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

Gadopt a rights-based approach
When caring for survivors of domestic or sexual violence, aim to provide more than just a service. Instil the idea, among victims as well as communities, that a woman has the right to live free of violence. An abused women is entitled to quality medical care, counselling and legal services, as well as to employment and income if she is not working. Empowering women to claim their rights will help sustain efforts to combat violence. In Colombia, project staff are drawing the connection between the rights related to ones own bodyas the minimal space over which people can exercise their dignityand rights in the larger civic and political sphere. They are encouraging people to become political actors: to claim their rights and work towards the rights of others. Workshops involving both women and men focus on conceptual and practical applications of people asserting their rights, establishing relationships and respecting others' rights as well as their own.

In helping women take decisions about themselves, we found that the road map was the body, teaching them to recognize their body as their own. It started a process of self-affirmation and consciousness that began to change habits.

Sexual & Reproductive Health Adviser, UNFPA-Colombia


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