SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

Speeches Shim

SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE photo

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is a human rights violation, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation. Preventing and responding to SGBV is a cornerstone of the Agency’s commitment to advancing gender equality. Since 2002, the United States Government has been a major donor in the response to, and prevention of, SGBV in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Deep-seated gender discrimination, harmful cultural practices, and the low social status of women and girls in the country contribute to high rates of SGBV in the country. USAID programming integrates activities to counter SGBV through a cross-sectoral approach including health, education, peace and security, and humanitarian assistance programs, challenging gender inequality nationwide, and expanding access to services. USAID provides services in health centers within conflict- affected health zones of North Kivu and South Kivu. These programs deliver clinical management and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence cases, training for health staff on the medical management of SGBV, awareness raising and provision of psychosocial care to survivors in conflict-affected zones of North Kivu and South Kivu provinces. USAID programming also countered SGBV as part of the Mission’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

 

COUNTER GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

IMA WORLD HEALTH

November 2017 to November 2022; $15,295,259

USAID providing emergency and long-term assistance to sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) survivors and strengthens Congolese institutions to address GBV needs. It has provided services, including medical care, psychosocial support, legal support, and vocational and literacy training to thousands of survivors in North and South Kivu. USAID invests in community awareness activities and information campaigns to promote women’s rights and community acceptance of rape survivors.

 

INTEGRATED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY (IYDA)

Education Development Center (EDC)

April 2018 to September 2022; $27,150,000

USAID establishes a network of community-level Gender Champions, who lead discussion groups to advance equity and positive gender norms. 71.5 percent of vulnerable youth served by IYDA are girls or women. Gender Champions also organize discussion groups for couples and assist youth to develop action plans to solidify their commitment to achieving gender equity, change cultural norms, encourage women's leadership, and GBV prevention. As a result of transformative gender empowerment efforts, vulnerable girls participating in IYDA are engaged in non-traditional trades such as auto repair, plumbing, and masonry. Conversely, boys who demonstrate corresponding talents are encouraged to enter trades that are traditionally viewed as only for women, such as culinary arts. The project uses local radio spots to share messages on the prevention of domestic violence and GBV and promotes equitable sharing of household tasks and support for girls' access to schooling.

 

MOMENTUM SAFE SURGERY IN FAMILY PLANNING AND OBSTETRICS (MSSFPO)

Engender Health

September 25, 2020 to September 24, 2022; $16,142,899

The MSSFPO activity seeks to build country capacity and country leadership to provide respectful, holistic care for the prevention and treatment of obstetric and iatrogenic fistula and to expand informed and voluntary access to choice of family planning methods. This holistic fistula work will build upon the successes of previous fistula-focused projects and will strengthen labor management, birthing care, fistula prevention, and Cesarean delivery for obstetric complications. MSSFPO will also expand access to voluntary family planning, including insertion and removal of long-acting reversible contraceptives and provision of permanent methods of contraception as part of the holistic package of childbirth and postpartum care; and fistula prevention, screening, referral, and repair interventions.

 

USAID’S INTEGRATED HEALTH PROGRAM

Abt Associates

January 31, 2018 to May 29, 2025; $314,151,049

USAID’s Integrated Health Program (IHP) supports Congolese health institutions and communities to deliver quality, integrated health services to sustainably improve the health status of the Congolese population. Covering 178 heath zones across nine target provinces (Kasaï Oriental, Kasaï Central, Sankuru, Lomami, Sud Kivu, Haut Lomami, Haut Katanga, Lualaba, and Tanganyika), IHP supports primary health care services for more than 41 million people. To address SGBV, IHP provides access to medical care for SGBV survivors, including HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention services within 72 hours of assault; conducts a comprehensive training program on GBV, positive masculinity, and gender integration for provincial-level actors (e.g. health authorities, medical professionals, community workers, and non-medical gender specialists); and funds and helps organize an annual 16 Days of Activism campaign in nine provinces to increase awareness of and eliminate sexual violence against women. IHP has strengthened coordination between the health, gender and planning sectors to more effectively fight against GBV in DRC’s provinces.

