Violence is preventable
UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women & UNV
regional joint programme for the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Partners for Prevention?
Partners for Prevention is a UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional joint programme for the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific. P4P Phase 1 was implemented from 2008 to 2013, focused on research, communication and capacity development. Learn more about Phase 1 and its achievements, including reading the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific.
P4P has begun Phase 2 (2014 – 2017), focused on supporting prevention interventions in six countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea-Bougainville and Viet Nam), capacity development of regional and local partners and policy advocacy.
What is violence against women?
The UN defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
P4P prefers to use ‘violence against women’ over gender-based violence because the long-term outcome of the programme is that women and girls are able to fully attain their right to live free from violence. However, the terms gender-based violence and intimate partner violence are used by P4P where appropriate or relevant.
What is primary prevention?
The field of public health has defined three levels of prevention: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary prevention involves efforts aiming to decrease the incidence of violence in a population before it occurs. Primary prevention strategies aim to develop new values and norms that are incompatible with violence and efforts can be targeted at populations that may be at risk for using and experiencing violence, or they can be directed universally at broad population groups. Learn more about primary prevention here.
Both secondary and tertiary prevention strategies take place after violence occurs, and are more commonly known as response. Secondary prevention aims to reduce the prevalence of violence by minimizing its severity and preventing it from occurring again, for example emergency services or medical care for survivors. Tertiary prevention involves attempts to address long-term consequences of violence such as punishment of offenders and treatment programs for perpetrators.
The kinds of prevention interventions supported by P4P Phase 2 are aimed at primary prevention – stopping violence before it happens. However prevention activities will also be linked to ongoing response efforts to ensure that cases of violence that may be identified in interventions are appropriately addressed.
Why is prevention of violence against women important?
Violence against women and girls is a significant global human rights issues with an estimated 30 per cent of women over the age of 15 having experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence at least once in their lifetime. P4P’s innovative research, the UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific carried out in six countries across the region found high rates of men reporting perpetrating intimate partner violence, ranging from 26 per cent of men in Indonesia-rural to 80 per cent of men in Papua New Guinea-Bougainville. Research tells us that there is no single factor that causes violence or leads to its perpetration, however underlying gender inequalities and power imbalances between women and men are the foundational causes of violence against women and girls. The vulnerability of women and girls to violence is deeply rooted in unequal gender relations and the access that many societies provide men and boys to material, symbolic and relational resources. Further, violence against women and girls reinforces gender hierarchies and power imbalances between women and men within families and communities. Violence against women impacts on a country’s economic development by lowering productivity and impacting on service provision. A UN Women study in Viet Nam found that domestic violence survivors earn 35 percent less than women who are not abused and that total productivity losses combined with potential opportunity costs from domestic violence was an estimated 3 percent of the country’s GDP.
Prevention of violence against women refers to all efforts that seek to reduce the number of new instances of violence by identifying and addressing underlying causes of violence at all levels from individual to institutional, including the pervasive gender inequalities and oppressive systems which give men power over women. In other words, prevention of violence against women means stopping violence before it starts, by influencing individual, societal, and structural changes to address harmful norms, and create/promote more peaceful and non-violent norms and practices. Prevention interventions target both the wider population and specific groups that are at higher risk of using or experiencing violence.
This concept of violence prevention emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing underlying causes and factors of violence. Violence prevention is increasingly recognized as a vital area of work, to reduce the likelihood of women experiencing violence for the largest proportion of the population possible.
Prevention efforts will help us move toward more peaceful, prosperous and equitable societies in which people, particularly women, can realize their rights to security, equality and freedom and achieve their potential. Together, prevention and response – working with both women and men - are needed to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and to support gender-equality and non-violent norms in societies on a wider scale.
What does P4P mean by ‘masculinities’? Why are masculinities important to addressing violence against women?
Masculinities’ is a useful concept to better understand the connections between men, gender and violence. Violence against women is strongly connected to inequitable gender norms and men’s perpetration of violence against other men. Although there is great diversity in the construction of masculinities, dominance and control over women are often commonly accepted as recognized male attributes and behaviors. Exploring masculinities helps shed light on the complexity of how gender norms shape individual attitudes and practices, and how individuals and institutions can shape gender norms. Masculinities is a useful conceptual tool to situate individual behavior within the larger social context of men’s power, privilege, and dominance over women.
Physical strength and toughness are strongly associated with masculinities, along with demonstrated violent competition and behaviors between men, such as fighting, using weapons and gang participation. Yet, there is great diversity in men’s lives across the region, and not all men perpetrate violence. Researchers are exploring not only how masculinities contribute to inequalities, violence and oppression, but also how men can be partners in ending violence. Exploring how some men struggle with the dominant norms for men and other resist them gives insight into how programmes and policies may be designed to help transform masculinities associated with violence.
I want to design a prevention intervention, can P4P help me?
Unfortunately, P4P is only able to provide programming advice to our partners. For information on prevention programming and examples of effective programs have a look at our External Links page which includes links to a range of successful and innovative organizations focused on preventing violence against women.
Does P4P accept interns?
P4P offers internships to highly qualified graduate–level students with experience and academic qualifications in gender, development and violence against women. Interns will be based in Bangkok to support the P4P team and work closely with country offices implementing prevention interventions, as well as support communication and resource mobilization.
P4P will advertise when it is seeking an intern, however interested candidates should be aware that:
- Interns are required to work full time for a minimum of 3 months (up to a maximum of 6 months).
- To be eligible interns must be enrolled in a graduate-level degree programme in a relevant field.
- Interns must be able to work within a team, work well under pressure and be able to handle multiple tasks.
- Interns must have excellent knowledge of their field of study or the sector they work with, and a working understanding of the issues P4P deals with.
- Desired qualities include excellent written and oral communication skills in English, while knowledge of other language from the Asia Pacific region is an advantage.
- Interns are not financially remunerated by P4P. Interns are responsible for making their own arrangements for travel (including to and from the office), visas, accommodation, health and life insurance etc.
More information on UNDP's internship program and requirements is available on its website.
• General Assembly Resolution 48/104 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993
• Devries, K. M., et al. 2013. The global prevalence of intimate partner violence against women. Science 340(6140): 1527-1528.
• Fulu E, Warner X, Miedema S, Jewkes R, Roselli T, Lang J. Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It: Quantitative Findings from the United Nations Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok: United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Development Fund, United Nations Women and United Nations Volunteers, 2013
• United Nations Economic and Social Council (2013). Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls: Report of the Secretary-General. Commission on the Status of Women, Fifty-seventh Session. New York: United Nations.
• UN Women 2013. The Costs of Violence. Understanding the costs of violence against women and girls and its response: selected findings and lessons learned from Asia and the Pacific, 19
• Connell R. Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005.
• Jewkes R, Flood M, Lang L. From work with men and boys to changes of social norms and reduction of inequities in gender relations: a conceptual shift in prevention of violence against women and girls. Lancet, 2014