Violence Against Women
Violence Against Women is central in perpetuating women’s position of economic, social and political subordination, marginalisation and inequality. It can restrict women’s movements and access to markets, and limits income generating opportunities. Women’s Unpaid Care Work burden can also compound discriminatory social norms and greatly increase vulnerability to violence.
The POWER project includes training and interventions to address Violence Against Women at household and community level. It also works with groups at local, national, regional and international level to improve policies addressing Violence Against Women or to ensure existing policies are better implemented.
ActionAid Ghana’s POWER project team organised on a media sensitisation meeting on the concept of Unpaid Care Work in the Upper West Region. Over 20 journalists, local and government partners attended the meeting. As Violence Against Women is such a concern for many of the women’s groups engaged in the POWER project it was also addressed during this training.
Voices from the community
Empowering the group
Kantetere Annick, 34, lives in a village in Rwanda. ‘’It has been very difficult to me to convince my husband to let me be member of Turwanye Ubukene women group’’ said Annick. “I do insist and finally he let me go for a group. In the group we have been trained on various subjects to empower us. After being trained on financial management and organizational management I decided to put all effort in doing small business where I opened home small shop, at the beginning I earned Rwf 3,000 per day as benefit. Now I save not less than Rwf 10,000 per week I no longer totally depend on my husband. My husband started to assist me in household activities to ensure I have enough time to go to group meeting as the group member elected me as group facilitator. It is so surprising to see my husband help me in threshing and packing beans this has never happened since we were married 6 years ago. My husband and I, now, discuss family issues together,
Trainings on women’s rights, matrimonial regime and HRBA make me confident to stand for my colleagues women victims of Gender Based Violence in my community and decided to fight for them through advocacy, mobilisation for positive change”
Empowering the group
Saleha, 40, a smallholder farmer in Bangladesh faced barriers in selling her goods, including the fear of violence against women. This is in large part due to the stereotyped male biased gender norms of the society. She had to hear words like -`You are a woman; woman cannot go out of home. You must do the work for family. A woman working in the field, in an open place, in front of all is a dishonorable matter, against our culture.” …. I had to hear sneering words. Some people say they will not buy things from a woman. They make smirk face” Saleha says, `Situation has been changing. But it is not like that all the problems have gone away. Long way to go to achieve equal rights of women and men, which was declared by our Prime Minister. Earlier only women customers came to buy from me. It makes me feel unease to go to market. But I never lost my courage. I continue my work. Now everyone come to buy from me as they know I have chemical fertilizer and pesticide free vegetables.’’
Hear directly from Saleha in the POWER webinar on CRSA and Unpaid Care Work on the Unpaid Care Work page
Empowering the group
In Shangla district, Pakistan, an event was organized: to sensitise government officials on the issue of Violence Against Women in Shangla; to identify a referral mechanism to address the issues of violence against women; and to develop better linkages between government officials and women’s groups. Participants included government officials, the Deputy Superintendent of Police for Shangla, lawyers, journalists and civil society organisations.
During the sessions the staff members of POWER project implementing partner, NIDA-Pakistan, presented some scenarios that had recently occurred in different villages of Shangla district. The lawyers (members of the district Bar Council) also shared some cases of violence against women. They highlighted the fact that victims of violence are scared to report it at police or court level due to week protection mechanism or lack of awareness about the system. The journalists (members of the press club) also shared some scenarios with government officials and asked for them to play a more active role in awareness raising and development of referral mechanism for addressing the cases of violence against women in Shangla district. They also shared the fact that some political and landlords’ pressure is also one of the common obstacles which is responsible for the low reporting of violence.
In response, government officials highlighted that there are a number of types of violence in Shangla. Factors that support violence against women include: ignorance in girls’ education; lack of women’s health facilities; no easy way for women to approach line departments; and zero awareness about the empowerment & rights issues. They also stressed that the police department is available to support any violence based case throughout the district but there is a need for greater awareness in communities. The department will support such interventions. The Deputy Superintendent of Police was interested in the creation of referral mechanism for cases of violence with the involvement of media & civil society organisations.
Through the formation of women’s groups some changes can therefore be expected in the future to reduce the incidence of cases of violence against women at district level. It was decided that meetings between law enforcement departments and women’s groups will take place so that the women can raise their concerns to this level. Information and education material against violence will be distributed among women’s groups and local communities for awareness raising. The lawyers expressed commitment to establish a group of social activists and lawyers’ representatives to provide social and legal support to the victims.
BOOSTING RESILIENCE: The relationship between climate change, agroecology and unpaid care work
This webinar was the fourth in the POWER project international webinar series. It explored the theme of enhancing resilient livelihoods for women farmers, by examining the effects of climate change, the benefits of agroecology and how these intersect with women’s unpaid care work. Read More…
Transforming Unpaid Care Work through Redistribution
This webinar was the third of the POWER project international webinar series. It explored the theme of redistribution of Unpaid Care Work – what this meaningfully looks like, its significance on women’s economic empowerment, how to effectively measure trends and the roles of governments in facilitating. Read More…
Unpaid Care Work and Violence Against Women webinar
This webinar was the first of the POWER project international webinar series. It looks at how Unpaid Care is linked to Violence Against Women. Can addressing Unpaid Care Work lead to a reduction in Violence Against Women? Or can attempts to recognise, reduce and redistribute Unpaid Care Work actually be seen as a justifcation for Violence Against Women? Over 40 participants heard presentations on work being done in this area at both ActionAid and Oxfam and then had a chance to input their own experiences and challenges. Read More…
Find out more about ActionAid’s approach to
Violence Against Women in general here