Responding to and Preventing VAW in Conflict and Other Emergencies

One of the best ways to improve response to violence against women (VAW) in emergencies and to reinforce community resilience to crises is to strengthen local actor’s capacity and access to resources. With a focus on sub saharan Africa, 8 local and national non-governmental organisations (LNGOs) in the Great Lakes, East and Horn of Africa built capacity in emergency preparedness capacity of LNGOs to address the immediate protection needs of women and survivors of VAW, and in particular survivors of sexual violence, during conflict and other emergencies.

To learn more about the Thematic Action group’s work, click here

Thematic Action Group Chair – International Rescue Committee

VAW in Emergencies

The VAW in Emergencies Group, chaired by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), sought to promote improved approaches to emergency response and preparedness among VAW practitioners in the region.

The objectives of the group were to:

  • Provide members with innovative approaches and tools for VAW response in emergencies;
  • Develop strategies for strengthening VAW emergency response and prevention capacity at the local level;
  • Advance learning based on field-level application of VAW response tools in emergencies; and
  • Advocate for increased interest and investment in protecting women and girls from VAW in emergencies.

This group has been very active! In October 2012, IRC conducted a skills-building event on GBV Emergency Response & Preparedness for group members. 28 participants from 27 organizations in the Horn, East and Southern Africa participated in the training.

In a two-year project supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in capacity-building for Network members, training, technical assistance and small grants for local organizations to address the immediate protection needs of women and survivors of VAW in emergencies. The project addressed obstacles to women and girls’ protection and health during crises by ensuring local organizations in the Horn, East and Southern Africa are prepared and positioned to prevent VAW and in particular sexual violence in emergencies.

Download the detailed TOR of the group here.

Building Capacity of National NGOs and CBOs to respond to VAW in Emergencies

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Twenty-five Network members from eleven countries throughout the region (Nigeria, Cameroon, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Madagascar, Somalia, Zimbabwe) completed a training in addressing VAW within emergency situations. From the 19th to the 23rd of May, participants were equipped with skills to prepare for, launch, and support rapid, effective responses to VAW in crisis situations. Individuals will now take these skills back to their organizations where they will respond ethically and effectively to VAW within emergency situations. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) facilitated the training.

To learn more, visit the Inter Agency Standing Committee guidelines for gender based violence in humanitarian settings.

To learn more about the Violence Prevention Learning Center or apply for a course, click here.

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