16 Days of Activism: PRO-Enfant says NO to gender-based violence
PRO- Enfant is a human rights-based, multi-sector initiative aiming to improve the protection of girls and boys against human trafficking and the worst forms of child labour, gender-based violence such as child marriage, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and early pregnancy.
One of the goals of the initiative is to support women and men in the everyday implementation of girl’s rights to overcome gender-based violence. An employee contributing her work to this goal explains: „The main challenge of my work within the project evolves around the considerable reduction of gender inequality in the identified communities, to foster the development of “model municipalities”, free from gender-based exploitation and violence.”
To create communities free from gender-based violence PRO- Enfant has employed a three-pronged approach: “We fight against violence against girls by: sensitization and raising awareness among the people to prevent the phenomenon; encouraging communities to report cases of violence against girls to the competent authorities; assisting the victims of gender-based violence.”
PRO- Enfant is stirring behavioural change in Burkinabe communities. While at the beginning people in the expected model municipalities were reluctant to topics such as women’s rights, one employee recalls: “Over time, the validity of the fight against gender-based violence was understood. Now the municipalities participate in the fight, actively engaging in awareness raising and reporting of violent acts within their communities.”
Aiming to bring about behavioural change at municipal level calls for the involvement of people at the lowest level of communal organization – the family. PRO- Enfant has reflected its approach to bring about behavioural change and concluded that bottom-up dynamics involving organisations that work at local and community level can foster dialogue within families. The family dialogues approach has proved successful in working towards another goal of PRO- Enfant – to end female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices.
To end gender-based violence in Burkinabe communities the employee concludes: “Project activities need to be owned by the people, and be implemented for the people, with the people.”
Combating Child Labour and Child Trafficking
The program PROSAD that was finalized in december 2015 took a "human rights mainstreaming" approach, aiming to strengthen the social status of women and young people, to protect children’s rights and raise awareness for these issues in the society. The program has helped to develop a national gender strategy and the mainstreaming of gender issues in the development of the national action plan for HIV/Aids. In the intervention zones girls’ school enrolment has risen more than in comparable non intervention zones. More and more modern family planning methods are used. Violence against women is declining where an approach of family dialogue stressing women’s and girls’ rights is tested as well as the acceptance of women’s rights.
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