PRIORITY #5 – Working with partners on the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children
One Family At A Time is committed to working with communities government, stakeholders, and partners to promote sustainable, positive change in attitudes, behaviours, and beliefs in order to prevent violence against women. This means stopping violence at the cause, well before it starts. This means changing societal norms and attitudes regarding gender and achieving gender equality.
In 1999, the Cambodian Government ratified the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) and in 2010 signed its Optional Protocol (Fulu et al. 2015). Cambodia has a national legal and policy framework to protect women’s rights, including the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims of 2005, the 2007 Criminal Procedure Code, the Law on Suppression of Trafficking in Humans and Sexual Exploitation of 2008 and the National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women 2013–2017 (Ministry of Women’s Affairs 2014).
Excerpt from Australian Aid Ending Violence against Women in Cambodia (EVAW Program); Second Progress Report September 2016:
“The EVAW program of the Australian government (Australian Aid 2016) funded the first National Survey on Women’s Health and Life Experiences in Cambodia, 2014. The outcome areas were services (counselling and responses to mental health problems and support and referral for sexual harassment and domestic violence), prevention (training and community awareness through events and forums to influence knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in responding to and understanding the impact of VAW) and justice (legal intervention combining capacity building activities for local authorities to better understand their legal obligations in responding to VAW and the provision of legal services for victim of GBV). The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) developed and implemented the second National Action Plan on Violence Against Women 2014–2018. The Referral Guidelines for Women and Girl Survivors of Gender-Based Violence promote access to services through a system of case registration, assessment and referral based on the individual needs and agreement of the survivor, recognizing that survivors of GBV have multiple needs that cannot be met by any one service provider.”
One Family At A Time uses a gender lens when analysing, planning, and making decisions, which means we carefully and deliberately examine all the implications of our work in terms of gender. Since we began our work, One Family At A Time has focussed on improving access for girls to quality education, in addition to promoting economic independence and financial security for women in the villages and communes where we work. The development of two social enterprises, SEW FARE and Branching Out, plus our Small Business Loan program are all aimed specifically at supporting women’s rights to self-determination though providing choice and options for their participation in economic / employment activities of their choosing. International evidence clearly establishes that educational access and financial independence are powerful protective factors for women and girls, and are significant determinants in working toward gender equity.
In addition, we have been partnering with the community and local health services to support reproductive health for teenage girls and women through culturally appropriate and sensitive reproductive health education, the distribution of hundreds of Days for Girls sanitary kits, and birthing kits in addition to supporting maternal and child health services. Enhancing access to information and resources are practical ways that we champion the self-determination of women and girls.
Our Aspire – Supporting Girls Through Education program has been operating for several years and is a comprehensive model which supports many aspects of a girls’ social, emotional, academic, physical, and psychological safety and wellbeing. Through creative art programs, structured sport and outdoor programs, Class Leadership roles, provision of school uniforms and study materials, Rice Scholarships, and footwear, girls in the Aspire program have remained in school significantly longer than Cambodian averages for female student retention. In addition, the boys in the program have received mentoring in relation to respectful relationships and valuing and respecting their female class peers.
These programs alone will not achieve gender equity, nor can a single community or partner achieve this alone, nor will real change happen quickly. However, our resolve is clear, as is our commitment to working together to prevent violence against women.
One Family At A Time has highly qualified, experts in the field of prevention of violence against women, on our Board and this priority area will be expanded as funding and resources are secured.
OFAAT Directors, Brianna Myors and Jenny Jackson are the leads for this Priority Area and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to discuss any ideas or offers of support.