The workshop on gender-based violence is starting, a central theme in humanitarian interventions

The workshop on gender-based violence is starting, a central theme in humanitarian interventions

"GBV: key concepts of gender-based violence, principles and approaches" , is the next INTERSOS Lab workshop which will take place on January 27 in mixed mode, in presence or remotely, and is aimed at university students and male and female operators interested in deepening their knowledge of the fundamental concepts of gender-based violence.

The training day, which will not lack space for an operational part of analysis and simulation of concrete cases, aims to provide participants with knowledge and skills to allow a greater understanding of the phenomenon - identifying its causes, exacerbating factors , the different forms in which it manifests itself, what consequences it leads to for the survivors -, an awareness of the approaches to be adopted and of the fundamental principles that guide the services and activities envisaged by the interventions to prevent and contrast gender-based violence, in addition to the tools to recognize the emergence of violence and refer to support services.

The workshop is held by Giulia Menegatti , Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Specialist who has been working with INTERSOS since 2017 as a designer and manager of projects aimed at the protection and empowerment of migrant women and unaccompanied foreign minors who survived sexual and gender-based violence including, from 2020 to 2022, the "REST - Resilient Strategies for Young Migrants GBV survivors" project, carried out in partnership with the Municipality of Rome.

As the course trainer points out, “gender-based violence is present everywhere, albeit with different characteristics depending on the context. In particular, in migratory contexts migrant people - and primarily women and girls - find themselves in a condition of extreme vulnerability given by factors such as lack of documents, language barriers, the informality of the journey or the precarious situation in which they find themselves, which greatly exposes them to the risks of gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation. The risk further increases for those who undertake the journey alone and therefore cannot count on a family or friend network for support and protection. As we know, however, the risk of violence is also present in the countries of destination.

In this context - and in emergency contexts in general - it is essential that all humanitarian workers, who through their role come into daily contact with people who have survived or are potentially exposed to the risk of gender-based violence, are prepared to give a first empathetic and non-judgmental support to a survivor of violence when they receive a request for help.

Knowing the key concepts of gender-based violence, its causes and possible consequences on the survivor, his family and the community is also very important in order to plan and implement interventions aimed at effectively preventing and counteracting its effects".

For anyone who wants to work in the humanitarian field, therefore, it is clear that basic training on issues relating to gender-based violence, which affect and impact across the board in every humanitarian project - which has health and nutrition at the center of its intervention , "protection" or education - is essential to professionally manage the emergence of cases of gender-based violence and to implement activities that are protective and attentive to the needs of the beneficiaries.

“In this sense, I think it is essential to integrate a gender dimension into all phases of humanitarian intervention, starting from the initial assessment and planning phase, in order to remove those obstacles that could prevent women and girls from accessing and benefiting from services offered and to reduce the risk of violence.

To give a concrete example, when designing a health support service or identifying health services in the area to which users can be directed in case of need, it is important to consider the presence of female personnel in the team. In fact, the presence of exclusively male staff can represent a cultural barrier for many women and limit their use of the service.

If we do not adopt a gender perspective in the planning, implementation and evaluation of projects, we run the risk of offering services or activities that are not very accessible and effective, or of exposing those who access them to risks of violence or discrimination that we have not previously evaluated”, concludes Menegatti.