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 structures
Personal involment
Values vc. Practice
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects

Engage local power structures, including faith-based organizations
In attempting to address violence against women, training people at all levels of society is essential. The purpose of such training is not only to impart information, but to encourage people to reflect upon the phenomenon itself, to delve into deeply held feelings and to challenge themselves. The methodology adopted in Colombia relies on guided community dialogues that explore the subjective experience of individuals. The dialogues pose questions that prompt men and women to examine their daily practices and to identify problems and solutions within the context of their own culture. According to the project team, the real transformation begins when people begin to understand the consequences of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and why. In training courses in Romania, a typical reaction to the subject of domestic violence was laughterthen denial. But over the course of several sessions, participants changed the way they were thinking about the issueand the victim. Even local government authorities were engaged at an emotional level. The ability to relate to the problem of violence against women in a visceral way proved key.

Everybody should feel what it's like to be a victim, if even only for a minute.

Head of the Office of Crime Prevention, Mures Police Department, Romania


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