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Gender Based Violence (Gbv) Data Collection Essay

2278 words - 9 pages

Violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence, is both a public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. The issue of gender-based violence (GBV) has increasingly become an agenda item addressed by nations across the world. International organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN) and humanitarian aid/relief agencies like the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and PLAN International have been collectively working to provide services to victims, advocating for increased gender equality and reducing rates of violence against women, etc. The evidence-base on the magnitude of this problem across various settings continues to grow; potentially providing governments, aid agencies and other partners with the strengthened capacity to design and implement prevention and response interventions. While the undertaking of prevalence studies in complex emergencies has the potential to influence GBV programming and policy in emergency settings, challenges exist that thwart its effectiveness. Using some of the most cited papers in the emergency field as a framework, this paper seeks to explore the intricacies of GBV data collection in humanitarian settings. Drawing upon the critiques of these works, the use of strengthened and standardized methodology will be suggested as a means to improve GBV programming.

Starting with the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the same year, violence against women has been thrust into the light as a health and human rights concern. This recognition would be strengthened by agreements and declarations at international conferences including the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995). While these international agreements have quickened governments to recognize the need to develop multi-sectorial approaches for the prevention of and response to violence against women, many governments still do not acknowledge the problem or take measures to prevent and address it. The ability to document the magnitude of violence against women and produce reliable, comparative data is key in guiding policy and implementation of prevent and response interventions. The work of agencies like the WHO have played an instrumental role in researching the prevalence and patterns of this phenomenon, as to add to the evidence base on the severity of this problem. Population-level surveys based on reports from victims have been found to be an accurate estimate of the prevalence of intimate partner violence and sexual violence in non-conflict settings and the WHO has taken the lead in this regard.

While international research conducted on the extent of violence against women began before the WHO’s first global report in 2006, many of these studies raised questions regarding the methods used for...

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