Gender-Based violence refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a severe violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue- it can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. It also includes threats of violence, coercion and manipulation. This can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’.
The GBV situation among refugees has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as evidenced by the increase in GBV incidents and teenage pregnancies. As of September 2021, RRP partners managed 4,066 new incidents from 13 refugee hosting districts in Uganda. The prevalent incidents reported include Physical assault (29%), Rape (26%) and Emotional violence (24%). The pandemic brought to the forefront the vulnerability of women and girls in their homes, with the increase being linked to loss of household income due to restrictive COVID-19 prevention measures.
The inability to meet basic needs has also led some women and girls to resort to negative coping mechanisms such as transactional sex. Increased drug and alcohol abuse during the lockdown as triggers for domestic violence.
People of all genders experience GBV, but the majority of individuals targeted are women and girls. The risk of GBV increases in situations of forced displacement. It is estimated that one woman in five is likely to experience sexual violence in conflict settings, where it may be used as a weapon of war by armed groups and militias to displace communities, seize contested land or other resources or as a means of repression, terror or control. The risk of GBV remains high during flight and forced displacement, and living in camps has been identified as a factor that increases the risk.
Our Gender and GBV program focuses on building strong, responsive pathways for survivors to access medical, mental health, and legal services. The program works to break the gendered cycle of vulnerability and violence for women and girls through;
- Strengthening community response and protection units,
- Development of prevention models that seeks to transform men and boys to be allies,
- Empowerment of women and girls.