Introduction

Women4GF welcomes you to our virtual conversation about ‘Effective programming to address gender-based violence through the Global Fund’. We are pleased to welcome women in all their diversity, and men who support gender equality, to join in the discussion about how to move ahead.

The virtual session

Conference call and W4GF website / Facebook discussion. Tuesday 25 February 2014: 7pm Bangkok, 3pm Johannesburg/Vilnius, 2pm CET, 1pm BST, 8am EST

Please email info@women4gf.org to confirm your attendance with your telephone number and country by Friday 21st February.

The virtual session agenda

  • Ground rules

There will be no introductions – just one name call at the start to see who is on the call.
Each person to introduce themselves before they speak.
Please assume we can hear you when you enter the call – Do not say ‘hello hello hello’.
Please mute your phone if you are not talking.
Please do not put us on hold and take another call otherwise we hear the music and cannot continue the call.

  • Discussion Questions

Share examples of effective programming to address gender-based violence.
How are countries implementing programmes on gender-based violence in country? Is this part of the discussion of what your country is prioritising?
Examples of success to get gender based violence into the discussion?
How do we make sure that countries are integrating violence against women into their HIV, TB and malaria programmes?
How can technical partners better support us in ensuring that violence against women is integrated into Global Fund supported programmes?

  • Feedback from technical partners if they are on the call
  • Actions to take forward and next steps
The session will last for 90 minutes. If you have items you would like to add to the agenda, please email them to info@women4gf.org or post them in the comments below.

Discussion sparkers

Programmes addressing Gender Based Violence in South Africa, Penny Parenzee, W4Gf Africa

Annually South Africa (SA) has increased incidences of brutal rapes and murders of women and girls. As such, South African women/girls are left with little refuge and in a permanent state of insecurity and vulnerability.

Various legal mechanisms through policies, laws, plans and structures respond to Gender Based Violence (GBV). While these structures and plans hold promise, persistent problems undermine the extent of implementation. Rather than a substantive and systemic response to GBV, resources and efforts are directed towards developing further legislation (WEGE Bill for example) and structures (National Committee on GBV) that are strongly critiqued as duplicating what is already in place and/or being ineffective. At the same time GBV organisations (renowned for providing essential services to survivors of SGBV) are closing down due to lack of adequate financial resources.

Amidst the frustration of ineffective programming addressing GBV, two organisations (recipients of Global Fund (GF) finances), recognize the contribution of GF in integrating GBV into HIV programmes. Specific reference was made to the explicit linkages between GBV & HIV within South Africa’s NSP and the support for programmes such as the Thuthuzela Care Centre pyscho-social support and comfort packs as well as the prevention work, particularly education about GBV, SRHR and HIV. However, these organisations caution that the integration of GBV within HIV has resulted in a failure to comprehensively understand and respond to GBV. Instead, GBV programmes have been confined to HIV priorities e.g. rather than providing comprehensive psycho-social counselling, the counseling services are limited to VCT (with a complete lack of understanding of the importance of addressing the trauma of GBV). Organisations have also expressed concern that the GF targets set for GBV programmes are unrealistic within the SA context.

Organisations suggest that the stigma linked to GBV, especially rape, and HIV can hamper the attainment of targets as set in the GF indicators, – the need for 100% of clients provided with Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to complete the course of medication, where in practice this is not the reality.

To support GBV programmes the GF must:

Hold governments accountable for the funding of essential services for victims of SGBV;
Ensuring that GBV programmes are comprehensive in their response to GBV & requiring government to channel funds to relevant departments and not-for-profit organizations;
Set realistic and appropriate targets for the country context; and
Support disaggregated data collection in monitoring and evaluation to track how and on what funds for GBV programmes are spent, as well as the subsequent impact of programmes (qualitative as well as quantitative).

Critical questions:

What steps should the Global Fund take to hold the SA government accountable and to improve the provision of funding for GBV programmes e.g. government contributed a miniscule amount (less than 0.5%) towards supporting the operations of the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP)?; and
How can GF support programmes to address GBV holistically while also not losing the links between GBV and HIV? (Organisations such as TVEP have developed and implemented an intervention model known as ‘Zero Tolerance Village Alliance’ which ensures that holistic services are provided, giving attention to counseling services that address HIV needs as well as prioritising psycho-social support to survivors of SGBV) Similarly how does GBV fit into the SRHR, which includes HIV. Can linkages be made to the current process of developing the post ICPD plus 15 agenda?

Excerpts from ICW Asia Pacific work – from a paper produced by ICW Asia Pacific in 2011, Anandi Yuvraj, W4GF Asia-Pacific

Right to be free from violence within the family and health care settings:

The links between gender based violence and HIV acquisition is now well established and it is evident that an HIV positive diagnosis will not end the violence. Often the violence experienced by HIV positive women mirrors that experienced by women generally, HIV generally acting as one more factor pushing women further down the hierarchy of power thus heightening the violence.[1]

Violence in family settings:

Studies in Asia has indicated that many women faced violence as result of disclosure of their positive HIV status to their families, usually from mothers in law who often blame the woman for bringing HIV into the family, particularly after the death of the husband. [2] Moreover, many women living with HIV were thrown out of their matrimonial homes and were denied any property rights. In another study conducted by ICW Asia Pacific in India, gender based violence was stated as one of the major impediments for women, including for those who are HIV-positive, in accessing maternal health and treatment-related services.

Violence in health care settings:

Much of the work done to date on HIV positive women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights has not been framed as ‘violence against women’, even when it fits neatly into the definitions proposed by the UN Declaration on Violence Against Women, or the Beijing Platform for Action. Instead, many experiences are framed as ‘stigma and discrimination’, and only rarely are they referred to as violence against women. This indicates a trivialization and neutralization of experiences which are clear manifestations of structural, cultural and/or direct violence against women living with HIV.[1]

[1] Hale F and Vazquez M Violence Against Women Living with HIV/AIDS: A Background Paper, Development Connections and the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW Global) with the Support of UNWOMEN
[2] Positive and Pregnant, How Dare You! A Study on Access to Reproductive and Maternal Health Care for Women Living with HIV in Asia, Findings from Six Countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam

If you have items you would like to be discussed, please email them to info@women4gf.org or post them in the comments below.

Join the discussion

In addition to being a place to comment now, the comment section below will be used live on February 25th during the conference call. Or comment on Facebook.

Discussion Notes

View the Note For Record here