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Gender-Based Violence

We define Gender-Based Violence as any harm or suffering that is perpetrated against an individual sole because of their gender, be it woman or girl, man or boy, negatively impacting on the physical, sexual or psychological health, development or identity of the person.

This form of violence is founded in gender-based inequalities and discrimination. GBV is the most extreme expression of these unequal gender relations in society, and a violation of human rights, as well as a main hindrance of the achievement of gender equality.

Women and girls are mostly affected by GBV, and globally at least one third of all women have been exposed to violence in an intimate relationship, but also men and boys can be subjected to GBV.

GBV most commonly occurs in the family, but it also takes place at other arenas in society, private and public. GBV is an umbrella definition including a wide range of expressions of violence such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence by non-partners, Female Genital mutilation (FGM), honor violence, early marriage, violence against LGBTI and trafficking in human beings.

Survivor of gender-based violence

GBV in Conflict Zones

In situations of war and conflict, GBV is particularly present. Most cases of violence against women and LGBTI people are not reported due to fear of secondary victimization, which results in most survivors avoiding or delaying accessing healthcare, criminal justice services and psychosocial support.

Entry points in addressing GBV is that gender-based violence is a violation of human rights, and that tackling GBV is crucial for poverty reduction and economic development.

GBV is furthermore a key to protect sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and reverse the spread of HIV. It is also a security concern and a prerequisite for sustainable peace.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention of GBV focuses on the root causes of violence and on possibilities of change.

When defining effective strategies to end a priority is to make efforts to prevent GBV. Given that GBV is linked to gender-based power inequalities, key in GBV prevention are efforts to increase gender equality and transformation of gender norms.

Our prevention strategies entail a shift from “victims” to “survivors” with a focus on women and girl’s empowerment and agency, efforts to increase women’s political and economic empowerment and sexual and reproductive rights, and to incorporate men and boys in the work.

The strengthening of legal and policy framework is also of outmost importance, as are efforts to bridge the gap between law and practice and to end the impunity for GBV. Response to survivors, which meets their rights to protection and access to services, including shelters and health sector services, is also core.

Ending gender-based violence (GBV) and ensuring women’s security is a priority for the Kara Universal, a priority reflected in our objectives and policies for development cooperation.


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