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Gender-based violence, let's talk about it!

October 27, 2019

Photo Credits: CC 2.0 Barbara Minishi


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Gender-based violence “refers to any act that is perpetrated against a person's will and is based on gender norms unequal power relationships”. It constitutes a violation of human rights, and is common in areas where these are not respected.


Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) exist because society, having arbitrary established that women and men are unequal, assign them different roles. This violence is embedded in individual behaviors and has been tolerated within our own societies for a long period of time. However, its damaging consequences can be a serious impediment to the well-being of the community and personal development.


How violence is expressed.
Violence manifests itself in different forms: psychological, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM)  (currently 200 million women alive have been victims in 30 countries according to recent data) etc… For example, in the whole world, one in every three women has already been beaten and forced to have sex or had experienced other forms of violence during her lifetime.


GBV usually occurs against women and girls but it can also be practiced on men and boys.


Where is it manifested.
If SGBV manifests itself in different forms, it also manifests itself in different places. Within a couple, in a family, in the workplace, in the street etc... It has also been documented during conflicts or humanitarian crisis where numbers here are dramatically high due to the vulnerability of the people exposed.


Over the  years, during conflicts, women and young girls are the first victims. Raped, tortured, mutilated, condemned to sexual slavery, they are the main targets of this violence.


The gender-based violence is also present in the context of migration. People who undertake a long trip to flee their countries often find themselves isolated and so more vulnerable. They are more likely to be victims of violence during the trip, but also on arrival.


The consequences are horrendous f