PART 1 ~ Addressing Gender-Based Violence Through Education

Zonta believes education has the power to save and improve the lives of women and girls, which leads to healthier families and stronger communities. Through our international service projects, Zonta International is working to end gender-based violence (GBV) and bring education to women and girls in 16 countries.

How do we do this?

We empower adolescent girls.
Adolescents, especially girls, must be empowered to speak up for their rights and develop the self-confidence and autonomy needed to take control of their bodies and lives. In Peru, adolescents (ages 12-17) constitute 11.2% of the population or 3.5 million people.

Until recently, UNICEF’s program interventions for children focused on younger age groups, while services for adults are not designed to cater to the distinct needs of adolescents. For the next two years, Zonta is partnering with UNICEF USA for the Adolescent Girls’ Health and Protection program in Peru to improve the capacity of services to respond to the health needs of adolescents—especially girls—promptly and address all types of violence in schools, especially gender-based violence, in a timely manner.

A total of 31,082 adolescents (approximately 15,230 girls), health personnel from 10 health care establishments, education personnel from 24 schools, families, and community members will be served over the two years of the project. The program will also train 72 principals and teachers to recognize violence and implement violence response protocols using reporting mechanisms.

We partner with experts to coordinate and improve responses to gender-based violence.
Despite growing awareness of GBV as a life-threatening violation of human rights, poor quality of services and lack of coordination among multiple response sectors have been a major impediment for an effective response to GBV in Asia and the Pacific region.

Partnering with UNFPA for a project in two countries in the region with the highest level of lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence–Papua New Guinea (PNG) (68%) and Timor-Leste (59%)—Zonta is working to ensure that all women and girls live free from violence and that those women and girls who experience violence can access quality services essential to their long-term recovery.

Although GBV is considered a critical public health and clinical care issue, the vital role that the health system and healthcare providers can play in terms of identification, assessment, treatment, crisis intervention, documentation, referral, and follow-up is often poorly understood or accepted within national health programs and policies.

Therefore, UNFPA will coordinate with existing tertiary educational institutions to provide technical assistance for the development of teaching aid materials to integrate content about the identification of, response to and referral of GBV. Between the two countries, the project will serve approximately 518,417 beneficiaries over the next two years.

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