Global Report on Results
An ex-circumciser displays the thorns used while carrying out “Infibulation” the most severe form of female genital mutilation, mostly prevalent in Afar and Somali region. Photo: Hilina Abebe/Norwegian Church Aid
Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences, like power inequalities between women and men. GBV violates a number of human rights. UN defines violence against women as “any act of GBV that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats or such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life”.
9. The sum of the gender dissagregated figures varies from the total because not all country offices have submitted gender dissagregated data.
Overall goal: Men and women are mobilised and act together to address harmful practices encouraging gender-based violence (GBV).
In 2015, 918,060 rights-holders (504,495 women, and 382,495 men)9 gained knowledge about the right to live a life free from GBV.
The programme achieved its goal by reducing various forms of GBV in the countries listed below. By challenging women and men to change social norms and practices that uphold GBV, even those forms not perceived as violence were addressed. Special efforts were taken to engage faith actors and religious leaders. The programme used multiple approaches and mobilised various stakeholders to break the silence around GBV, reduce stigmatisation, provide services to GBV survivors, empower girls and women, engage men to adopt positive masculinities, provide theological reflection tools, and advocate for law enforcement.
A majority of NCA’s work takes place in conflict and post-conflict settings, where girls and women experience increased GBV and impunity. The expertise that NCA and partners have developed in combating this secured new grants for the programme in 2015. These include a new three-year framework agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in DRC, including pilot projects in Somalia, South Sudan and Mali; an agreement with Norad for a new joint programme with the Norwegian women’s organisation FOKUS to strengthen the Civil National Police’s response for GBV survivors in Guatemala; along with new grants received from EuropeAid, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNFPA. The GBV programme was implemented in the following countries in 2015: Angola, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, South Africa and Tanzania.
Strengthening civil society
Deviations and lessons learned
Results per Global Outcome
Women’s organisations influence national legislation on GBV
Despite the shrinking space for civil society, new laws on NGOs, and restrictions to work on human rights - programme partners were able to enter into dialogue with government authorities at local and national level on women’s rights issues.
Empowerment of girls and women as rightsholders was both the aim of and the method used in this programme. Identifying role models and offering mentorship for girls and women resulted in reducing women’s fear and strengthening their ability to speak out against GBV and stop impunity. Partners increased their knowledge about existing national legislation, contributed to law enforcement, and advocated for new laws and policies to criminalise Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child, early and forces marriages (CEFM), human trafficking, partner violence and other forms of GBV. In Myanmar, partners and staff contributed directly to the development of the first ever draft of a National Law on Protection and Prevention of Violence against Women (PoVAW), together with the Gender Equality Network (GEN). In Pakistan, the programme worked for the implementation of the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices ACT in three districts to discourage CEFM and provide girls their right to inheritance. While the passing of the Trafficking in Persons Act, 2015 in Malawi was an important achievement, there are still major challenges ahead in securing the rights of children who are trafficked. Alliances with women’s organisations, female lawyers, and other CSOs with knowledge about the status of women’s rights in their own countries were created for the purpose of advocating towards government institutions for the enforcement of laws and for providing safety and justice. An increasing number of the programmes joined the global “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, “Girls & not Brides”, the international day of “Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation”, and International Women’s Day. Furthermore, NCA joined ACT Alliance partners in the “Side by Side – Faith for Gender Justice” movement established in 2015, and contributed to joint statements from FBOs on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and GBV at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 2015.
Girls and women less likely to be exposed to FGM
WHY: FGM violates more than 200 million girls and women in 30 countries who suffer as a result of an old and irreversible traditional practice believed to make girls marriageable in societies where they have inferior status to men. National laws and legislations to criminalise FGM have been adopted in 25 African countries, but there are challenges in the enforcement of these.
WHAT: The programmes applied multiple approaches and methods based on solid knowledge and understanding of local contexts, including awareness raising and attitudinal changes through Community Dialogues - a method used to reach a consensus on abandonment of FGM.
RESULTS: A significant reduction in FGM has been documented in project areas in Ethiopia and a substantial number of people in communities have committed to abandon FGM, also in Somalia and Kenya.
