Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Sierra Leone

Laying the groundwork

Starting off right
Bulding in sustainability
Women's options
Multisectoral alliances
Change from within
Youth & Education
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects

Build institutional and community capacity
Initiating and building support for action to combat violence against women is only half the battle. Ensuring that these efforts will be sustained requires capacity-building at national and local levels. In Colombia, for example, project activities initially focused on strengthening government institutions responsible for implementing national policies on sexual and reproductive health. However, their continuation depended on direct empowerment and training of people in social organizations and in communities. In Mexico, a comprehensive model for preventing and responding to domestic and sexual violence is attempting to link health services with legal assistance and community-based initiatives. To date, over 5,000 health-care workers have received training. In Morocco, building the capacity of health and justice systems is being carried out simultaneously. This includes training of staff in 70 courts around the country to correctly apply recent changes in Moroccan law relating to marriage, divorce and the custody of children.

As a doctor, I used to evaluate the woman, examine the woman and forget about her. Now I care about the person. I put myself in her place and inquire about other aspects of her life. I am more subjective, I go beyond my duties.

Medical doctor and project participant from the municipality of Yondo, Colombia


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