Irish Red Cross Addressing Gender-Based Violence
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a life-threatening human rights and global health issue. It is estimated that over one third of women have experienced physical and / or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Tackling GBV is a priority for Irish Red Cross.
Specific Attention to GBV in Disasters
The prevalence of GBV is particularly high at times of disasters. However, the nature and extend of GBV during disasters, including natural disasters, displacement and public health emergencies, is not very well understood. In order to address this knowledge gap, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) commissioned a global study and research in nine disaster-affected countries to address this knowledge gap. The report – Unseen, Unheard: Gender-based violence in disasters – looks at what characterises GBV during disasters, how legal and policy frameworks should be adapted to address GBV during disasters and how Red Cross National Societies and other local actors can prevent and respond to GBV during disasters.
IFRC’s research highlighted the need to improve coordination between DRM and GBV related sectors. Building on this, the IFRC published A Practical guide to Gender-sensitive Approaches for Disaster Management in 2021, intended to help Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) incorporate effective gender-sensitive and inclusive approaches into their disaster management strategies when assisting communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
In 2021 the IFRC and UNICEF published a joint study – Gender responsive disaster risk management: Analysis in Eastern and Southern Africa – into the extent of integration of gender considerations, including GBV risk mitigation, prevention and response considerations, in national and regional disaster risk management (DRM) legal and policy frameworks in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The IFRC’s Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) work understands the interlinkages of violence, discrimination and exclusion and commits to preventing, mitigating and responding to these through strengthening its institutional capacity, through programmes and operations, and through advocacy, partnership and collaboration.
What Irish Red Cross Does
We continue with our efforts to prevent and respond to GBV, in a multidisciplinary way, including actively working to respond to the impact it has on those affected by developing programmes and integrating the issue into existing activities so as to prevent its future occurrence. In line with international standards for GBV prevention and response, Irish Red Cross strive to ensure that their work is based on the survivor-centred approach which encompasses safety, confidentiality, respect and non-discrimination, and a holistic understanding of the individual’s multi-sectoral needs.
In2019, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopted the Joint Resolution on Disaster laws and policies that leave no one behind. Through this resolution the Irish Red Cross commits, together with states, to ensure an integrated approach to disaster risk management and promote gender-responsive approaches. We achieve this through operational research, application of minimum standards and working in partnerships to determine root causes of SGBV in disasters in each context.
The most common type of activities that we implement to address this issue include awareness raising and violence prevention with programmes being supported by Irish Red Cross in a number of countries that we work in.
The Irish Red Cross is also an active advocate within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in support of efforts to address GBV.