16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

The impact of Gender Based Violence on children lasts well into their adult life. Beyond the direct and short-term consequences of Gender Based Violence, children who grow up in families where there is violence or the children witness violence are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems. The children are at increased risk of anxiety, depression, low-self-esteem and poor school performance, among other problems that harm their well-being and personal development. The children are also associated with higher risk of perpetrating or experiencing violence in the future. Gender Based Violence has also been associated with higher rates of infant and child mortality and morbidity.
This is in addition to the first-hand and immediate impacts of Gender Based Violence that is directed toward children, including; death, injury, health problems, missing out on school, drug and alcohol abuse, poor social functioning skills and social isolation and marginalization.

Gender Based Violence at the family level and violence against girls and boys within the society is closely linked to child poverty. This violence perpetuates and exacerbates child poverty and factors that lead to child poverty, on the one hand. On the other hand, there is a high prevalence of Gender Based Violence and violence against boys and girls, in families affected by poverty and in low-income communities.

Gender Based Violence is systematic, cultural and structural violence perpetuated and experienced by an individual because of their gender identity, characteristics and roles – as a male or a female. In this context, Gender Based Violence would be identified as violence towards a woman/women, man/men, boy(s) or girl(s). Gender Based Violence is perpetuated and experienced in the form of intimidation, discrimination and/or abuse that is psychological, economic, physical or sexual.

Gender Based Violence is based on the perceptions and values placed on gender identities, characteristics and roles, by a given community. Gender Based Violence is also based on the power dynamics in the relationships between genders. At a macro level, these perceptions, values and power dynamics are shaped by socio-cultural beliefs including religion and faith beliefs, as well as political and economic ecosystems. At a micro level, the gender perspectives and values are primarily based on family upbringing, individual conviction and social strata.

Gender Based Violence would therefore arise because of a seemingly “lesser value” or “lesser power” placed on particular gender and the reinforcing acceptance of behavior which allows for violence. Past history of violence in the family is also a factor; and situations of societal conflict, post conflict and displacement, may exacerbate existing forms and present additional forms of Gender Based Violence.

Join the 16 days of activism against Gender based Violence, more information on how you can take part is available in this toolkit

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