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Ending Impunity for Violence against Women  Violence against Women in the African Region: A Public Health Issue Dr Colette Dehlot Regional Adviser for.

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Presentation on theme: "Ending Impunity for Violence against Women  Violence against Women in the African Region: A Public Health Issue Dr Colette Dehlot Regional Adviser for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ending Impunity for Violence against Women  Violence against Women in the African Region: A Public Health Issue Dr Colette Dehlot Regional Adviser for Gender, Women and Health

2 Violence Against Women (VAW) DEFINITION: Any act of gender- based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion, or arbitrary depravation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life (UN, 1993)  Some Statistics: WHO estimate that age 12-16: 25% girls and 8% boys, aged years, have been subjected to child sexual abuse In Africa, about millions girls and women have been subjected to FGM About 14%-20% of women will be raped at least once in their lifetime. Wife inheritance can increase the prevalence of HIV by 20% in countries where the practice exist During arm conflicts up to 72% women will be raped The overwhelming majority of VAW is committed every day by men Important Conventions and Declarations have been taken nationally, regionally and globally to address the above

3 VAW Lifespan Old age 50+ years *Forced/coerced sex *Home abuse *HTP/FGM *Family violence *Domestic violence Adulthood years *Forced/coerced sex *FGM/HTP *Sexual violence *Sexual harassment *Domestic violence *Family violence Adolescence years *Intergenerational conflicts *Forced/coerced sex *Early marriage *Early pregnancy *FGM/HTP *Forced prostitution Infancy & Childhood 0-9 years *Sex preference *Female discrimination *FGM/HTP *Childhood sexual abuse *Child marriage

4 Child Abuse Sex preference Child neglect Child sexual abuse Child marriage Child prostitution Child pornography Early/Forced pregnancy Sex trafficking Sexual coercion School harassment Child labour HTP/FGM

5 Child Neglect and Abuse  Health-related Issues –Inability to report and/or to articulate abuse –Multiple risks of exploitation –RH tract infection –Depression, anxiety –Suicidal tendencies –Post-traumatic disorder –Sexual dysfunction –Substance abuse –STI and HIV/AIDS –Early pregnancy –Sexual risk-taking later life  Responses: – Child Survival Strategy – Adolescent Health Strategy – Capacity building of health and social workers – Raising awareness among children, families and communities: APADOC – Life-skills workshops for adolescent – Adolescent Friendly Health Services – Appropriate protection and prevention programmes, including counselling

6 On Route to Womanhood with Promises of a brighter future 27 African countries with FGM More than 3 millions girls and women will undergo the practice in Africa

7 FGM Typologies: WHO Classification Medicalisation Keloid Clitoridectomy Elongation Infibulations (Type I) (Type II) (Type III) (Type IV)

8 FGM and other Harmful Practice  Health-related issues – Immediate effects: Severe pain Shock Haemorrhaging Local infections – Long-term effects Urine tract infections Reproductive tract infection Infertility Painful intercourse Obstetric complications Facilitate HIV/AIDS transmission – Psychosocial Sense of losing own body control  Responses – Promote law enforcement – Promote protective measures – Promote AFRO anti-FGM – Train health professionals – Educational campaign – Promote successful community best practices – Empower women through education – Advocate ZERO- TOLERANCE FGM – Propose non-harmful “alternative rites”

9 Dreadful Traditions Child marriage Wife inheritance Widow cleansing Self immolation Witchcraft Honour killing Dowry crimes Bride-price abuse Dishonouring women

10 Confronting Cultural Traditions  Health-related issues – Complication from pregnancy and child bearing – Complication of obstetric fistula – PTSD – High economic dependency – Vulnerability to STI/HV/AIDS  Responses – Eradicate dreadful traditions – Establish long-term strategies of legal reforms – Sensitise communities – Empower women, the victim – Promote social and economic services – Promote gender equity and equality – Entice male support – Promote AFRO/POA-FGM elimination – Advocate ZERO TOLERANCE

11 Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Intimate partner violence Female battering Sexual coercion Marital rape Domestic violence Commercial market Forced prostitution Sexual harassment Sex trafficking HTP/FGM

12 Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV)  Health-related Issues – Often long-term sexual abuse – Obstetrical and gynaecological problems – Psychological illness – “Push & Pull” factors – PTSD – Negative pregnancy outcomes STI/HIV/AIDS  Responses – Provide victim-friendly services – Focus treatment – Access to support and counselling – Build capacity of health, social and legal systems – Ensure rapid emergency responses – Train responsive policy and law enforcement agents – Use WHO tools and guidelines

13 Violence against elderly Women Sexual assault, including rape Abuse in the home by family members Intimate-partner violence Institutional setting abuse

14 Addressing elderly Abuse  Health-related Issues – Victim reluctant to disclose crucial details – Failure to seek support – Lack of targeted support – Post-reproductive illness – Lack of economic resources – Insufficient information to sick help  Responses – Enact empowerment – Provide counselling services – Support elderly caretakers – Train health and social workers to recognise age- specific concerns – Foster peer support – Initiate public awareness

15 The Changing face of War All forms of Rape Sex slavery Sexual services Female abduction Sex trafficking Mutilation Target all ages

16 Addressing Violence in War  Health-related Issues – Vaginal destruction – Traumatic fistula – Uterus prolapsed – RH tract infections – PTSD – Sexual dysfunction – STI/HIV/AIDS  Responses – Integrate prevention and response within across sector – Strengthen psychosocial support – Improve protection and legal assitance – Train health and social welfare woekers – Train police and local military – Sensitise families and communities – Support gender equity and equality initiatives

17 The Perpetrators Patriarchy systems believe in male domineering nature Male perception of masculinity as a power relation Natural propensity to violence Forcing women into sex is logic High social tolerance of sexual violence against women Believing in their right to sexually access women Sex as mechanism for overpowering and controlling women Use of biological or psychopathological argument to explain men’s violent behaviour

18 Re-Profiling the Perpetrators  Health-related Issues – Perpetrators of sexual violence are almost exclusively male – Women accountable for sexual violence – Popular perception of women provocation – Women abandonment if raped – Submissiveness of female – Male promiscuity is an accepted fact – High STI/HIV/AIDS transmission  Responses – Challenge patriarchal systems – Establish mechanisms to stop abusive perpetrators – Fight intimate-partner violence – Provide training programmes for men – Educate and counsel men and women – Organise peer support – Increase male involvement to help stop SGBV – Redefine masculinity as non-violent

19 Challenges in SGBV Many social settings tolerate violence against women Social and cultural norms reinforce male-dominated power structures Silence of the victim Impunity of the perpetrator VAW is under reporting Inadequate institution for protection and care Shortage of trained human resources No proper support and activities to advance women’s human rights VAW constitute one of the most universal and unpunished crimes of alls VAW is fundamentally related to discrimination.

20 Response-team Approach to Prevention nnd Management of SGBV Healthcare services Psychosocial services Protection services Economic activities SGBV-friendly service team

21 Future Needs Extend and improve services for survivors Build capacity of local community-based organisations Standardise procedures for timely medical responses to SGBV Train health professionals in the prevention and management of SGBV Legal reforms/law enforcement and Human Rights Empower women Involve men in combating violence against women

22 Empowering Individuals, Families & Communities in P&M/SGBV

23 Women are vital members of families and communities Contributors to socio- economic development Sustainers of the cycle of life Educators and Caregivers

24 Thank You for your Involvement in Ending Impunity for Violence Against Women In Africa


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