AmplifyChange grantee, GIWYN at a march for ending violence against women in Nigeria. They are holding up an orange banner with the text 'End violence against women'.

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#16Days: Navigating the Thin Line Between Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence

by Martha Mwammale, Grants Manager, GBV Specialist

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global human rights violation that affects millions of people, especially women and girls, every year. GBV includes physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse, as well as harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. GBV has devastating consequences for the health, dignity, and well-being of survivors and their families, as well as for the development and peace of societies.

AmplifyChange is an organisation that funds civil society organisations (CSOs) who advocate for improved sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including those working tirelessly to address the prevention of, and response to, GBV. AmplifyChange believes that SRHR are human rights and that everyone should have access to quality and comprehensive services and information, free from stigma, discrimination, and violence.

AmplifyChange provides grants to hundreds of CSOs across the world where the need is greatest. These CSOs work at the grassroots level to raise awareness, challenge harmful social norms, influence policies, and improve access to services to address GBV and other SRHR issues. AmplifyChange supports CSOs to build networks and coalitions to amplify their voices and impact.

To mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, we celebrate and reflect on the strategies and approaches civil society advocates take to end GBV in their communities. We analysed application data from our most recent Opportunity Grant funding round, where GBV-focused projects made up 27% of applications submitted, to learn more about how organisations are holistically addressing GBV prevention and response in their work.

A bar chart titled 'SRHR topics proposed in grant applications'
Table 1: Number of reviewed applications for Opportunity Round 8 that included keywords per SRHR topic area (n=1,177). Note that multiple keywords can be selected per application. (Source: AmplifyChange)

Understanding Prevention and Response Approaches to GBV

AmplifyChange funds organisations that explore the delicate balance between prevention and response, acknowledging that these crucial aspects of addressing GBV often overlap. Prevention efforts challenge the root causes of violence, while response initiatives provide essential support to survivors and hold perpetrators accountable. There is an urgent need for comprehensive strategies that encompass both prevention and response. Striking the right balance between these approaches is essential for creating lasting change.

A pie chart titled 'Prveention vs Response Approached to GBV'
Figure 1: Pie chart showing a random sampling of 381 GBV applications and the number focusing on GBV prevention, response, or both (Source: AmplifyChange)

Prevention: Building Inclusive Communities

Preventing GBV begins with education and awareness. By promoting gender equality, consent education, and challenging harmful norms, we can build inclusive communities that reject violence. AmplifyChange supports projects that focus on prevention and fostering environments where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued.

A series of blocks that are labelled with different strategies
Figure 2: Sample strategies proposed by applicants to prevent GBV (Source: AmplifyChange)

Response: Ensuring Support and Justice

Effective response mechanisms are lifelines for survivors. Accessible healthcare, legal aid, counselling, and safe spaces are fundamental rights that every survivor should have access to. Holding perpetrators accountable through a fair legal system is crucial for restoring faith in justice. AmplifyChange stands with organizations that provide and advocate for vital response services, advocating for survivor-centred approaches.

An image of a funnel that has three balls labelled Legal aid, Safe space, and Counselling. They are funneling toward an arrow pointing to the word Survivors
Figure 3: Types of survivor support identified in applications (Source: AmplifyChange)

Acknowledging that transforming social norms takes time, AmplifyChange aims to strengthen organisations to sustainably advocate for lasting change. As we begin 16 Days of Activism, AmplifyChange are proud to have funded, and continue to fund, initiatives seeking to ending GBV.

External link: Read more about civil society approaches to eliminating gender-based violence at AmplifyChange Learn

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