11. The programmes contribute to the Norwegian Government Strategy for increased efforts to reduce FGM
12. End Term Review of the Strategic Partnership between NCA and SCI for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) 2011-2015, Norad 2015, and Baseline/End line Survey: FGM Situation in Six Regions of Ethiopia, NCA/SCI, 2015.
Ethiopia is one of the three countries with the highest prevalence of FGM. Abandonment of FGM is still far from being achieved, despite a growing number of community decisions to end the practice. 2015 evaluations confirmed that two joint programmes implemented by NCA and Save the Children are achieving good results related to the abandonment of FGM in Ethiopia and Somalia11. One of the main results from the Ethiopia programme over the last five years is a 31% reduction in FGM12. NCA’s partners officially registered 14,150 uncut girls and more than 130,000 girls were protected from FGM during that same period. In 2015, the programme successfully engaged 14,101 people (6,592 women and 7,509 men) in Community Conversations, broadcasted 459 radio programmes and ensured that 691 uncut girls were registered, reported or rescued. 39 circumcisers abandoned their practice, while 11 new declarations against FGM were made. As a result of NCA and partners’ efforts to increase the awareness in target communities of the law against FGM, 39 cases of FGM were reported. Twenty-nine of these received a verdict through the formal court system whilst sixteen were tried by customary laws. Religious leaders contributed to strengthening the customary laws and ten CBOs included abandonment of FGM in their by-laws. While it was documented that 80% of people in project areas in 2015 were aware of the harmful effects and the law against FGM in Ethiopia, it is possible that this deep-rooted practice may have moved to other areas, gone underground or is performed by health and ex-health workers.
A major event in 2015 related to commitments made by religious leaders to the abandonment of FGM was NCA facilitating the Inter Religious Council of Ethiopia’s (IRCE) attendance at the National Girls Summit in Addis Ababa. This platform created an opportunity for faith actors to share their experience and show their commitment. This national level consultation was held to devise an accountability mechanism to ensure that the Ethiopian national commitment to end FGM and child marriage by 2025 would be translated into action. As a follow up, a national interfaith task force team was formed to monitor the progress in collaboration with the National Alliance to End Child Marriage and FGM. This case provides a good example of how NCA linked FBO partners directly to national commitments to abandon FGM and CEFM.
13. Evaluation Report, Protecting Women and Girls against Sexual and Gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices and Participation of Women in peacebuilding, Somalia, NCA/SCI, 2015/16
14. Type 3: Often referred to as infibulation, this is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoris (Clitoridectomy), WHO
A recent evaluation13 confirms that, despite the security situation in Somalia, NCA’s GBV programme was able to reach most of its targets. A trend towards the Sunna form of FGM instead of infibulation14 was observed and was mostly promoted by religious leaders. In Puntland there is a new law promoted by the government and a fatwa by religious leaders against FGM. The security situation impacted some of the work in Gedo/Garbaharrey, where NCA is operational and works directly with CBOs. In spite of this, Al Shabaab in the area was convinced to stop FGM and eight schools and 16 community educational committees reached more than 5,000 children. Religious and clan leaders were mobilised to abandon FGM and supported sanctions and penalties against circumcisers. Increased awareness and knowledge about the harm of FGM and child marriage created more openness to the need for treatment of health complications. Girls and women were referred to health services and counselling, and some were referred for treatment in hospitals in Kenya and Ethiopia. There remains an enormous unmet need for referral and treatment.
In Kenya, new girls’ forums were established in schools, reaching 482 girls in Kajiado and Mandera counties through peer-to-peer methods to learn about FGM and CEFM. Reporting on possible FGM and CEFM cases by using “secret boxes” enabled teachers to act and respond with support to the girls. This method may have contributed to a dramatic decrease in reported teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs, and an increase in the amount of girls completing primary school. Support to farming activities yielding increased income, gave mothers financial resources to support their daughters’ education instead of being married off at an early age. The programme also covered school fees for vulnerable girls. At community level, more than 105 community dialogues have taken place, while 45 families abandoned FGM and several chiefs declared their support to enforce the national law.
