UNFPA defines gender-based violence as encompassing a wide range of harmful acts, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls, and harmful traditional practices such as female genital cutting. The stresses, close living quarters, breakdown of societal and familial structures, and other challenges that often accompany humanitarian emergencies make gender-based violence a common and pressing health threat in crisis settings. The health effects of gender-based violence can be profound and long-lasting. These include:
- Unwanted pregnancy
- Unsafe abortion
- Complications from frequent, high-risk pregnancies and lack of antenatal or postpartum care
- Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
- Physical injury
- Psychological trauma
To stem the spread of gender-based violence, gender-based inequalities and harmful norms must be addressed. The resources in this section of the Toolkit offer guidance for preventing and responding to gender-based violence in humanitarian settings.
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