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International Sexual Violence Prevention Efforts

“As public health efforts to understand and prevent violence gained momentum in the United States, they garnered attention abroad. Violence was placed on the international agenda in 1996 when the World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA49.25, which declared violence ‘a leading worldwide public health problem.’ The resolution requested the WHO to initiate public health activities to: (1) document and characterize the burden of violence, (2) assess the effectiveness of programs, with particular attention to work and children and community-based initiatives, and (3) promote activities that tackle the problem at an international and country level. In 2000, the WHO created the Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention to increase the global visibility of unintentional injury and violence and to facilitate public health action. The organization’s World Report on Violence and Health, published in 2002, is used throughout the world as a platform for increased public health action toward preventing violence.”
– Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA. History of violence as a public health issue. AMA Virtual Mentor, February 2009. Volume 11, No. 2: 167-172.

Together for Girls:
Together for Girls was launched at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on September 25, 2009. It brings together 10 public and private sector organizations focused on one common goal: halting sexual violence against girls. Many organizations are participating, including the United States Department of State-President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Office of Global Women’s Health Issues, CDC, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Fund For Women, Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BD), CDC Foundation, WHO, Grupo ABC, and the Nduna Foundation.
The CDC initiative focuses on:

  • Conducting national surveys and collecting data to document the magnitude and effect of sexual violence against girls to inform government leaders, communities, and donors.
  • Supporting a plan of action at country level with interventions tailored to address sexual violence. These range from national policy-level dialogue and legal reforms to improved services and community-based approaches.
  • Launching communications and public awareness campaigns to draw attention to the problem and motivate changes in societal and gender norms and behaviors

World Report on Sexual Violence.pdfWorld Report on Sexual Violence.pdf

This report is the first comprehensive review of violence on a global scale. Chapter 6 provides detailed information on sexual violence.

Gender Atlas of Gender Equality in Education.pdfGender Atlas of Gender Equality in Education.pdf

“…….To mark International Women’s Day, UNESCO and the UIS have jointly released the World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, which includes over 120 maps, charts and tables featuring a wide range of sex-disaggregated indicators. The information and analysis calls attention to persistent gender disparities and the need for greater focus on girls’ education as a human right. The atlas illustrates the educational pathways of girls and boys and the changes in gender disparities over time. It hones in on the gender impact of critical factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education, and fields of study.

The data show that:

  • Although access to education remains a challenge in many countries, girls enrolled in primary school tend to outperform boys. Dropout rates are higher for boys than girls in 63% of countries with data.
  • Countries with high proportions of girls enrolled in secondary education have more women teaching primary education than men.
  • Women are the majority of tertiary students in two-thirds of countries with available data. However, men continue to dominate the highest levels of study, accounting for 56% of PhD graduates and 71% of researchers.

Conflict-related sexual violence: Report of the Secretary-General by the UN Secretary General (January 2012)
This report offers information on progress made in the implementation of monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements and the placement of women’s protection advisers. The report also includes information about parties to conflict credibility suspected of committing or being responsible for sexual violence and United Nation’s progress in addressing conflict-related sexual violence.

Rape and sexual violence: Human rights law and standards in the international criminal court by Amnesty International (2011)
This document identifies how the crimes of rape and sexual violence must, as a requirement of its own statute and a matter of international human rights law, be interpreted and applied with equality between men and women by the International Criminal Court (the Court). The Court has yet to rule on this matter in its jurisprudence.

Yon Je Louvri: Reducing Vulnerability to Sexual Violence in Haiti’s IDP Camps:
This 2012 report presents findings on the intersections between food access, water, sanitation, housing and the incidence of sexual violence in camps for displaced persons outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It also provides recommendations for action to improve access to basic needs and prevent sexual violence.

The Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls is an online resource in English, French and Spanish, designed to serve the needs of policymakers, programme implementers and other practitioners dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls. The Centre is an initiative of UN Women, bringing together the valuable contributions of expert organizations and individuals, governments, United Nations sister agencies, and a wide range of relevant actors. Part of the overall effort is encouraging shared ownership of the site and ongoing partnership-building for its continuous development and sustainability.
The primary purpose of the Global Virtual Knowledge Centre is to encourage and support evidence-based programming to more efficiently and effectively design, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. To achieve this, the Global Virtual Knowledge Centre offers a ‘one stop’ service to users by making available the leading tools and evidence on what works to address violence against women and girls. It draws on expert recommendations, policy and programme evaluations and assessments, and fundamentally, on practitioners’ experiences from around the world.
The site offers users:

  • step-by-step guidance on ‘how to’ work with specific sectors, groups or areas of intervention
  • proven and promising approaches
  • recommended training and other practical tools for implementation
  • a roster of specialized organizations, by country and languages
  • summaries of evaluations and key findings
  • links to key sources of data and other on-line resources
  • an emerging observatory of leading initiatives; and
  • a calendar of major events and training opportunities.
  • The more than 800 products and features available in over 60 languages

The Global Virtual Knowledge Centre is expanded and updated on an ongoing basis to ensure that practitioners have timely access to current information, knowledge and resources. Programming modules are also rolling out on an ongoing basis with shelters, violence in conflict/post-conflict and primary prevention slated for release in 2012.
In addition to functioning as a user-friendly central repository, the Global Virtual Knowledge Centre will offer practitioners enriched opportunities for knowledge sharing and communication through forthcoming interactive spaces and technical webinars.
Register for the site to receive updates and to provide feedback during our annual survey. Your opinions are important in helping improve and shape this resource.