Shakira grew up in Afghanistan amidst more than four decades of war and conflict, which have severely impacted both social and psychological growth, resulting in conflict and violence becoming a common part of everyday life, particularly affecting children. Shakira was no exception and says that her own behaviour also worsened because of this situation, too often resorting to shouting and punishment, resolution tactics she also played out at school.
I felt I had power within myself that allowed me to do something with my fellow women..
Firuzah is a 44-year-old married woman from Tajikistan. She had a difficult time adapting from economic dependency when her husband was deported from Russia, where he worked as a labour migrant, and lost his job.
When Firuzah’s husband lost his job and could no longer provide for the family he became nervous and stressed. Although she understood it was hard for him and tried to be there to support him morally, she found herself navigating a number of difficult family issues, and they quarrelled a lot.
Gulshan is an unmarried 21-year-old woman from Tajikistan, who aims to graduate from a University this year. She participated in the International Alert-led Zindagii Shoista - Living with Dignity’ project last year.
In 2012 *Nompu was one of the growing number of young women living in an urban informal settlement in South Africa. Nompu had moved from rural KwaZulu-Natal to Durban, a port city on the east coast of Africa, in the hope of finding a job and establishing a better life for herself. Yet, without completing her high school education, she struggled to find work. In the midst of high levels of unemployment, limited state support, dense living conditions and a struggle for survival, Nompu was often beaten by her boyfriend. Nompu’s boyfriend himself felt alienated from everyday life, without proper work and struggling to make a life for himself.
David* is a 25 year old man, who works as driver and is married. He has had an ongoing intimate relationship with a FSW for more than seven years. They have had a difficult relationship for many years, which has often led to him physically abusing her.
Main Results Report 2017
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious human rights violation and a significant global health and security issue. Studies suggest that the rates, perpetrators and types of VAWG fluctuate during conflict; and there is some evidence that sexual violence against both women and men increases during conflict. The global prevalence of sexual violence among refugees and displaced persons in humanitarian crises is estimated to be 21.4%, suggesting that approximately one in five women who are refugees or displaced by an emergency experience sexual violence. Recent studies indicate that intimate partner violence (IPV) may be more common than conflict-related sexual assault; however, both IPV and conflict-related violence are under-reported in these settings. Though several studies have collected robust data on VAWG in humanitarian settings, many experts argue that our overall understanding of the issue remains limited.
Gowri* is a 35-year-old sex worker with a daily clientele. She has two regular intimate partners, with whom she reports being very compatible. As a result, she does not experience violence in intimate relationships. Given the intimacy and trust she enjoys with them, she does not use condoms in their intimate relationships.
*Alisher is a 50-year-old married man from Tajikistan. He has five children, two sons and three daughters.
“In the past my husband used to abuse me. He didn’t count me or our daughters as human beings… he used to force me into having sex.” That is how Bikani, a Nepali woman, with two daughters, initially summarized her ten-year marriage. The experience of Ashram and Bikani is not uncommon in Nepal. A recent study carried out by Equal Access International (hyperlink) and Emory University found that 34% of survey respondents had experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime and 25% had experienced physical or sexual abuse from their spouse in the past 12 months.