In October 2020, UNHCR released its first agency-wide Policy on the Prevention of, Risk Mitigation and Response to Gender-based Violence. The Policy institutionalizes the work on GBV through nine core actions that respond to its gaps and advance on quality programming and coordination across the organization, while consolidating the progress made to prevent, mitigate and respond to GBV in various operational contexts by UNHCR’s and partners. With this Policy, UNHCR reiterates that GBV as a serious human rights violation rooted in power imbalances, which disproportionally affects diverse women and girls around the world. It recognizes that the risk of experiencing GBV increases in situations of displacement and conflict and promotes gender equality in all aspects of its work, ensuring that all programming and coordination efforts contribute to strengthening efforts to respond to protection needs, promoting gender equality and the prevention of GBV.
The GBV Policy completes the UNHCR Policy on Age, Gender and Diversity, launched in 2018 and which has 5 actions on addressing gender inequality.
With the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, UNFPA convened an Expert Group Meeting to gather current and past research and information by leading media organizations, news entities and key women journalists on the status, consequences and causes of threats to women journalists worldwide. The findings and the submissions received following a call for input issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women contributed to the report the Special Rapporteur presented at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2020.The kNOwVAWdata initiative supports safe and ethical prevalence and administrative data collection, analysis and reporting through technical assistance as well as capacity development programmes. From 2018 to 2019, 65 UNFPA staff participated in the kNOwVAWdata curriculum course from 19 countries. In December 2020 the course was adjusted to an online format which enabled an additional 50 participants, from all regions, to undertake the course. Currently 32 UNFPA staff and close to 100 external participants are enrolled in the course curriculum from over 36 countries. Under the UNFPA flagship programme for disability inclusion, The We Decide Global Initiative, one key focus area is ending violence against women with disabilities and building UNFPA internal capacities accordingly. The UNFPA We Decide Disability Inclusion Guidelines have been implemented in 74 Country Offices. Within the scope of the Joint Programme for UN Partnership for Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) “Building Back Better for All”, UNFPA produced resources that strengthen disability inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery in connection to GBV and SRHR. UNFPA staff was trained on how to use these tools and resources.
Under the UNFPA flagship programme for disability inclusion, The We Decide Global Initiative, one key focus area is ending violence against women with disabilities and building UNFPA internal capacities accordingly. The UNFPA We Decide Disability Inclusion Guidelines have been implemented in 74 Country Offices. Within the scope of the Joint Programme for UN Partnership for Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) “Building Back Better for All”, UNFPA produced resources that strengthen disability inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery in connection to GBV and SRHR. UNFPA staff was trained on how to use these tools and resources.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA, held a special online meeting with its Committee on Women on “Policy Responses to Protect Women and Girls from the Impact of COVID-19” on 23 April 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNDP, delivered online training for the National Family Safety Programme (NFSP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on “Building and Delivering Effective Hotline Service Provision during the COVID-19 Pandemic” during May 2020.
ESCWA delivered an online workshop for the Republic of the Sudan entitled “Best Practices and Shared Experiences on Shelters for Women Survivors of Violence in the Republic of the Sudan” on 25-27 August 2020.
ESCWA, in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Family Affairs of Kuwait, organized a “Webinar Series on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the State of Kuwait” on 28-29 September and 13 October 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP and UNODC, coordinated and delivered a series of 12 webinars on Violence against Women and COVID-19 for the National Family Safety Programme (NFSP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from October-December 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, the League of Arab States and the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University, organized a high level virtual meeting on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on 4 November 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP and the League of Arab States, organized and facilitated webinar sessions on gender justice and the law designed to better inform members of the subcommittee on gender equality and SDGs on tools to examine and align national legislation with international frameworks, most notably CEDAW, Beijing Platform of Action and SDG target 5.1 on 8-10 December 2020.
ESCWA, in partnership with the Arab Women Organization, facilitated “Sub-regional Training Webinars on Reporting to the Committee on All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)” on 12-16 January 2021.
ESCWA, with support from ABAAD, delivered an online workshop for the National Family Safety Programme (NFSP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on “Supporting Women between Empowerment and Rehabilitation: Different Approaches” during March 2021.
ESCWA delivered an online workshop for the Sultanate of Oman entitled “Technical support in the field of combating violence against women in the Sultanate of Oman: Ensuring a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing violence against women through legal/policy frameworks and service provision” on 22-23 June 2021.
ESCWA, in partnership with UN Women and WHO, delivered an online workshop for representatives from National Women Machineries and other relevant stakeholders who provide services for survivors of violence on “Services to Protect Women Survivors of Violence the Arab Region” on 26-29 July 2021.
UNDP has organized a series of trainings on gender and GBV for local government officials including police and judiciary, CSOs, and survivors.
In Azerbaijan, UNDP trained local women-activists to provide rapid psychosocial support, safety plans, case management and referrals to assist GBV survivors of all genders.
