Addressing gender inequality, harmful gender norms and violence

Health programmes should integrate actions to remove gender-related barriers to health

Examples of interventions may include:

  • Awareness-raising and sensitization programmes with young people to reduce gender inequality, raise awareness about different gender identities and reduce gender-based violence
  • Dialogue, awareness-raising and sensitization programmes with religious leaders, traditional leaders and community members on harmful practices that violate the health and development rights of women, girls and other gender identities
  • Law review and reform to strengthen gender equality in law and to eliminate gender-based violence and discrimination
  • Legal literacy (“Know Your Rights”) campaigns to educate women, young girls and other vulnerable and key populations of their legal rights and avenues for redress for human rights violations
  • Legal support services to support access to redress for discrimination and human rights violations on the basis of a person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, and
  • Working with law enforcers to address gender-based violence, including sexual violence, in the harassment and abuse of key populations such as sex workers and transgender persons.
Case Study Training health workers to respond to gender-based violence

Programmes to address gender-based violence are critical to reducing the risk of HIV amongst adolescent girls and young women. HIV programmes should be integrated within existing gender-based violence programmes to:

  • Support economic empowerment and gender training of AGYW
  • Working with men and boys to transform harmful gender and social norms
  • Integrating strategies to address violence in HIV services such as HIV testing and counselling and mental health care
  • Providing emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV within a comprehensive package of services for sexual assault
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In South Sudan, in its role as Global Fund Principal Recipient, UNDP supports a program to train health care workers to respond to GBV, and refer survivors to a range of appropriate services. The provision of co-located psycho-social and legal referral services for women are a great example of the integrated service provision necessary to address gender-based violence and HIV.

In addition, the program supports a number of behavioural change communication initiatives aimed at preventing GBV and supporting the use of GBV services, using the popular medium of radio. These messages are translated into multiple languages, including those spoken by internally displaced populations, and are aimed at removing the stigma and gender inequality that drives the HIV epidemic and often prevents survivors of GBV victims from accessing key HIV-related prevention services.

Key Resources