Ireland’s Work on Preventing and Responding to GBV
Ireland’s development cooperation and humanitarian assistance is a central part of Irish foreign policy, allowing Ireland to contribute to the reduction of global poverty. Ireland’s support stretches across the world, reaching more than 130 countries including fragile and conflict affected contexts. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the overarching framework for Ireland’s international development policy and action. Ireland’s development cooperation is directed at translating global commitments into tangible development impact. In 2019, the Irish Government launched A Better World: Ireland’s Policy for International Development.
A Better World sets out Ireland’s vision of the world we want to live in in 2030, a world that is more equal, peaceful and sustainable. A Better World recognises that gender equality is fundamental for the transformation required to achieve the SDGS and establishes gender equality as one of four central policy priorities for Ireland’s development co-operation. A Better World specifically commits that Ireland prioritizes preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence in our development co-operation.
In 2019, the Irish Government also launched Ireland’s Third National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions. Ireland’s third National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security set out an ambitious 5-year agenda to strengthen Ireland’s work in achieving gender equality in conflict-affected contexts, recognising the distinct impact of conflict on women and girls, and the importance of women’s participation in leadership and decision-making in conflict and post-conflict situations. The National Action Plan outlines that Ireland will intensify investment in GBV prevention and response in particular in fragile and conflict affected states.
Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy (2015) also reiterates Ireland’s commitment to addressing GBV and recognises the particular vulnerabilities and needs of women and girls in emergencies. Ireland affirms that the prevention of and response to violence against women and girls is in itself a life-saving action which needs to be an essential part of every humanitarian operation. Through dedicated policy, programming and advocacy efforts, Ireland has prioritised the protection of women and girls in emergencies and the prevention of and response to Gender Based Violence. For example, in 2019, Irish Aid entered into a multi-annual strategic partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) focussed on supporting efforts to address GBV in acute emergency and protracted humanitarian crises.
Gender-equality and tackling gender based violence a central priority for our multilateral engagement at the EU and the UN, including in our engagement at the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. In 2018 and 2019, Ireland Chaired the UN Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations and ensured that addressing GBV was a clear priority in global negotiations on gender equality. Irish Aid supports a number of multilateral partner organisations in addressing GBV, including for example, annual support to the UN Women-administered Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.
Irish Aid also works closely with civil society organisations and governments on GBV issues across our key partner countries. We work with a range of government and civil society partners at community, national and international level to tackle both the causes and the effects of GBV, and to ensure that policies are in place and are implemented. Our work aims to build awareness of the rights of women and expand women’s engagement in the economic, social and political spheres. Our work also seeks to support engagement with men and boys in addressing harm social norms. For example, in Uganda Irish Aid has supported a long standing partnership with an NGO, Raising Voices, to develop ground-breaking methodologies to work with communities to prevent GBV that has been adopted and extended to a range of development and humanitarian contexts world-wide.
Irish Aid is a member the Irish Consortium of Gender Based Violence and continues to support the ICGBV in its work to promote increased knowledge and understanding of GBV and ensure high quality programming and policy responses in both development and humanitarian settings.