Rwanda | CARE International
This programme led by CARE International will implement a package of prevention interventions which aim to change attitudes, behaviours and social norms around gender inequality and GBV in communities across seven districts in Rwanda. The What Works Global Programme will conduct an impact evaluation to collect evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions on addressing risk factors for GBV as well as the prevalence of GBV; and operations research which will provide insights into how interventions are working and how the project can be implemented in successful ways that provide value for money.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is preventable. Over the last two decades, VAWG prevention practitioners and researchers have been developing and testing interventions to stop violence from occurring, in addition to mitigating its consequences. This rigorous, in-depth review of the state of the field presents what is now known five years on after the UKAID-funded, What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (What Works) programme, a six year investment, in advancing our understanding of What Works within the context of the wider evidence base.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is preventable. Over the last two decades, VAWG prevention practitioners and researchers have been developing and testing interventions to stop violence from occurring, in addition to mitigating its consequences. This document is an executive summary of the longer review of the state of the field of VAWG prevention, five years on after the UKAID-funded, What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (What Works) programme, a six year investment, in advancing our understanding of What Works within the context of the wider evidence base.
Stern, E., Gibbs, A., Willan, S., Dunkle, K., & Jewkes, R. (2019). ‘When you talk to someone in a bad way or always put her under pressure, it is actually worse than beating her’: Conceptions and experiences of emotional intimate partner violence in Rwanda and South Africa. PLOS ONE.
McLean, L., Heise, L. L., & Stern, E. A. (2019). Shifting and transforming gender-inequitable beliefs, behaviours and norms in intimate partnerships: the Indashyikirwa couples programme in Rwanda. Culture, health & sexuality, 1-18.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is driven in part by gender attitudes, norms on gender inequality and the acceptability of violence, which are socially reproduced and shared. Women’s rights organizations across the global south have dedicated themselves to challenging these. Early evaluations of work they have championed has shown that sufficiently equipped community volunteers, guided in a long-term structured programme, can enable widespread diffusion of new ideas on gender and VAWG and ultimately achieve changes in harmful attitudes and norms across communities.
DFID’s What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls Global Programme (What Works) has generated new evidence on the effect of these interventions in a range of settings – from rural areas and small towns of the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Rwanda, Nepal, to urban informal settlements in South Africa. Rigorous evaluations have shown the potential for preventing VAWG through multi-year, intensive change interventions with welltrained and supported community action teams, that purposefully engage both women and men to effect change.
An innovative programme to reduce partner violence in rural Rwanda
Intimate partner violence (IPV), which includes physical and sexual violence, economic abuse and emotional aggression within intimate relationships, is the most common form of violence against women globally. IPV can lead to a wide range of negative health consequences including depression, suicide risk, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, serious injuries, and death . IPV can also constrain women’s capacity to find employment, lead to higher levels of absenteeism and job turnover, lower earning capacity, and more limited occupational mobility . The Indashyikirwa programme in Rwanda sought to reduce experience of IPV among women and perpetration among men, and shift beliefs and social norms that drive IPV among couples and in communities. The programme also aimed to foster more equitable, non-violent relationships, and to ensure more supportive responses to survivors of IPV.
Stern, E., & Mirembe, J. (2017). Intersectionalities of formality of marital status and women’s risk and protective factors for intimate partner violence in Rwanda. Agenda, 31(1), 116-127.
This set of skills-building modules is designed to prepare Indashyikirwa community activists (CAs) to conduct community-based activist activities. Building off the foundation of learning from the Indashyikirwa Couples’ Curriculum, the sessions focus on specific skills that are necessary to do effective activism at the community level. There are 16 numbered topics, sequenced to foster progressive learning.
The Couples’ Curriculum is a set of interactive trainings and take-home exercises designed to help foster a process of change to reduce gender-based violence amongst couples in Rwandan communities. As part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls initiative, the structure and content is built upon the latest learning from the field of GBV prevention about what makes effective GBV prevention.
Gender-based violence has been recognized as a cross cutting issue affecting the lives of victims, families, and whole communities from diversity of dimensions including health, economy, culture, psychology, education, livelihoods and political participation. In fact, GBV is considered one of the critical areas of action in Rwanda. This presents a key opportunity for different players, including government agencies, NGOs, opinion leaders and all stakeholders to build an understanding on issues of GBV.