Gender Based Violence is a term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed differences between males and females. GBV can occur in both private and public spheres, meaning that it can be perpetrated in the home by family members (e.g. domestic violence) as well as by those outside of the family, such as neighbours, co-workers, strangers, community leaders, etc. Whereas the main causes of GBV are rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, risks of GBV are exacerbated during emergencies as a result of the erosion of protective structures and community cohesion, thus increasing both vulnerabilities and risks for women and girls. It is within this context that GBV must be understood as a life-threatening protection issue that needs to be taken into account and prioritized. Gender-based violence disproportionately affects girls and women, particularly through certain forms of violence such as child marriage, intimate partner violence, female genital mutilation, forced early sex.

GBV has been found to have detrimental effects on women, including injuries, sexual and reproductive health issues, mental health disorders, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gynecological disorders, adverse pregnancy outcomes, an increased risk of non-communicable disease, and impacts on the health and wellbeing of their children. Another health effect of GBV is that it increases women’s risk of a number of other health problems, including chronic pain, physical disability, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression. GBV also has a negative impact on a country’s human, social, and economic development and is an underlying obstacle to eliminating poverty and building peace. Students experience gender-based violence are more likely to report low school achievement and an increased school dropout rate compared to non-abused youths.

In a study conducted by WHO, it was found that schools and universities were highly vulnerable to GBV. However, this problem is not well addressed in educational institutions.

Inspire Youth For Development creates space for developing community-based protection strategies through community group discussions, which means working with community members to identify challenges and problems around safety and explore ways to address them. This approach recognizes that some GBV-related problems, such as domestic violence and child marriage, are rooted in social norms that can only be transformed from within the community.  The group discussions provide opportunities for communities to critically reflect on these issues and on their roles in preventing such violence.

Social and emotional learning programs that develop emotional awareness, responsible decision-making, relationships, self-management, and self-awareness ultimately address some of the risk factors for later GBV. Effective prevention of intimate partner violence (IPV) among adolescents and young adults is a key strategy for reducing rates of gender-based violence (GBV). Our primary prevention programs address the underlying attitudes, norms, and behaviors that support GBV.

Because most GBV is perpetrated by boys and men, there are major initiatives that target their unique role as potential perpetrators and bystanders. Programs focusing on men and boys include awareness raising and engagement activities, prevention programs specifically for boys in secondary schools, and sexual violence prevention programs for men in post-secondary settings.


The ultimate goals are to end violence, empower women and girls, enhance the role of bystanders and promote non-violent, equitable, and respectful communities.

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