Innovating to Address Gender-Based Violence

This paper includes a collection of innovative practices to effectively tackle gender-based violence. It serves as a call to action to further develop and scale innovative solutions to address the root causes of gender inequality. Many thanks to IDIA’s Gender & Innovation Working Group (GIWG) for contributions to this paper, and to Felicia Khan and Donal Ring for facilitation of the process and creation of this paper.

Addressing the root causes of gender inequality and identifying means of preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) has never been more important. The WHO reports that 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetimes—a pandemic in its own right, now further exacerbated by COVID-19. The prevalence of GBV increases in times of crisis. Whether due to conflict, disaster, or disease outbreak such as COVID-19, women and girls are disproportionately affected by crises during which GBV, intimate partner violence, and other forms of abuse increase. Furthermore, women typically have less crisis response decision-making power, which—as well as exacerbating already present gender inequalities—results in their needs being de-prioritised.

We know preventing GBV is transformational: it improves the health of women and children, increases economic productivity, and advances educational attainment. We also know preventing GBV will accelerate progress across the SDGs. An innovation mindset can assist us in dealing with complex development challenges and our ability to adapt, to experiment and to encourage local solutions beyond long-term planning approaches. For these reasons, we share this collection of innovations. We hope it will serve as a catalyst to develop innovative solutions to achieve gender equality.

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