Strengthening Women’s Rights to Prevent Violence

About 50 per cent of the estimated 3.5 to 4.6 million people internally displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia are women. Their specific needs are not being considered in public policies and in current emergency relief efforts and reconstruction processes. Besides dealing with difficult conditions in their everyday lives these women are also in grave danger of being victims of physical, sexual and family violence. In addition, women, who actively defend their rights, are more at risk. They are often threatened and pressured to stop defending their rights.

GIZ supports the participation of internally displaced women and prevention of violence against internally displaced female leaders or those who acquire public visibility because of their labor. The approach addresses two complimentary levels of intervention: Strengthening government institutions to improve the formulation, planning and implementation of national programs for internally displaced women, and promoting civil society organizations and supporting women in situations of internal displacement.

Colombia: “Beware, Machismo Kills”

In Colombia, every 4th day a woman dies through direct violence by her partner. The initiative “Cuidado, el machismo” contributes to gender equality and violence reduction by questioning culturally generated gender roles, especially traditional chauvinist conceptions of masculinity that legitimate domestic violence. A group of young men called “Los Pelaos” uses a variety of communication strategies to raise awareness. They work directly with more than 180 people, principally men. The participants themselves conduct awareness raising activities afterwards. Furthermore, 18 media institutions were given guidance on how to report on the topic. A video was developed to encourage replication of the campaign.

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