 

HUMANITARIAN GBV PROGRAMMING

Eight Partners - CARE, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Danish Church Aid (DCA), Doctors of the World (DotW), International Medical Corps (IMC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Save the Children Foundation (SCF)

In Fiscal Year 2021; $6,078,162

USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance supports eight international non-governmental organizations to implement joint primary health care, nutrition, WASH, and SGBV protection programs in the Eastern DRC. Those programs target communities that are hosting large numbers of internally displaced people and work through the government health centers. Women’s safe spaces are established by local civil society actors that help raise awareness of SGBV issues and link survivors to emergency medical services.

 

COUNTER TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS ACTIVITY

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

April 24, 2020 to April 23, 2023; $3,000,000

Promotes coordination of the DRC Government’s national response to trafficking through support of the National Anti-Trafficking Agency. This activity: 1) improves investigation and prosecution of traffickers by strengthening counter-trafficking policies and legislation and improving the capacity of the state to investigate cases and prosecute offenders, 2) increases capacity of the new National Anti-Trafficking Agency to fulfill its mandate to develop and implement effective counter-trafficking policies and programs and collect and disseminate information on human trafficking, and 3) strengthens protection for victims of trafficking by undertaking mapping and an assessment of existing services for victims of trafficking and conducting capacity building training to improve assistance provided to victims.

 

MEDIA SECTOR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY

FHI 360

July 1, 2019 to June 28, 2024; $16,500,000

Promotes a more open and vibrant media sector that contributes to more responsive and transparent institutions. MSDA also provides support to local media and civil society organizations by producing media content on advocacy and awareness activities against gender based violence. In Q2 2022, MSDA supported AFEM-SK (Association of women in media in South Kivu) with a total of six radio programs and 18 community raising awareness events with a focus on stopping domestic violence. AFEM-SK also organized three press conferences in Bukavu to present data from their Women Using Phones “Femme au Fone (FAF)” system designed to help women communicate to reduce isolation and serve as an early warning system to report to their communities and authorities. MSDA engaged participants on FAF to increase the number of SBGV alerts using FAF. They produced a spot message, five songs and nine sketches with the aim of increasing awareness and action against SGBV. AFEM-SK received 154 text messages with 125 registered alerts through the FAF system. Habari RDC online media organized 11 debates where local authorities discussed public interest issues with young bloggers, including SGBV in schools in Kinshasa, Mbuji-Mayi and Lubumbashi. Internews has also supported Community Theater Groups to raise awareness for 50 leaders of theatrical groups on community related issues including gender and SGBV.

 

CLEAN GOLD (ZAHABU SAFI) ACTIVITY

Global Communities

December 2018 to December 2023; $12,000,000

Enables exports and sales of conflict-free, artisanal gold from eastern DRC by developing market linkages with responsible gold buyers, particularly in North America and Europe. Through these partnerships, the project enables a transparent, private-sector co-financed supply chain model for clean artisanal gold that benefits economically disadvantaged artisanal or small-scale mining communities. To combat sexual and gender based violence, as well as other human rights violations, the project supports data collection and sharing of incidents related to gender and SGBV reported at mine sites through the DataStake platform. These efforts ensure supply chain investments do not perpetuate SGBV.

 

SUSTAINABLE MINE SITE VALIDATION ACTIVITY

PACT

December 2018 to December 2022; $3,700,000

The activity seeks to strengthen current methods for mine site qualification and validation to better address the long-term viability of responsible and conflict-free gold and tin, tantalum and tungsten (3T) exports sourced from the DRC. The activity trains groups of local civil society actors as well as Ministry of Mines inspectors to conduct regular mine site monitoring, a new approach that contrasts the prior model of infrequent donor-funded monitoring visits. A component of this program focuses on preventing and tracking human rights abuses, and combating SGBV. USAID conducted media campaigns across communities in North and South Kivu and trained over 3,000 people on how to report incidents particularly related to gender and SGBV in mining communities via a whistleblowing hotline.

Last updated: August 05, 2022

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