What Works Newsletter | December 2016

What Works Out and About

Nata Duvvury, Component Three PI, argues for increased investment to address VAWG at the SAFE Ireland Summit

On the 14-15th of November, Safe Ireland, the National Social Change Agency working on eradicating domestic violence in Ireland, held the Safe Ireland Summit. The Summit brought together leaders in the fight against domestic violence and included high academic, legal and political leaders, art installations, video and music. Among the 20 + speakers were Lynn Rosenthal, former White House Advisor on Violence against Women, New York Times Journalist Mona Eltahawy, Senator Ivana Bacik, Tanaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Francis Fitzgerald, and Component Three’s Nata Duvvury. Dr. Nata Duvvury, argued that that we need acceleration in the efforts and resources committed to addressing domestic violence, including evidence of the costs of inaction as well as full accounting from government on what resources are being invested to address the problem. This argument is all the more pressing given the new context of the global framework on Social Development Goals and the commitment to reduce and eliminate by 2030 violence against women, including domestic violence.

Presenting What Works Research and Resources in an International Context Setting

Dr Emma Fulu used findings from the What Works Evidence Briefs and the Stopping Violence Before It Starts short video to engage with women at The Australian Education Union’s Women’s Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Fulu ran a workshop on the causes and impacts of family violence, and presented effective ways for families and workplaces to accommodate and prevent it.
Dr Fulu has also utilised What Works findings to engage with academics, organisations, activists and students in her capacity as an expert panel member at a discussion held by RMIT University in Melbourne during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The theme of the panel was Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women: From Local to Global. Dr Fulu presented What Works research to strengthen her responses on topics such as what it takes to prevent violence against women before it occurs, and the kinds of strategies that can be used by governments and programs to bring us closer to eradicating violence against women globally.

Spotlight on…

BSR Bangladesh and HERrespect

Addressing violence against women in the workplace requires holistic and integrated approaches. With the launch of HERrespect in Bangladesh, BSR is helping companies take on broader strategies to tackle this pervasive issue by promoting positive gender relations in factories to prevent and address violence against women. BSR began the pilot in four ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh in October 2016 and through Change Associates, HERrespect's implementing partner, 1,000 management and workers are being trained.
Traditionally, efforts on violence against women in the workplace have focused on addressing three factors: structural forces (such as weak legal and institutional frameworks), individual factors (such as inequitable gender attitudes), and material realities (such as poor access to legal services or counseling). However, changes in legal and material circumstances, or in individual knowledge and attitudes, may not lead to decreased violence against women.
This is because in many societies, social norms dictate that violence is both typical and appropriate. When a woman believes she is inferior and deserves to be abused, a paid job is not that liberating.
HERrespect aims to build a harmonious and productive workplace through:

  • Capacity building: Critical reflection of gender roles and norms through peer trainings with both male and female workers and middle management. HERrespect also builds skills to prevent and address violence and promote dialogue between workers and management.
  • Workplace system strengthening: HERrespect helps build policies and procedures to prevent and address workplace violence. HERrespect also drives awareness campaigns and creates linkages to community services and local initiatives to support victims of violence.
One female welfare officer reflected after the first training, “Society needs to see the woman as a human being. Sometimes men have a hard time seeing women as a human being, so they need to change that mentality. And a girl needs to grow up as a human being, not just as a women. She has to think that she is a human being and nothing less. She has to make her identity in such a way that people know her by name, and not by her father’s or her husband’s name.”
The pilot in Bangladesh will continue until July 2017. Encouraged by the enthusiastic responses from companies, BSR will roll out HERrespect in India in quarter one of 2017.
In the news

Violence against women harms us all, will measuring the pain help to prevent it?

The Guardian and is currently the lead of Component Three. The effectiveness of economic empowerment programmes, poverty reduction programmes and others working to address inequality depend on the efforts to combat VAW, which is at the core of the economic and social challenges of our times, writes Dr. Nata Duvvury.  Dr. Duvvury has published an article in

Despite a Trump victory, I’m still hopeful about eliminating violence against women

In her Huffington Post blog post for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Dr Emma Fulu presents the Department for International Development’s What Works programme and the innovative projects it promotes as a reason to stay hopeful that violence against women and girls can be prevented:

Home isn’t the only place women are abused

Powerful opinion editorial in Dhaka Tribune from BSR HERproject Manager, Marat Yu on the power of economic empowerment through employment as a force for good when it comes to tackling violence against women. Women who are able to earn money are better positioned to prevent or escape from violence at home:

Poverty, arranged marriage, gossip and shame make violence against women ‘social norm’ in Tajikistan unveils new report from International Alert

Young women in Tajikistan face profound marginalisation and violence due to a combination of poverty, lack of education and practices that include arranged marriage, controlling behaviour as well as gossip and shaming – according to a new study by International Alert.
The report, titled ‘
Zindagii Shoista – Living with Dignity’ found that a culture that accepts a lack of women’s rights, in particular those of young wives and daughters-in-law, made sexual and gender-based violence a social norm. Read the full report here: ‘Zindagii Shoista –Living with Dignity’


Addressing social norms to stop gender-based violence and
harassment in factories

Marat Yu article on addressing social norms to stop gender-based violence and harassment in factories and farms was published widely, on Business Fights Poverty blog, WomenDeliver and OnMogul.



Professor Rachel Jewkes receives highest academic accolade from the South African Medical Research Council

This month Professor Jewkes was congratulated by the SAMRC Board and EMC for receiving an A1 NRF rating, effect from 1 January 2017. This is the highest rating achievable and recognizes her as a leading scholar in her field internationally for the high quality and wide impact of her recent research outputs. Professor Jewkes is the Director of the Gender and Health Research Unit and has been with the SAMRC for over 21 years. She served as the SAMRC Acting Vice President of Research Support during 2012-2014. She also holds the position of Honorary (full) Professor in the Faculty of Health Science at the University of Witwatersrand. Congratulations Rachel.
Invitation: SVRI Forum 2017 – Call for abstract reviews

The SVRI Forum 2017 Organising Committee invites you to submit abstracts for the SVRI Forum 2017: Partnerships for policy action, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 18th to 21st September 2017.
SVRI Forum 2017 is co-hosted by Promundo-Brazil, FIOCRUZ and PAHO/WHO, and supported by a number of key partners. The programme will be translated into English, Spanish and Portuguese. The abstract review period is 6 – 17th February 2017.
Please contact Morma Moremi at the SVRI Secretariat by email with any further comments or queries.
For information on SVRI Forum 2017,
click here.
8th South African AIDS Conference: early registration now open
From 13-16th June 2017, Durban is host to the 8th South African AIDS Conference, which this year will see a focus on violence against women and girls and HIV, find out more here:
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