Afghanistan | Help the Afghan Children
Help the Afghan Children (HTAC) will use the innovation grant to implement a far reaching peace and civic education programme, that works with girls, women, boys, male leaders and families to promote an understanding of women’s rights and build healthy relationship skills based on peaceful conflict resolution.
South African Medical Research Council | Intervention – Women for Women International
Women for Women International offers marginalised women survivors of conflict a tried and tested year-long, combined social and economic empowerment programme that includes:
1. Informational training in critical modules that include the value of women’s work, benefits of saving, basic health education, rights and decision making, and group formation;
2. Skill-building in numeracy, business skills and a chosen vocational skill;
3. Resource provision in the form of a monthly cash stipend, asset transfers for vocational activities, savings channel provision, and referrals to health and legal services; and
4. Connections to local women’s networks and global supporters as well as connections to other women, by creating a safe and comfortable space where women, in groups of 25, learn, share and support one another to initiate change in their lives.
For over 40 years, Afghanistan has experienced ongoing conflict and insecurity. This insecurity has increased in recent years, exacerbating household poverty and further entrenching women’s subordinate position in the home [1, 2]. Afghanistan remains a deeply patriarchal and heteronormative society with strict codes of gender segregation and policing of women’s mobility and sexuality. Women’s economic autonomy is severely limited and many women experience intimate partner violence (IPV). The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) in 2018, conducted nationally, found that in the past year half (49.6%) of married women in Afghanistan had experienced physical IPV, and two-thirds (69.7%) had been stopped from working outside the home .
Jewkes, R., Corboz, J., & Gibbs, A. (2019). Violence against Afghan women by husbands, mothers-in-law and siblings-in-law/siblings: Risk markers and health consequences in an analysis of the baseline of a randomised controlled trial. PloS one, 14(2), e0211361.
Women for Women International works with marginalized women in countries affected by conflict around the world. Our core women’s empowerment program was initiated 25 years ago. It is tried and tested 12-month integrated program that supports women to earn and save money, improve health and well-being, influence decisions and connect to networks.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious human rights violation and an urgent global health and security challenge. It has been recognised as a key obstacle to development in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A ecting 35% of women globally, VAWG is both under-reported and under-addressed.1 In South Sudan, VAWG is widespread and while it predates the decades of con ict the country has endured, the on-going violence has exacerbated an already serious issue. Beginning with the civil war in 2013, South Sudan has been in a constant state of crisis, made more acute by extremely high levels of food insecurity and subsequent risk of famine and starvation. All of these factors have put women and girls at even greater risk of violence from both partners and non-partners.
Globally, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime (WHO 2013). In Afghanistan, recent demographic and health survey data (CSO 2017) indicates that the prevalence of intimate partner violence (emotional, physical or sexual) perpetrated against women aged 15 to 49 is 56%, ranging from between 7% and 92% across different provinces. Based on the baseline for an impact evaluation of Women for Women International’s programme in Afghanistan, this brief describes the factors associated with physical and emotional intimate partner violence. The brief is intended for employees of governmental and non-governmental organisations, and donors, interested in working to prevent violence against women before it occurs.
Poverty is a key driver of intimate partner violence (IPV). Women living in poorer places with lower socio-economic status, higher food insecurity, and less access to education and work opportunities are more likely to experience IPV. In addition, women without economic and social resources find it harder to leave abusive relationships. To date, women’s economic empowerment interventions have been central to IPV prevention approaches. This evidence review, however, suggests that women’s involvement in economic interventions has mixed effects on their vulnerability to IPV and can in fact increase the risks of their experiencing IPV, especially in situations where women’s participation in paid economic activity is the exception to the norm. Evidence suggests that interventions that aim to increase women’s access to work need to focus simultaneously on socially empowering women and transforming community gender norms to maximize the positive impact of women’s work on women’s empowerment and help prevent VAWG.