Ending Violence Against Women: An Oxfam Guide

12 December, 2012 | Gender Justice

Why does Violence Against Women happen? What does it have to do with development? What does Oxfam do to end violence against women? What does it mean to do that work with a transformative approach?

Oxfam’s Gender Justice team’s latest initiative, a guide titled “Ending Violence Against Women: A Guide for Oxfam Staff,” addresses these questions, in order to provide our staff with a common approach and understanding around the complex issue of ending violence against women. While the guide is directed towards Oxfam staff, it is available to our partners for their use as well.

Oxfam envisions a safe and just world, where women and girls gain power over every aspect of their lives and live free from violence. This is a fundamental prerequisite to the autonomy and empowerment of women and girls. Violence against women (VAW) is a violation of women’s rights, a barrier to women’s active citizenship, and hence, a fundamental constraint to poverty alleviation.

We must also examine our own deep culture as an organization

EXERCISE: Think of the forms of violence against women that are common in your own country. What do they have to do with power and with the expectations of your society from women and men, girls and boys respectively?

An exercise box from the guide

In order to do this work, we must also examine our own deep culture as an organization and the personal perspectives and cultural understandings we bring to our work. As a diverse confederation with thousands of staff and volunteers from different countries, cultures and religious affiliations, ensuring a consistent approach to VAW work can sometimes be a challenge. This new guide, which draws upon Oxfam’s extensive work towards gender justice at the country and global level, is designed to serve as a focal point for those conversations.

The guide can be viewed and downloaded here (and will be available in other languages soon). We hope you will read the guide, discuss the questions and exercises with your colleagues, and let us know in the comments box how you’ve found it useful.

Download: Ending Violence Against Women: A Guide for Oxfam Staff

The guide was compiled by Michaela Raab, and commissioned by the Oxfam Gender Justice Program Development and Support Group (GJ PDS), which provides operational leadership and support to the development of gender justice programming and the strengthening of gender justice perspectives and processes in global, regional and country programs.

Related links

Oxfam's work on Gender Justice


Violence and women

Violence against women is a problem but there are different sides to this evil, in some societies it has been instituted in the   psyche of the people that women are objects of fear which must be controlled, in order to effect control , there has to be some form of intimidation, this intimidation then occurs when men crying for some form of power or authority use force to supress the women by various means such as beating, on the other hand the perception of how  women are viewed in some quarters plays a roll , when women are objectified and degraded to the point that they become sex objects , they are then seen as objects  to meet the hunger for lust , hence sexual violence may be rife in such areas.

The  place of emotional intelligence among human kind and empathy may contribute to the solution of the problem, hence more enlightenment should be given as why mankind should be emotionally intelligent and also the advantages of emotional intelligence in mankind need to be stated  as well  as the advantages of empathy, sensible platonic friendships  and relationships with the opposite sex may also be encouraged among children at an early age, group assignments involves boys and girls working together in kindness and goodness may go a long way  to  shape better equipped adults who would have a better view of womankind, Mothers need to work hand in hand with their sons , they must never make it too obvious that they are two different entities, there should be avenues where  boys and men can satisfy their curiosity about  girls and women very educatively and honestly where applicable. The undue separation of mankind and womankind sometimes contributes to building people who share very different views about each gender and this can be a great long-term, dis-advantage. I have also learnt that women are psychological and believe there is a lot more to them that their physical attraction.

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