Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Sierra Leone

Laying the groundwork
Starting off right
Rights-Based Approach
Involve Community
Targeting men
Entry points
Legislative Action
Local organizations
Power strutctures
Personal involment
Values vc. Practice
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects

Use the health sector as one entry point
Though cultural, social and economic factors may all contribute to violence against women, positioning the problem as a public health priority has proved an effective strategy in addressing it. This approach can be justified in terms of the costs and consequences of violence to womens health, including lost work time inside or outside the home, medical bills, chronic, undiagnosed pain, forced pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, abortion and depression, not to mention the effects on other members of the family. One benefit of approaching the problem through the health system is that it puts the material and human resources of the health-care network at the service of women survivors. In Mexico and Romania, pilot projects have successfully integrated the assessment and treatment of women victims of violence into reproductive health services. Health-care workers have been trained to identify signs of abuse, provide the necessary medical care, and refer women to other professionals who can provide psychological, legal and other services. In Morocco as well, the health sector is becoming a key partner in implementing a national strategy to combat violence against women. Units for identifying and treating women survivors have been piloted in two of the largest hospitals in Casablanca and Rabat, and health workers are being trained.

I thought it was my fault because I was wandering at night. I didnt want to tell my family because I was scared they would think I was to blame, or that I was the one asking for it.

Woman survivor of sexual violence in Mexico


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