The following content contains descriptions and stories of the violence women suffer around the world on a daily basis. We understand this content could trigger readers who have their own stories of harm and invite these readers to navigate away from this page at this time. If you would like to give to World Renew to end gender violence without reading further,you may do so here.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is defined as acts of violence and discrimination resulting in harm directed towards individuals of a specific gender. This includes the rape and oppression of women, massacres of male members of a community in war, as well as domestic violence suffered by both men and women.
According to the World Bank, nearly every 1 in 3 women in the world has suffered from GBV. To put that number into perspective, a small percentage of the victims of GBV suffered from female genital mutilation/cutting. That ‘small’ percentage accounts for over 200 million women.
At World Renew, we focus on coming alongside communities to tackle their own problems: working to help develop solutions organically rather than trying to force a standard approach onto a local community. Change needs to come from within for a situation like GBV that is so deeply rooted in many local cultures.
Making a difference
There are many ways to help out victims of GBV, many of whom likely can be found in your own community. Based on survey data from the National Sexual Violence Resources Center, about 1 in 5 women in the US has been raped at some time in their lives.
Listening and talking to victims of GBV is a simple act that you can do without extensive preparation, yet it makes so much difference in the lives of the victims. Having a safe place to share their trauma can help heal the emotional stress of the victim.
For battling the larger trends of gender-based violence around the world, here are four things you can do through World Renew.
1. Join World Renew’s Free a Family® program
Support the education of young girls by joining our Free a Family program. This is a program targeted at poverty reduction and bridging the gender equality gap in poor communities. With just a commitment of $27 a month, you not only help address a family’s food and income generation needs, but you also help provide a family with biblically based education on gender equity, reconciliation, nonviolence, or trauma healing (depending on community context and needs) through World Renew’s peace and justice curriculum.
2. Spread awareness of gender-based violence
For many societies and cultures, gender-based violence is an accepted fact of life. Refugee camps are a hotspot for GBV.
Sharing these stories is vital for creating greater awareness of the horrors many men and women go through and pushing for a greater response to the widespread problem of GBV.
Happy Akhtar’s story
Meet Happy Akhtar, who lives in a community with low literacy rates, suffering through issues such as child marriage and abuse against women. With the help of PARI Development Trust, a local partner of World Renew Bangladesh, she’s learned about the negative effects of child marriage, the value of education and leadership, and, most recently, gender-based violence. Happy is now the chairperson of her teen group, and she tells of her personal experience to help the other girls.
3. Engage and educate young men to become agents of change
One of the best ways to stop GBV from happening is to educate men of the next generation about GBV to help ensure they will be less likely to perpetuate it. We also do this work so o in they will become advocates of change within their culture or society. As local community members, these young men will be able to stop instances of GBV far better and quicker than an external group will.
This, however, is a very long term goal that requires dedication and investment. You can help speed up this process by donating to World Renew’s peace and justice initiatives and funding teen groups that educate young men on alternatives to drugs and violence, the importance of finishing their education, and what it looks like to honor women in accordance with biblical principles.
Mr. Kuanda’s reformation
Mrs. Kuanda was constantly being disrespected by her husband. However, her life was transformed after Mr. Kuanda began attending local group sessions on gender-based violence with their church, a gender justice initiative hosted through World Renew. Mr. Kuanda recognized how horribly he was treating his wife and decided to change. Today, Mrs. Kuanda is now the chairperson of the gender-based violence organization, where she shares her experience to help others.
4. Fight against domestic violence
Domestic violence is a very prevalent type of GBV. According to the NCBI, each year, at least 5 million suffer from domestic violence in the US alone. That’s a huge number of victims that need help.
One of the ways you can help out is to participate in international conversations such as 16 Days of Activism and the International Women’s Day. You can grow both your understanding of GBV as well as help others understand as well. As well as being partners with UN Women, World Renew is active in both initiatives to spread awareness of the increased cases of GBV women face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Help us stop Gender-Based Violence
Gender based violence is a long-standing issue in countries around the world. The road to true gender equity will be a long and hard one, but today is a perfect chance to start helping uproot this problem.
World Renew’s efforts are both preventive and responsive, changing harmful cultural norms and meeting victims in their moment of need to aid in recovery. To learn more about our work, explore our efforts in Senegal. Pursuing gender justice is a challenging, but fulfilling initiative to bring understanding and peace in areas plagued by conflict and abuse. We can only accomplish this work with caring people like you funding our efforts. Any donations from you will go a long way to helping us heal and prevent more victims of GBV.