What is Gender-Based Violence?
GBV is defined by the UN as an umbrella term “for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between females and males.”
In other words, GBV is usually characterized by physical, sexual, mental, or economic harm forced on a person, usually a woman or girl, and includes sexual harassment and violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, psychological abuse, and controlling behaviors.
It goes against gender equality for women and girls but rather encourages income inequality and significantly holds back the global fight to reduce poverty and achieve the UN’s Global Goals.
Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. It knows no social, economic or national boundaries. Worldwide, an estimated one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Gender-based violence undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in a culture of silence.
Scale of the problem
While gender-based violence is not limited to violence against women and girls, according to World Health Organization’s (WHO) data from 2021, almost one in every three women, or approximately 736 million women, have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their lifetime. This does not account for the 1 woman every 11 minutes who is killed by her partner (UNODC, 2020).
Violence starts early in the lives of women. Of those who have been in a relationship, almost 1 in 4 adolescent girls aged 15–19 (24 per cent) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner or husband. The UNFPA Geospatial Intimate Partner Violence dashboard shows intimate partner violence prevalence data for 119 countries and territories worldwide, disaggregated by location, age, education, residence, employment and wealth.
Impact of gender-based violence
When a woman has been subjected to gender-based violence, it has short and long-term consequences for her physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health. Injuries, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and gynecological disorders, as well as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and even self-harm are only some of the impacts of violence that survivors may face.
For example, survivors of intimate partner violence have a twofold increased risk of undergoing an induced abortion, and are 50 per cent more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection or HIV.
Gender-based violence is not only a violation of individual women’s and girls’ rights. The impunity enjoyed by perpetrators, and the fear generated by their actions, has an effect on all women and girls. It also takes a toll on a global level, stunting the contributions women and girls can make to international development, peace and progress.
Why global citizens should care
Gender-based violence has lasting impacts on survivors, their families, and their communities. The world must join together to protect women and girls, to ensure they can fully participate in society, and to have any hope of ending extreme poverty.
4 key facts you should know about gender-based violence”
Globally, 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way — usually by someone they know.
Around 641 million women worldwide have experienced at least one incidence of physical and sexual violence from a romantic partner.
As many as 38% of murders of women globally are committed by their intimate partners., In some countries, the World Bank estimates that violence against women can a cost up to 3.7% of the country’s GDP in lost productivity — thus impacting the capacities of many families to earn.
Who is most affected by GBV and why?
Women living in low- and lower-middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by this issue, but other factors that encourage GBV can include cultural norms, lower levels of education, low levels of gender equality, and harmful masculine behaviors.
GBV can also limit women’s capacity to work, causing them to suffer social isolation, loss of wages, and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.
Although gender-based violence disproportionately affects women and girls, it is not exclusive; LGBTQ+ communities, particularly people who are trans, and other communities, are also affected by GBV.
What are the 10 causes of violence?
Mental problems, poverty and unemployment, education, young parents, relationship retention, behavior, historical factors, cultural factors, self defense.
What is the most common GBV?
IPV is the most common form of GBV and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviors by a current or former intimate partner or spouse, and can occur in heterosexual or same-sex couples.
What is the impact of gender-based violence?
Freedom from violence is a fundamental human right, and gender-based violence undermines a person’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. It affects not only physical health but also mental health and may lead to self-harm, isolation, depression and suicidal attempts.
Who is at risk of GBV?
GBV disproportionately affects women and girls, and in situations of displacement, their risk of exposure to GBV increases. We are committed to continuously strengthening coordination and programming to protect women and girls from GBV.
How does GBV affect families?
GBV is very closely tied to inequality in the family. For centuries, discriminatory traditions, customs, and laws have justified women’s subordinate position within the family. GBV has been a tool to reinforce this hierarchy, as is the case with domestic abuse or FGM.
What is the main cause of violence?
Conventionally, violence is understood to be often driven by negative emotions, such as anger or fear. For example, a person might become aggressive because they were enraged at another person, or they were afraid the other person might hurt them.
Why is violence a problem?
Community violence can cause significant physical injuries and mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Living in a community experiencing violence is also associated with increased risk of developing chronic diseases
What is the first step in domestic violence prevention?
Step 1: Define and monitor the problem. The first step in preventing violence is to understand the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how” associated with it. …
Step 2: Identify risk and protective factors. It is not enough to know the magnitude of a public health problem. …
Step 3: Assure widespread adoption.
What are 3 ways to prevent abuse?
Discipline your children thoughtfully, examine your behavior, educate yourself and others, teach children their rights, Support prevention programs, know what child abuse is, Know the signs.
What are three ways to protect yourself from abuse?
Seek support. In stressful times, you can find peace by talking to people who support you. Be kind to yourself, set small goals, consider filing a protective order, If the Violence Escalates.
Violence is an act of physical force that causes or is intended to cause harm. The damage inflicted by violence may be physical, psychological, or both. Violence may be distinguished from aggression, a more general type of hostile behavior that may be physical, verbal, or passive in nature.
How do you defend yourself in a fight?
Trust your instincts. Too many women enroll in a self-defense class after they’ve been assaulted, practice target denial, present yourself with confidence, set strong verbal boundaries.
Maintain a non-confrontational stance. Keep a safe distance. Use the element of surprise.
What is violence against women and children?
Violence against women and girls is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
How can you prevent GBV?
Educate yourself on the root causes of violence.
Interrupt sexist and discriminatory language. Be critical and question.
Interrupt abuse. Stop sexual harassment. Develop an action plan.
Stop victim blaming. Stop rape culture.
The Gambia has announced plans to launch a national ‘NO MORE’ campaign against domestic and sexual violence.
Gender equality in The Gambia
The Gambian national chapter will be part of the global ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ movement and will support national efforts to achieve the sustainable development goal for gender equality.
“With the pandemic triggering an alarming rise in cases of domestic and sexual violence, the announcement signifies The Gambia’s strong commitment to ending this scourge.
“The abuse, far too often, is hidden and is regarded as a private matter, trapping victims in shame and persuading bystanders to turn a blind eye.
“So, it is critical to put the spotlight on this hidden pandemic to send a clear message to victims that help is available while engaging everyone in the society to play their role in addressing domestic and sexual violence.”
Preventing gender-based violence
gender equality and ending violence and harmful practices against women and girls while being accountable to feminist movements.
also uses comprehensive sexuality education as a primary prevention strategy to end gender-based violence, since it helps adolescents to nurture positive gender-equitable attitudes and values, which are linked to reduced violence, and healthier, equitable, non-violent relationships. This early intervention can have long-lasting impacts across the lives of women and men.
Email to [email protected] com, send text messages only to Dr Azadeh WhatsApp only from 3 to 6PM working days.
Dr. H. Azadeh, Senior Lecturer at the University of The Gambia, Clinical Director at Medicare Health Services.