“Victories over Violence, Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls,” a practitioners’ manual

Women’s Learning Partnership just released an interesting practitioners’ manual Victories over Violence: Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls (authors: Mahnaz Afkhami, Haleh Vaziri). 

Women’s Learning Partnership is a nonprofit organization consisting of 20 autonomous national partner organizations based in the Global South, particularly in Muslim-majority societies, dedicated to women’s advancement and political participation. Here is a short video presenting this organization:

Educating for Safety and Peace is a key to this issue of gender-based violence:

Gaps between passing legislation and operationalizing the human rights of women and girls remain. Perhaps the most significant effort to close these gaps centers on education in the sense of both consciousness-raising and the development of professional expertise. Grassroots educational endeavors must help communities fully grasp the extent of violence and the short- and long-term harm done not only to victims but also to the society at large. Education geared towards professionals must enable them to acquire not only a body of expert knowledge and a skills set, but also, and of equal importance, a gendered perspective to apply to the tasks of preventing violence against females and addressing its impact on victims, perpetrators and society as a whole.”

The manual includes 16 sessions which unfold in a progression—moving from violence at home or in the private sphere, to the community or public space, to the transnational and international arenas. Case studies in each session are drawn from actual events and feature stories set in societies as diverse as Haiti, Malaysia, Nepal, and the United States.

This enables the facilitator and participants to explore the linkages between violence in these three realms—the private, public and global—while underscoring the point that gender-based human rights violations are ubiquitous and defy cultural, economic, ethnic, political, religious and other divisions.

Within each session, the case study serves to spark conversation about the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls, the choices that victims make to survive and re-build their lives, as well as the measures practitioners take in addressing these human rights violations. Following the case studies are “questions for discussion,” and all but the last two sessions feature learning exercises.

The resulting dialogue allows the participants to identify and prioritize their concerns and to recognize obstacles as they strive to prevent violence and to vindicate the human rights of those victimized by it.”

Here are the different sessions available in the manual:

Section A: Violence in the Private Sphere

  • Session 1: Meeting and Greeting to Create a Learning Community
  • Session 2: Verbal and Psychological Abuse at Home
  • Session 3: Mistreatment of Domestic Workers
  • Session 4: Intimate Partner Violence
  • Session 5: Female Genital Mutilation
  • Session 6: Forced Marriage and Child Brides
  • Session 7: Murder in the Name of Honor

Section B: Violence in the Community

  • Session 8: Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces
  • Session 9: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
  • Session 10: Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Session 11: Hate Crimes against Lesbians
  • Session 12: Prostitution

Section C: Violence by the State, Across Borders and in the Global Arena

  • Session 13: Trafficking for Sex Slavery
  • Session 14: Rape as a Weapon of War
  • Session 15: The Roles and Rights of Women and Girls in Peacemaking and Post-war Reconstruction, UN Security Council Resolution 1325
  • Session 16: Conclusions, Evaluation of the Experience and Recommendations

The manual is available in English and in French, both versions can be downloaded here:

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