Violence against women as

					                                       Violence against women as
                                           a livelihood issue.

A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social
resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable
when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance
its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the
natural resource base1.

In the aftermath of conflict, when countries are beginning to rebuild, there are new
opportunities to strengthen laws, policies and practices in support of gender equality
and women's human rights. All too often these opportunities are lost, with gender
inequalities deepening or worsening in the period after conflict. But there has been a
growing recognition of women's centrality to reconstruction and peacebuilding
fuelled2. The lack of economic opportunity often results in increases in domestic
violence and alcohol abuse, and people are forced to harmful behaviour to survive.
This represents a terrible waste of human capacity3.

The impact of a crisis on any given population group results from the shock itself and
the vulnerability of the affected people, especially women and girls, and this in
different point of view4.

Violence against women negatively impacts human capital.
    Sexual gender based violence is a security issue because it is a human rights
       violation and therefore impacts negatively on the ability of women and men to
       secure and enjoy their basic rights5.
    On of the 960 million adults in the world who cannot read, two thirds are
       women6.
    70% of the 130 million children who are out of school are girls 7.
    At least one in three women globally has been physically or sexually abused at
       some time in her life8.
    Studies have found that sexual assault victims report more health symptoms
       and poorer perceptions of their health compared with non victims 9.



1
  FAO, ―Sustainable livelihoods and emergencies‖
2
  UNIFEM, ―Report of the learning oriented assessment of gender mainstreaming and women‘s
empowerment strategies in Rwanda‖, http://www.unifem.org/resources/item_detail.php?ProductID=60
3
  Women‘s commission for refugee women & children, ―Livelihoods: promoting economic
opportunities for refugee women and youth.
http://www.womenscommission.org/pdf/2pagerLivelihoods.pdf
4
  Classification based on FAO, ―Sustainable livelihoods and emergencies‖
5
  SHERRIFF A., BARNES K. (2008), ―Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with
particular reference to Development Policy‖, study for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, p.73
6
  UNFPA State of the World report (2008), Reaching Common Grounds: Culture, Gender and Human
Rights, New York, p. 28.
7
  UNFPA State of the World report (2008), Reaching Common Grounds: Culture, Gender and Human
Rights, New York, p. 28.
8
  Heise, L., et al. (1999). Ending violence against Women. Population Reports L (11). Baltimore: Population Information
Program, John Hopkins University School of Public Health) http://www.infoforhealth.org/pr/11/violence.pdf
9
  (Kimmerling & Calhoun, 1994; Koss, Woodruff, & Koss, 1990; Waigandt, Wallace, Phelps, & Miller, 1990)
http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/healthimpact.shtml



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Physical capital deterioration increase violence against women.
    Women and girls may be coerced into providing sex to ensure access to basic
      needs such as water, food and medicine10.
    In crises settings, women need to travel long distances in search of firewood
      and other basic supplies what put them at greater risk of attack 11.
    People living with HIV are particularly vulnerable to diseases and
      opportunistic infections, and opportunistic infections are unlikely to be treated
      when health resources are lacking 12.

Absence of financial resources impacts on violence against women.
    A lack of economic independence can trap women and girls in potentially
      dangerous situations where they are vulnerable to sexual violence, exploitation
      and discrimination13.
    General unemployment can also increase sexual gender based violence, as in
      Uganda where surveys of Sudanese refugees found high rates of domestic
      violence due to inadequate employment opportunities for men 14.
    Although women spend about 70% of their unpaid time caring for family
      members, that contribution to the global economy remains invisible 15.

Social capital can prevent violence against women.
    The poverty, social instability and powerlessness that characterise
       emergencies, as well as the violence endemic to control settings, may lead to
       weakening of social norms that regulate behaviour, including sexual
       behaviour16.
    research has shown that refugees who have been educated, developed useful
       skills, and acquired resources that they can bring back may fare better upon
       return than those who have lived for years in camps dependent upon
       humanitarian assistance17.


