United States' Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally
USAID’s global mandate in development and humanitarian assistance places the Agency in a strong position to effectively address the complex, multifaceted issue of gender-based violence (GBV).
USAID programs support prevention and response to GBV by:
- Addressing the root causes of violence
- Improving prevention and protection services
- Responding to the health and economic needs of those affected by GBV
- Supporting legislation and its enforcement against GBV
GBV is a human rights and public health issue that limits individual and societal development with high human and economic costs. Eliminating GBV is a long-standing goal of the U.S. Government. The equal participation of women in the political, economic and social spheres is a key ingredient for democratic development.
Unless women fully enjoy their human rights, to which freedom from violence is inextricably bound, progress toward development will continue to fall short. Women who are abused by their partners are less likely to earn a living and less able to care for their children. Children who witness violence are significantly more at risk for health problems, anxiety disorders, poor school performance and violent behavior.
USAID has supported activities around the globe to combat GBV including:
- Educating and encouraging change within communities in Ethiopia regarding the harmful traditional practices of bride abduction, bride price and early marriage;
- Creating safe school environments, in Ghana and Malawi, for girls and boys to promote gender-equitable relationships and reduce school-related GBV;
- Supporting the capacity of local communities to influence changes in attitudes and behavior in order to reduce violence against women and girls in Liberia, Pakistan, Southern Sudan, Uganda, Congolese refugees in Rwanda, and Burmese refugees in Thailand; and
- Promoting community-based efforts to protect women's legal rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.