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Helping international development charities to overcome gender based violence

Our research project to develop a curriculum to address gender-based violence in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

Girls and women from the Congo taking part in a sports programme
We worked with charity Woman Win to deliver empowerment programmes across sub-Saharan Africa

Approximately 68 percent of people infected with HIV worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa, where the virus disproportionately affects women.

Gender-based violence has been identified as a significant driver of HIV/AIDS infections in women in the sub-Saharan Africa region, and international organisations are increasingly focusing on the elimination of violence against women as key in the battle against the spread of the epidemic.

Dr Megan Chawansky (post-doctoral researcher) and Dr Michael Silk have produced a new curriculum to address gender based violence in funded work by Women Win (an international development charity that aims to empower women and girls through sport interventions).

Our role has been to revise and rewrite the curriculum for these programmes, especially in terms of training the facilitators of the programmes. In this work we have engaged with the organisation and altered the training that they offer to programme facilitators resulting in a new and improved service delivered through their programmes, especially with respect to the eight module programme designed explicitly around gender based violence and a rights-based approach to Girl's Sport for Development Programming.

We have also made an impact at client level, with the programme impacting on the lives of girls and women throughout the world. This impact is greatest in respect to these clients participating in socially innovative programmes that aim to ensure women are empowered, healthy, safe, economically independent, strong leaders, and agents of positive changes for themselves and their communities.

In 2011 alone, the curriculum was delivered to facilitators in 19 countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Women Win sport based programmes, based on this curriculum (which include programmes at the Homeless World Cup, Comic Relief, Boxgirls Nairobi, Empowering Women of Nepal, and Safe Spaces) were, according to Women Win figures, delivered to over 8,000 women and children in these 19 countries.

This curriculum continues to provide the basis for the Charity’s programmes aiming to eliminate gender based violence in Asia, Africa and Latin America.