South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation
 

Media Release

27 November 2014

What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls?

A global research and innovation programme to help prevent violence against women and girls was launched in South Africa by UK International Development Minister, Baroness Northover.

The What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls programme will build knowledge on which interventions work to strengthen women and girls ability to protect themselves from violence. The research will provide high quality and rigorous evidence that can be used by civil society organisations, multilateral agencies, governments and academics to develop programmes that will contribute to eliminating gender based violence.

The launch, hosted by the South African Medical Research Council, (SAMRC) who lead the consortium responsible for implementing the £25 million programme globally, coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women & Girls.

“The lives of millions of women and girls are scarred by the effects of violence, with 1 in 3 women beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. The UK is leading efforts to tackle this violence, and is using the What Works programme to gather vital evidence about what actions make a real difference to people’s lives. In generating this research, we can help women and girls protect themselves and create safer and more prosperous communities,” said Baroness Northover

 “We know there are a lot of gaps in the evidence and data on issues relating to violence against women and girls, not least because of the sensitive nature of the research and data collection,” said SAMRC Gender and Health Research Unit Director Professor Rachel Jewkes. “We are thinking through how to better understand what works, and how to measure change so that we can direct our efforts towards the most effective interventions out there which deliver results at scale. We are looking forward to announcing the recipients of our innovation grants, at the end of the 16 days of activism, on Wednesday 10 December 2014, which are funding cutting edge interventions to prevent violence in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

The What Works To Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls programme has three core components. The first component, the global programme, is managed by the SAMRC testing new approaches to stop violence before it starts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and asks how to stop the intergenerational cycle of violence and how the underlying social norms that drive violence be addressed.

The second component focuses on violence against women and girls in conflict and humanitarian emergencies. This research programme is managed by a consortium led by the International Rescue Committee and is moving forward with important studies in a number of conflict and emergency contexts including DRC, South Sudan, Dadaab in Kenya and Yemen.

The third component of the programme focuses on the economic and social costs of VAWG, estimated in some countries to be 1 – 2% of gross domestic product(GDP) each year. http://www.svri.org/WhatWorks.htm

Notes to editors

About the What Works Programme

The first component of the What Works programme is being delivered by a consortium led by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the second component, which will collect evidence on how to address violence against women and girls in conflict and humanitarian settings, will be managed by a consortium led by the International Rescue Committee. It will conduct important studies in several conflict and emergency contexts including DRC, South Sudan, Dadaab in Kenya, and Yemen, to identify activities that effectively protect women and girls in some of the toughest humanitarian settings.  

The What Works programme is funding innovation grants for civil society organisations and others to test out new approaches to help answer these questions.  The grants will be announced on Wednesday 10 December at the end of the 16 days of activism.

Media Contact
Rebecca Ladbury
07941 224 975 | rebecca@ladburypr.com

To follow WhatWorks on Twitter: @whatworksVAWG
To view and download the WhatWorks primary Prevention video: http://bit.ly/1qgeesu

Media Contact
Hooman Nouruzi
Head of Communications
British High Commission, Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0) 12 421 7596
| Mobile: +27 (0) 83 252 8431
www.gov.uk/world/southafrica

 
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