In Mali the programme is implemented in 59 communities in Timbuktu, Gap and Mopti regions. 18,383 youth (10,259 girls) were reached through awareness raising related to the harmful effects of early and child marriage (ECM). NCA and partners have focused on supporting religious and traditional leaders to support and sign conventions preventing this practice in northern Mali. Seven local conventions preventing harmful practices, particularly focusing on ECM, have been signed. Partners have also established village committees to monitor cases of FGM and ECM in the targeted communities. In addition to engaging youth, the programme has also worked with religious leaders and traditional leaders on information-exchanges focused on how Islam views violations, such as sexual violence, ECM and FGM. Radio has been used as a medium to disseminate information about the national and international legal frameworks related to protection of women and girls. Religious leaders and imams responsible for the marriage councils have condemned FGM and ECM, with over 739 imams currently preaching against FGM. More than 70 village chiefs are involved in advocacy against girls being married below 16 years of age.
To a large extent, the global programme achieved its goal of mobilising women and men to address harmful practices that encourage GBV, with an exception of Sudan where the government did not approve the partners’ work due to restrictions on promoting women’s rights. On a positive note, Ethiopia achieved higher results than planned when it comes to reduction of FGM.
Sensitivity from conservative and religious alliances in many countries around issues related to sexuality, gender roles and family planning influenced NCA partners’ work and hence the success of the programme. Activists and women’s human rights defenders addressing SRHR, including safe abortion, access to contraceptives, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) rights, and the legal age of 18 years for girls to marry, are met with resistance. At times, even with violence. NCA and partners’ approach of creating safe spaces for dialogue with religious leaders on these issues has therefore proven to be effective in Ethiopia, Somalia, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa. Transforming deeply rooted unequal gender power relations and harmful practices takes years and results are not always observable. Girls and women have unmet needs for medical treatment, psychosocial support, literacy, education and skills. Increased efforts to engage young men to adopt positive masculinities and respect for gender equality will improve results. GBV interventions must be comprehensive and include professional approaches. More capacity of staff and partners in applying standards, guidelines and ethical considerations when working with GBV survivors and the girl child is needed. Advocacy work towards duty bearers at all levels is crucial. Cooperation with other GBV programmes like UNFPA/UNICEF’s joint programme and the UN’s Global Protection Cluster should be intensified.
OUTCOME 1: Rights-holders are mobilised to claim their rights to a life free from gender-based violence
Achieved in most countries through many methods of mass mobilisation of people’s awareness. By using empowerment methods, capacity building and role models, girls and women knew their rights and were able to claim them.
OUTCOME 2: Faith- and community-based organisations are mobilised to prevent and reduce all forms of harmful traditional practices
Achieved in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, South Africa, Myanmar, where FBOs and CBOs have been mobilised and use theological reflection materials. The Tamar campaign material was used in DRC, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
OUTCOME 3: Faith- and community-based organisations have been influenced to transform and change beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and practices that uphold GBV
Achieved in Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa where new gender policies were developed, a Gender Transformation Toolkit “Created in God’s Image: A Gender Transformation Toolkit for Women and Men in Churches” was used and modules on masculinities and LGBTI were developed. All programmes influenced faith-based organisations and CBOs to change harmful social norms and practices.
OUTCOME 4: Duty bearers take responsibility to promote positive and transformative masculinities to overcome GBV
Achieved in South Africa where male church members promoted positive masculinities. They reached 165,000 men through the Men as Peacemakers Campaign, by discussing GBV with other them at football matches and taverns. Also achieved in Pakistan, where young men were trained to be role models for positive masculinities, and some activists prevented cases of child marriage.
OUTCOME 5: Duty bearers are influenced to implement national laws and domestications of legal frameworks preventing GBV and promoting the rights of women and girls
Achieved in Somalia, Kenya, Mali where partners influenced legislation against FGM and CEFM. In Myanmar, Kenya, and Zambia it contributed to new laws and policies. In Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Africa, Angola, Guatemala and Tanzania it actively enforced laws for girls and women’s rights.
OUTCOME 6: GBV survivors and groups at risk have access to safety and justice
Not fully achieved as access to safety and justice depend on duty bearers’ ability to provide services, and impunity still exists. In Pakistan improved referral led to more complaints brought forward. In Guatemala 500 women and girls were assisted at support centres, and Haiti saw an increase in GBV cases reported to the police and thereby breaking the cycle of silenceBack