NCA will continue to develop the two global programmes on Gender Based Violence and Reproductive Health in the next Strategic period.
Gender inequality is a cause of poverty, and an estimated 70% of the world’s poor are women. Two of NCA’s global programmes address gender justice specifically: Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Reproductive Health. These programmes are designed to easily facilitate intra-programme linkages and synergies. Several country programmes have used outcomes from both the GBV and Reproductive Health programmes to tailor-make their approach. New to this strategic period was the inclusion of issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in both programmes. Also new is enhanced attention to GBV in humanitarian response and a stronger integration of GBV into WASH programmes. NCA staff and partners’ engagement on sensitive SRHR issues at the national and global levels, particularly in dialogue with faith-based actors and religious leaders, has also increased in the current period. This initiative is a follow up of NCA’s Board’s policies on SRHR from 2012 and 2014.
One in three women are affected by GBV during their lives. It is a leading cause of death and disability of women of all ages and a barrier to equal participation and gender equality. It also has negative consequences for women’s reproductive health and their access to and control over resources and livelihoods. Building on experiences from the previous strategic period’s Gender Justice programmes, the goal of the GBV programme is for women and girls to live a life free from genderbased violence. The focus is on changing dominant social, cultural and religious norms, attitudes and practices that uphold and condone GBV and gender discrimination. The programme seeks to increase protection of women and girls, prevent GBV, and offer a safe and adequate response to GBV survivors both in NCA’s humanitarian and long-term work. This is done in adherence with international standards for GBV responses. Partners include community and faith-based actors, women’s and other civil society organisations, and relevant networks. Together they facilitate and promote dialogue for raising gender sensitive issues in religions in order to change social and religious norms which condone GBV.
The majority of the countries where NCA implements its GBV programme can be classified as either conflict or post-conflict. Increased sexual violence in war and conflict is a silent weapon of war which seriously affects not only girls and women, but also boys, men and whole communities. Whilst NCA’s global GBV programme addresses this issue, it is the main focus of NCA’s Thematic Programme for Reduction of GBV in Conflict and Post Conflict Settings (GBV CPC) 2015-2017 which is funded by the Norwegian MFA. This programme has seen the scaling up of ongoing GBV projects as well as specific interventions for prevention of GBV and protection of GBV survivors and at risk populations. Examples include the integration of GBV components in WASH projects and capacity building of staff and partners on GBV case management and guidelines. Further highlights from the programme’s 2016 results are presented below and the full report as presented to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is available upon request.
The GBV programme is comprehensive in terms of its geographic coverage and has a diverse funding base (ref. pie chart below). This includes funding from the Norwegian MFA for the GBV CPC framework agreement which covers 7 of NCA’s GBV programme’s 14 countries. As part of NCA’s cooperation agreement with Norad, NCA’s country programmes in Somalia and Ethiopia implement two GBV programmes, focusing on female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage (CM), together with Save the Children Norway. These multi-year programmes build on experiences from previous programme phases, and both Ethiopia and Somalia are pilot countries in the Norwegian Government’s Strategy for intensifying international efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation for the period 2014–2017.
Pregnancy and childbirth is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. Through the Reproductive Health programme, NCA seeks to improve the health situation of women in reproductive age and their children so that every pregnancy is voluntary and every birth is safe. The Community Health Framework is the basis for intervention strategies, which include service provision and capacity development within and with communities. Strengthening local health clinics through educating health staff and improving health infrastructure are also important tools. Faith-based actors are central partners as they are generally trusted by the communities and are already providing around one-third of the health services in many of NCA’s programme countries. In addition, faith and community leaders are important actors in addressing and acting upon harmful traditional practices. The programme builds on experiences from the previous strategic period’s HIV and AIDS and Health programmes, but a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) has replaced the broader approach.