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Chal­len­ging gender ste­reo­types and pre­vent­ing vi­ol­ence against wo­men and girls

30.03.2021, News :

In collaboration with the International Rescue Committee, we successfully implemented the "Engaging Men through Accountable Practice" approach in Cameroon.

The approach “Engaging Men Through Accountable Practices” was developed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in 2013 and has since been implemented and adapted in different contexts. In Cameroon, the GIZ sector programme “Promoting Gender Equality” financed the implementation of EMAP from October 2019 to August 2020.

Women and girls are particularly affected by the conflict and subsequent forced displacement movements that the Far North region of Cameroon has been experiencing. Even before the conflict, women and girls were subjected to a high level of gender-based violence (GBV), like intimate partner violence, forced and early marriage, and denial of opportunities like education. With the onset of armed conflict, GBV has increased.

EMAP is a structured process that engages female and male participants, including religious or cultural leaders, in reflections of social norms and gender stereotypes in order to overcome gender-based violence. Women define their priorities at the beginning of the workshop series and can thus contribute to shaping the process according to their ideas and needs.

Among the 175 female participants, awareness for violence increased after the EMAP sessions and they recognized the importance of seekingcare and support from appropriate services. Some female participants realized that certain practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, which they thought were their tradition and something normal, are in fact violence against girls.

The 125 male participants started their workshop series two months later. They learned about different forms of violence and engaged in solution-oriented discussions about taking responsibility and healthy relationships. Before the EMAP workshops, 82 percent of the men considered that a woman must be submissive and not contradict her husband, otherwise abuse or violence would be justified. At the end of the project, 57 percent agreed that women should not be subjected to violence for any reason.

My be­ha­vior has changed a lot thanks to EMAP. Be­fore, I be­lieved that we can do whatever we want on the wo­man, now, I un­der­stand that the wo­man has value and can even be­come a com­munity leader.

The Imam of Mora

Approaches aimed at challenging gender norms and supporting persons in constructing positive gender identities can contribute to prevent gender-based violence and promote gender equality. The results of the survey show that attitude changes are possible, but they need time and a continuous, open and respectful dialogue and support.

Development cooperation projects can make an important contribution to promote gender equality, respectful gender relations and peaceful societies.

The German development cooperation is committed to contribute to violence prevention, to strengthen women’s participation and to provide support to survivors of gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence. The implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda is a priority and a cross-cutting issue for German development policy, foreign policy and defense policy. The Federal Government has set ambitious targets in its third National Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (NAP III 1325, 2021-2024).

Please find more information about the EMAP approach here.

Vi­ol­ence against Wo­men and Girls

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One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexualised violence at least once in their lifetimes. Many acts of violence against women and girls take place in private settings. Violence can take different forms in both private and public spaces, such as domestic and intimate partner violence, sexualised, economic and psychological violence, human trafficking and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM).