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.
Building on this research, in 2017 the Red Cross published a Global Study and three country case studies undertaken in Ecuador, Nepal and Zimbabwe that looked at the effectiveness of national laws, policies and institutional frameworks in supporting gender equality in disaster risk management (DRM) and preventing and responding to GBV in disasters. The reports highlight the need to improve coordination between DRM and GBV-related sectors.
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.
In 2015, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement adopted the Joint Resolution on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Joint Action on Prevention and Response. Through this resolution the Irish Red Cross commits, together with states, to mitigate GBV in times of disaster as a priority. 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.
Underpinning the resolution are two other commitments made by Red Cross National Societies, namely; the IFRC Strategic Framework on Gender and Diversity Issues 2013 – 2020 and the IFRC Framework on Violence Prevention, Mitigation and Response 2012 – 2020
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.