VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
AND GIRLS PROGRAM
One of the oldest and yet highly perpetuated crimes is Violence Against Women and Girls otherwise known as Gender-Based Violence. It occurs in every country, territory and region of the world. According to UNDP, 35 percent of women globally have experienced one form of violence or the other because of their sex and this must be objectively addressed. At IGHUSUF Africa, we hold strong to the fact that safe environment can never be achieved until both men and women have equal opportunities to social benefits; so they can contribute to nation building processes evenly and also aspire in equity to reach their peak potentials. For this reason, we have developed the *Violence Against Women and Girls Program (VAWG Program)* which is our gender based violence response and mitigation program targeted at addressing this age-long social problem. This program is in pursuant to our organization’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 5 and the African Union Agenda 2063 Goal 6.
WE AIM TO ACHIEVE
We are fully convinced that Violence Against Women and Girls is the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights violation in the world. It also is a profound social problem that is sapping women’s energy, compromising their physical health, eroding their self-esteem and capacity for social functioning. In addition to causing injury, it increases women’s long-term risk of a number of other life threatening problems, including addictive drug and alcohol abuse and depression etc. It’s noteworthy that women with history of physical or sexual abuse are also at increased risk for unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Despite its high costs, almost every society in the world has social institutions that legitimize, obscure and or deny the abuse.
Notably, over the years we have been working with governments, development partners, critical stakeholders, community leaders and other women’s advocacy groups to draw more attention to the physical, psychological and sexual abuse of women and to stress the need for action. This is in addition to providing abused women with support, lobbying for legal reforms, and challenging the widespread attitudes and beliefs that support violent behavior against women. Increasingly, these efforts are having results and we hope to do more. This is why we have selected Nigeria, Lesotho and Algeria as pilot countries for the IGHUSUF Africa VAWG Program.
OBJECTIVE OF THE
The VAWG Program – Violence Against Women and Girls Program is gender based violence program of IGHUSUF Africa which targets to address and mitigate on:
Any act which causes physical harm as a result of unlawful physical force in form of, and or among others, serious and minor assault, deprivation of liberty and manslaughter.
Any sexual act performed on an individual without their consent, either in the form of rape or sexual assault.
Any gender targeted act which causes psychological harm to women and girls, either in the form of coercion, defamation, verbal insult or harassment.
Any gender targeted act or behaviour which causes economic harm to women and girls either in the form of property damage, restricting access to financial resources, education or the labour market
Violence Against Women and Girls also known as Gender-based violence includes a host of harmful behaviors that are directed at women and girls because of their sex, including but not isolated to wife abuse, sexual assault, dowry-related murder, marital rape, selective education and undernourishment of female children, forced prostitution, female genital mutilation, intimate partner violence and sexual abuse of female children. Specifically, within the confine of the VAWG Program we consider as Violence Against Women and Girls any act of verbal or physical force, coercion or life-threatening deprivation, directed at an individual woman or girl that causes physical or psychological harm, humiliation or arbitrary deprivation of liberty and that perpetuates female subordination.
Based on this consideration, our program priorities and concerns are
Any act which causes physical harm as a result of unlawful physical force. Physical violence can take the form of, among others, serious and minor assault, deprivation of liberty and manslaughter.
Any sexual act performed on an individual without their consent. Sexual violence can take the form of rape or sexual assault.
Any act which causes psychological harm to an individual. Psychological violence can take the form of, for example, coercion, defamation, verbal insult or harassment.
Any act or behaviour which causes economic harm to an individual. Economic violence can take the form of, for example, restricting access to financial resources and education.
More so, the program also notes that some Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) are institutionalized and reoccurring due to structural inequalities, such as societal norms, attitudes and stereotypes around gender generally and violence against women specifically. Therefore, we acknowledge structural or institutional violence, which we categorize as the subordination of women in economic, social and political life.