Partners for Prevention conducts training workshop on gender-based violence prevention in Afghanistan

For the first time, provincial trainers of UNDP’s Gender Equality Project (GEP) in Afghanistan have received training on ending gender-based violence (GBV). The capacity building workshop was recently held in Kabul, and was jointly organised by UNDP, UN Women, UNAMA, and Ministry of Women’s Affairs, with technical assistance from Partners for Prevention. The training of trainers (TOT) workshop aimed to enhance the capacity of trainers on understanding GBV, and give an overview of effective approaches on the prevention of GBV and guidance on integrating GBV prevention into other programme areas. The workshop also provided a space for initial strategizing on how to develop locally relevant GBV approaches and coordinate efforts across the country. The workshop was inaugurated by the Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, a member of Parliament and Mr. David Akopyan, Deputy Country Director of UNDP. Twenty-two participants from five provinces, including government and civil society members, took part in the workshop. Concepts and approaches to GBV work were addressed, including power, structural violence and how GBV work intersects with Afghanistan’s wider development goals. Participants also shared their knowledge of specific forms of GBV in the areas where they work. From these discussions, attendees developed a set of priorities to guide the work being done in Afghanistan. A key priority identified was the need to change social norms around the acceptance of violence. To achieve this, attendees began to develop ideas on how to build locally meaningful prevention approaches. Representatives from the Department of Haaj and Religious Affairs also led sessions on how to incorporate Islamic teachings and principles into GBV prevention efforts. By identifying interpretations of the Qu’ran where violence against women is not justified and notions of universal peace are promoted, the sessions highlighted possible entry points for social norms work to support prevention efforts. UNDP Afghanistan provincial core trainers who took part in the training are now in the process of planning provincial-level planning and training sessions to develop understanding of GBV prevention at among government and civil society organizations and to facilitate strategic coordination of various programmes and efforts being developed at the local level. According to a survey conducted in 2008 by Nijhowne & Oates “Living with Violence”, 87% of women in Afghanistan had experienced at least one form of physical/sexual or psychological violence and 62% had experienced multiple forms of violence. Nearly 83% of the violence is caused by a single perpetrator and out of this 53% are family members as a result of which such cases are rarely reported. Gender-based violence in Afghanistan is an epidemic of daunting proportions that affects almost every Afghan woman in her lifetime irrespective of her marital status, education and employment. For more information, contact: Khamsavath.Chanthavysouk@one.un.org

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