The 25th November was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today’, with reported 1 in 3 women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime (https://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/).
Whilst gender-based violence can happen to anyone, women and girls are particularly vulnerable. It is typically seen across the project areas in Africa we work in, that women and girls are responsible for carrying out the domestic tasks within the family, such as collecting firewood and water. For villages that have a broken borehole, this often means women and girls must travel miles away from the safety of their village to reach the closest source of water and/or to reach forested land to collect firewood. This responsibility leaves them more vulnerable and exposed to repeated violent attacks.
When conducting our baseline studies, one of the risks that has been reported from communities having to collect water from remote sources of water in the absence of a working borehole, is the danger associated with walking on isolated, often long routes that women and girls are exposed to carrying out domestic responsibilities. Abusive and violent attacks were reported as common for some projects, with most incidences going unreported.
Together we can stop violence against women and girls.
SDG 5 – Gender Equality is a key goal that Gold Standard verify our contributions towards with each of our projects. By fixing non-functioning boreholes within communities, we help reduce the distance and exposure to dangerous routes women and girls may need to travel to access water. Women are vital to the project’s success and ensuring the projects are high impact, with far-reaching, equitable results.
As recently shared by us and Gold Standard, we have established the first Gold Standard certified Gender Responsive framework, which has been initially developed on our Lango Safe Water Project in Uganda. As quoted from Gold Standard, women within this project have reported no incidents of domestic violence, compared to 35% prior to the project. This pioneering framework raises awareness of the harms of gender-based violence, promoting the need to abolish the acceptance of such violence amongst communities.
Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development and the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the SDGs to leave no one behind, cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women.