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Gender-based violence

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There is, however, one type of violence for which much more work has been done in the past decade. Gender-based violence has been defined as:

Gender-based violence

"Violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the victim; and which is derived from unequal power relationships between men and women. Violence is directed specifically against a woman because she is a woman, or affects women disproportionately. It includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual and psychological harm (including intimidation, suffering, coercion, and/or deprivation of liberty within the family, or within the general community). It includes that violence which is perpetrated or condoned by the state".

UNFPA Gender Theme Group, 1998

Like other health conditions, gender-based violence is not restricted to conflict-affected populations, but its incidence and severity is exacerbated by emergency conditions. Gender-based violence can be perpetrated by members of warring factions, community members hosting displaced populations, domestic partners, other members of the conflict-affected population, or even the staff humanitarian organizations.

Monitoring the frequency and severity of gender-based violence is difficult. Because some forms may be relatively socially acceptable, such as husbands' violence against wives, humanitarian aid staff may not understand the importance of monitoring. Other forms, such as rape, may be so socially stigmatized that victims refuse to report occurrences.

The following recommendations give advice on the assessment and monitoring of violence against women:

Click here for "Putting Women First: Ethical and Safety Recommendations for Research on Domestic Violence Against Women." WHO 2001.

Click here for "Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists." World Health Organization and PATH 2005.

Click here for "Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings Focusing on Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies." IASC Taskforce on Gender in Humanitarian Assistance, 2005.

Gender-based Violence Tools Manual for Assessment and Program Design, Monitoring and Evaluation in Confict-affected Settings. RHRC Consortium 2003. (Click here to go to website.)