/wom1949.doc.htm>.

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