An article written by Natalia Linou (Policy specialist in Gender, Health and HIV at the UN Development Program) highlights key lessons learned from international interventions tackling gender-based violence (GBV).
Linou emphasises that GBV is a consequence of structural inequalities that:
- threaten sustainable development
- undermine democratic governance
- deepen social fragmentation
- threaten peace and security
Although she mentions prevention, Linou’s focus is primarily on services for survivors. Multi-sectoral approaches that meet the distinct and inter-connected needs of survivors are often most effective, she points out. In particular, research shows the benefit of combining economic and health interventions, including for the reduction of GBV. However, even where services are available, serious barriers to access exist.
Survivors of violence are often deterred from seeking help or reporting incidents due to stigma and a lack of accessible services or ways to report safely, receive help and be treated with dignity. Ambassador Oh Youngju of Korea
The article refers to successes and challenges of GBV interventions in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.
Ending GBV, and particularly violence against women and girls is an important end itself. It is also critical for the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 3 -Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and the commitment to ‘leave no one behind.’ While more evidence on preventing violence and supporting survivors is needed, the time for action is now. Natalia Linou, UNDP