What is being done to combat violence against women and girls.
At all level, from international to local, civil society and governments are fighting in
order to fight violence against women and girls. We would like to highlight what is
being done at the EU Policy level and examples from practitioners.
     The EU and Member States have taken some commitments:
            o The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership –A joint Africa-EU Strategy
                 agreed at the Lisbon EU-Africa Summit (2007), making general
                 commitments to ‗gender equality‘ and women right‘s as well as gender
                 mainstreaming. It particularly has taken the commitment ―to promote

10
   RAISE Initiative (2007), fact sheet on Gender Based Violence
11
   RAISE Initiative (2007), fact sheet on Gender Based Violence
12
   RAISE Initiative (2007), fact sheet on HIV& sexually transmitted infections
13
   SHERRIFF A., BARNES K. (2008), ―Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with
particular reference to Development Policy‖, study for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, p.25
14
   Ibidem.
15
   UNFPA State of the World report (2008), Reaching Common Grounds: Culture, Gender and Human
Rights, New York, p. 28.
16
   RAISE Initiative (2007), fact sheet on HIV& sexually transmitted infections
17
   U.S. Agency for International Development , ―Links between livelihoods and conflict‖, Office of
Conflict Management and Mitigation , Washington, DC 20523. http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/cross-
cutting_programs/conflict/publications/docs/CMM_Livelihoods_and_Conflict_Dec_2005.pdf.


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                 women in decision-making positions and peace processes, and fight
                 sexual and gender based violence against women.‖ 18
             o The EC has adopted in 2006 ‗The Brussels Call to Action to Address
                 Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond‘ (EC, together with Belgium
                 government and UNFPA) prioritizing the issue of sexual violence
                 against women and girls in all humanitarian, peace building and
                 development frameworks and programming in countries affected by
                 conflict. These efforts should not address only sexual violence but all
                 form of gender-based violence that endangers civilians in conflict as in
                 peace time.
             o The Beijing Platform for Action that insist on the fact that similarities
                 and differences between women and men should be recognized and
                 equally valued, and that women and men should enjoy equal status,
                 recognition and consideration. Especially, Beijing + 5 outlined the
                 importance to include into actions gender mainstreaming in all areas
                 and at all levels and the complementary between mainstreaming and
                 special activities targeting women 19.
             o Commission Communication on gender equality and women
                 empowerment in development 20
        International practitioners as IRC and MSI have a multi-sectoral and holistic
         response to face gender based violence as a health issue.


Recommendation
Livelihood programs must be based on the input, ideas and participation of the
displaced people themselves. They need to build on existing skills and match local
market needs. They must recognize the changing roles of women and young people
during displacement and in the aftermath21.
     Participation in income earning opportunities should not undermine child care
       or other caring responsibilities as this could increase the risk of malnutrition.
       Programmes may need to consider employing care providers or providing care
       facilities. Responses should not adversely affect access to other opportunities,
       such as other employment or education, or divert household resources from
       productive activities already in place22.
     For the social, emotional and economic well-being of displaced women and
       young people, it is vital to address livelihoods more systematically and
       comprehensively. Without opportunities to make use of or further develop
       their skills during displacement, women and youth will not be able to fully
       participate in rebuilding their communities and lives when they becoming the




18
   SHERRIFF A., BARNES K. (2008), ―Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with
particular reference to Development Policy‖, study for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, p.66
19
   UNFPA State of the World report (2008), Reaching Common Grounds: Culture, Gender and Human
Rights, New York, p. 28.
20
   Available on http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2007/com2007_0100en01.pdf
21
   Women‘s commission for refugee women & children, ―Livelihoods: promoting economic
opportunities for refugee women and youth.
http://www.womenscommission.org/pdf/2pagerLivelihoods.pdf
22
   FAO, ―Sustainable livelihoods and emergencies‖


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         family's primary income earner—while recognizing their often overwhelming
         workloads23.
        Develop national action plans to address sexual and gender-based violence
         that identify comprehensive programmes and opportunities for action across
         sectors, including sexual and reproductive health and the prevention, treatment
         and care for HIV/AIDS; education and life skills; human rights; justice;
         security sector reform; and socioeconomic recovery and livelihood support 24.
        promote practical, realistic economic opportunities for women that take into
         account local conditions and constraints;
        Women are more likely to suffer the economic consequences than men. There
         is a necessity to ensure gender sensitivity mainstreaming within post-conflict
         reconstruction and economic development is clear 25.
        Empowering women to be financially independent and providing viable
         options for income-generation can increase their overall personal security




23
   Women‘s commission for refugee women & children, ―Livelihoods: promoting economic
opportunities for refugee women and youth.
http://www.womenscommission.org/pdf/2pagerLivelihoods.pdf
24
   Recommendations from the The Brussels Call to Action to Address Sexual Violence in Conflict and
Beyond
25
   SHERRIFF A., BARNES K. (2008), ―Enhancing the EU response to women and armed conflict with
particular reference to Development Policy‖, study for the Slovenian Presidency of the EU, p.25


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