Charlotte Watts and Cathy Zimmerman of the SaME group, with Claudia Garcia Moreno of WHO, co-edited an important collection of papers with The Lancet. Together with a comment by President Jimmy Carter, the papers cover:
- the evidence base on prevention
- the health sector response
- a social and gender norms approach to prevention
- programming lessons from experience
- a call for specific action to eliminate violence against women and girls
List of authors:
Naeemah Abrahams, Avni Amin, Diana Arango, Amy Bank, Padma Bhatte-Deosthali, Manuela Colombini, Manuel Contreras, Mallika Dutt, Mary Ellsberg, Gene Feder, Ana Flavia Lucas d’Oliveira, Michael Flood, Claudia García-Moreno, Floriza Gennari, Kelsey Hegarty, Lori Heise, Jessica Horn, Rachel Jewkes, Nduku Kilonzo, Sveinung Kiplesund, Jane Koziol-MacLain, James Lang, Lori Michau, Oswaldo Montoya, Alison Morris-Gehring, Matthew Morton, Cathy Zimmerman
Link to each paper:
Prevention of violence against women and girls: what does the evidence say? Mary Ellsberg, George Washington University, Washington, DC
The health system response to violence against women: an overview Claudia Garcia Moreno, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO, Geneva
Prevention of violence against women and girls: lessons from practice Lori Michau, Raising Voices, Kampala, Uganda
The series calls on policy makers and communities at local, national and global level to commit to five actions:
- Show leadership: publically condemn violence against women and girls, allocate the needed resources to prevent and respond to violence, and develop a National Plan of Action
- Create equality: ensure national laws and policies prohibit all forms of violence against women and girls and promote equality
- Change norms: invest in violence prevention programming to promote the empowerment of women, gender equitable social norms and non-violent behaviours. Also support communities to challenge social norms promoting discrimination and challenge constructs of dominant masculinity and passive femininity that support men’s violence
- Challenge sectors: provide training on violence against women and girls for health, security, education and justice professionals, and allocate budgets and create policies to identify and support survivors
- Invest in research and programming: implement national population-based surveys that measure the prevalence of violence against women and girls, as well as the risk factors and consequences; and invest in programming and research on violence prevention
Violence against women (VAW) is a global problem: According to global prevalence data, physical and/or sexual intimate partner (IPV) violence affects 1 in 3 women and the health impacts of violence are substantial.
Violence is preventable: Research shows that several multi-component interventions achieve substantial reductions in the levels of IPV over programmatic timeframes. Violence prevention programmes – especially in low and middle income countries – address attitudes, norms, beliefs, stigmatisation and dominant notions of masculinity.
Political leadership and governmental investment are essential to reducing violence: Governments should take leadership in promoting change and supporting a co-ordinated, national response. The post-2015 Development Goal on Gender Equality should include a target that monitors 12 month prevalence of IPV.
The health sector – together with other sectors and with civil society – plays a critical role in both prevention and response to VAW and violence against children: Health ministries seek to eliminate stigmatising attitudes among providers, ensure training of health care providers to provide an effective response, and collaborate in community-based prevention efforts.
Investments are needed to strengthen data collection: Research and evaluation of effective strategies for prevention of and response to all forms of VAW and need to pay particular attention to girls.
A gallery of images from the London launch of the series.