Taking action against gender-based violence
In this section, we look at some of the ways that young people can take action for human rights and against gender-based violence.
The first priority when responding to gender-based violence must be to respond to the needs of victims/survivors, and ensure that they are properly protected. A number of different institutions and organisations may play a role in offering this protection. The state officially has a responsibility for support services, but in many communities, they will be provided by third parties such as civil society organisations and in particular by women’s organisations.
Prevention plays a central role in efforts to eradicate and remove the root causes of gender-based violence. Youth work and human rights activism can make an important contribution to such preventative work.
Effective action requires not only responding to incidents of gender-based violence and working to prevent individual instances, but also building a culture based on alternative principles and values to those which underlie gender-based violence and discrimination. Human rights offer a set of values to inform our daily lives, and they establish minimum standards for full equality and a life in dignity.
Where there are people, there are gender issues; and where there are people, there is the potential for gender-based violence. When young people work, organise, socialise and engage in education together, there will always be a gender dimension, and this needs to be taken into account.
Any action requires planning. Planning should be carried out together with the members of your group/organisation, to ensure that you focus on what your group wants, what they are able to do, and the best ways of achieving this. This section offers a simple way of structuring a plan and organising work with a group in order to help them achieve their aims effectively.