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

Tap the strength of community based organizations
When tackling culturally sensitive issues, such as violence against women, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) usually have a built-in advantage. They know the local culture, and their staff are often well-known and trusted by the community. Moreover, they tend to feel passionately about the issues they work on. This is especially important when undertaking the difficult job of changing deeply rooted perceptions and traditional practices and behaviours. In many countries, including Kenya, Mauritania, Mexico and Morocco, NGOs were instrumental in breaking the silence surrounding gender-based violence and were the first organizations to offer services to victims. In Mauritania, four midwives led the fight against sexual violence.By visiting victims homes, rather than addressing a large group (the method normally used by government institutions), the midwives have been able to establish a close relationship with those in need and get their message across.


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