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World: Violence against women and girls: Evidence digest – Issue 19, May 2019

Source: Department for International Development
Country: Afghanistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, World

Here is a selection of the latest evidence on violence against women and girls (VAWG) and gender-based violence (GBV):


Interventions for Addressing Domestic Violence in Pregnancy (April 2019). This systematic review identifies a knowledge gap in interventions aimed at addressing domestic violence against pregnant women in low and middle income countries. Only five studies met the inclusion criteria: two randomised trials and three non-randomised trials in India, Peru, South Africa (x2), and Kenya.
Most interventions were delivered in health care settings and short durations – ranging from a one-time session lasting 20 minutes to four weekly sessions, each lasting up to 120 minutes.

All interventions provided services tailored to each woman’s individual needs and circumstances, based around the concept of empowerment. Effective strategies involved assisting women to disclose experiences of abuse, identifying available resources and helping her find a potential solution.

The authors provide a Theory of Change to help understand the context in which interventions can reduce domestic violence in pregnancy, as well as guide the design of future research and development of practice guidelines.


Social Norms and Beliefs about GBV Scale: a Measure for GBV Prevention Programmes (March 2019). This new scale was designed to measure changes in harmful social norms and personal beliefs about GBV in low resource and complex humanitarian settings. It was tested in targeted areas of Somalia and South Sudan using a psychometric evaluation.

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Participants are asked to identify influential others in their lives and communities whose opinions matter to them, before being asked about social norms on three sub-scales: ‘response to sexual violence’, ‘protecting family honour’ and ‘husband’s rights to use violence’. For example, “How many of these people whose opinion matters most to you … blame women/girls when they are raped?” The Scale also looks at personal beliefs for the same issues on sexual violence and GBV.

Psychometric testing revealed that the scale was a valid and reliable measure of personal beliefs and injunctive social norms. It has potential to be used in other humanitarian emergencies and lowresource settings, although further testing is recommended.


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