With the support of the Johns Hopkins University, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), a trans-diagnostic mental health intervention developed for delivery by non-professionals, is being implemented in Moldova. CETA is also an evidence-based programme demonstrated to significantly prevent intimate partner violence.
UNDP Iraq , Fiji, Maldives, Serbia, Ukraine, Brazil, Peru and others also provided training on GBV prevention for judges, prosecutors and police officers to end gender-based violence.
The office in Somalia supported a SGBV programme in Mogadishu and Puntland starting in 2020. A fully functional SGBV Unit was established and staffed in Mogadishu. UNDP also worked with Office of the Attorney General in Puntland, with the aim of providing technical support and building the capacity of the institution to promote access to justice for survivors/victims of sexual and gender-based violence
A three days’ workshop, providing Libya law enforcement with information related to offenses that constitute gender-based violence (GBV), was organized by UNDP Libya.
The Facilitator Guide on Mainstreaming GBV Risk Mitigation was launched in 2020 and until September 2021 a total of 124 participants from sectors have been trained on the topic.
Another 24 colleagues from 15 country operations and HQ graduated from the 2020 Cohort of the GBV Training of Trainers and more than 210 participants were brought together for the 2020 GBV Global Workshop, which was adapted to online modalities.
Across UNHCR, 2,617 UNHCR learners completed at least one level of the GBV e-learning in the period between January 2020 until September 2021.
UNHCR released its Gender Equality Toolkit in 2020 and provided operational support towards the institutionalization of gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives. To facilitate cross-operational learning and seize opportunities to advance gender equality, UNHCR and partners documented emerging and promising practices in sub-Saharan Africa and collaborated with the Population Council to document community-based protection practices in East and Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region.
UNFPA supports the global geospatial knowledge platform to assist in knowledge sharing related to the prevalence of intimate partner violence for 119 countries and their subregions. A geospatial dashboard on IPV was launched in December 2020, and an accompanying report on IPV data was published in May 2021.
During emergencies, UNFPA is a lead agency in enabling safe and ethical service data collection and management, including coordinating the GBV Information Management System (GBVIMS) Steering Committee (UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, IRC and IMC). Online (Primero/GBVIMS+) and offline (GBVIMS) GBV case management and incident monitoring systems facilitate safe and ethical GBV data collection and sharing in order to support a continuous process of evaluation in the improvement and coordination of services to ensure that survivor-centered care is supported, and support quality service provision by providing a set of tools which help service providers to support survivors in an integrated manner. GBVIMS and GBVIMS+ are currently used by 159 non-governmental organisations (139 national and 20 international) and engage 12 UN entities in 25 countries.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNFPA was at the forefront in projecting the impact of women and girls. In April 2020, UNFPA, Avenir Health and Johns Hopkins University published modelled data on the impact of the pandemic on gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and child marriage. This model has been highly cited to exemplify the devastating effects of the pandemic on efforts to end VAW. UNFPA estimated that if the lockdown continued for 6 months, 31 million additional gender-based violence cases could be expected, and for every 3 months of continued lockdown, an additional 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence were to be expected. It was also estimated that 2 million cases of FGM and 13 million cases of child marriage that could have been otherwise prevented, would occur as a consequence of the pandemic.
UNFPA is undergoing a costing exercise for GBV programs at country level. By August 2021, the cost of UNFPA’s GBV prevention and response programmes had been estimated for 9 countries.
As of 2021, 15 GBV prevalence surveys and 24 countries have benefited from the kNOwVAW data capacity building initiative. This initiative also supported 9 countries in the Asia Pacific to publish reports with findings of a VAW prevalence survey.
In November 2020, the East Asia and Pacific Regional Offices of UNFPA, UN Women and UNICEF launched a joint study exploring and illustrating the interlinkages between violence against women and violence against children in four countries, namely Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Viet Nam.
UNDP is participating in the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA) Working Group whereby the UN System as a whole works together to combat Conflict-related Sexual Violence (CRSV).The purpose of MARA is to ensure the systematic gathering of reliable and objective information on CRSV that will be used to promote action to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual violence. The information collected should inform strategic advocacy, enhance prevention and programmatic responses for survivors and serve as the basis for Security Council action, including imposing sanctions and other targeted measures. UNDP as part of the MARA working group, contributes inputs for the quarterly reports that are sent to the OSRSG and other relevant stakeholders on CRSV. UNDP also contributes to the SG thematic reports on CRSV.
Additionally, UNDP Pakistan, through its Community Stabilization Programme, has established referral mechanisms for women in post-conflict (Swat) and fragile situations (Multan). In both locations, a mobile Gender Desk Officer reached out to community women to collect their grievances and link them with existing social services – including to medical or psycho-social support as well to protection mechanisms in cases of sexual violence and more broadly gender-based violence.