Empowering girls and women: The role of health and education in preventing violence

Countries with the highest levels of gender inequities have higher levels of violence. While gender inequities persist and are pervasive in all societies they are socially formed and entirely changeable with progress seen in many counties across the last century.

How are violence and health and education connected?
 The empowerment of women can be supported by a range of different developments, from legislative change to technological development often including health and education focused interventions. It is crucial to promote policies that encourage equality and inclusion. For example:
  • Policies and programmes that close gaps in education and skills, and that support female economic participation; including those that support pay equity and allow women and men to take on equal care responsibilities for dependants.
  • Investment in sexual and reproductive health services (to achieve universal coverage of rights).

This should be underpinned by the development (and appropriate enforcement) of legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Women should be empowered to challenge gender inequity and actively engaged in approaches that raise awareness and enforcement of their legal rights. Legislation and policing alone may not be enough to tackle some forms of abuse faced by women, such as female genital mutilation or cutting.  Community-level interventions may be required to challenge deep-rooted gender stereotypes.

The Hub is interestied in your views on this topic. For example:

  • The Commonwealth in partnership with Public Health Wales are developing an ‘Evidence based violence prevention -a plan for action’ where could you see this being used in your country?
  • How do you see the Commonwealth adding value to this agenda?
  • Do you have any examples of good practice or lessons learnt that you would like to share?

Please contact the hub if you would like to contribute.