The proposed five-year program (2015-2020) will reduce violence against women and girls, including: the prevalence of early and forced marriage, through coordinated prevention and response initiatives that will directly reach 245,000 women and girls in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines. Violence against women in many countries throughout Asia is rising rapidly and taking a huge toll on families, economies and productivity. The widespread prevalence of violence against women and girls is particularly acute when it comes to: domestic violence and marital rape; child, early and forced marriages; and trafficking in women and girls. Despite considerable progress in establishing policies and programs, implementation of these has been slow. The slow pace of change is largely the result of deeply entrenched cultural values, attitudes and practices that are rooted in gender stereotypes and discrimination that perpetuate exploitation and violence against women and girls.
The proposed program builds on compelling global evidence on combating violence against women and girls: the most effective strategies engage a broad range of social actors, as well as institutional and political leaders, in efforts to reduce the social acceptance of gender-based violence and related practices. Program outcomes will be threefold: 1) the active engagement of community leaders (including religious, private sector, and political leaders) and youth (both girls and boys) in advancing women’s rights, women’s leadership and the elimination of violence against women and girls by building the capacity of these actors to change their attitudes, norms and behaviours, and to strengthen standards, legislation, and regulations. The program will also: 2) ensure that women and girls who have been affected by violence and child, early and forced marriage are able to ensure their long-term well-being by accessing support services, such as safe spaces (shelters), and psycho-social support, as well as economic opportunities that allow them to thrive free of violence. Finally, Oxfam will leverage its global, national and regional capacity to: 3) support strategic linkages, national and regional alliances and innovative knowledge and accountability systems that advance the rights of women and girls.
Pollisree Balubari, Dinajpur Phone: 0531-65917 www.pollisree.org