Browse by Theme: Intimate Partner Violence

We can’t achieve women’s financial inclusion without considering harmful social norms and trying to change them. This was the key message I shared during the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) annual Savings and Credit Forum in Bern earlier this month. The forum’s theme was ‘how to reach 1 billion women’ and I was there on behalf of CARE International UK and the CGAP Women’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice to speak about how gendered social norms create barriers to women’s financial inclusion, and how to change them.

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Reducing intimate partner violence within couples and communities.

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A model for working with women, men and communities to end gender based violence.

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common form of violence against women, with an estimated one in three women having experienced partner physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda is an intervention that aims to prevent IPV and support healthy, equitable relationships through a participatory couples curriculum and community activism activities. The programme has been rigorously evaluted through research conducted with couples in the intervention.

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Programmmes to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) must also consider the safety and support needs of women experiencing abuse. This is especially important for programmes that raise awareness of violence in communities with limited knowledge of, or access to, services. Indashyikirwa, an IPV prevention programme in Rwanda, established women’s safe spaces, where women and men could disclose and discuss IPV, and be referred or accompanied to health, justice or social services.

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A critical component of community level gender based violence (GBV) prevention programming is meaningful engagement of opinion leaders, including local government officials, religious leaders, and service providers. This can help facilitate an ‘enabling environment’ for social norms change, disseminate programme messages, support advocacy efforts, and improve responses to IPV survivors.

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Community activism is increasingly being used as a strategy to shift harmful social norms, and ensure an enabling environment for preventing and responding to gender based violence. The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda equipped trained couples as community activists.

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