Preventing Gender-based Violence, Building Livelihoods: Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming

  • Date Posted: January 4, 2012
  • Authors: Jina Krause-Vilmar
  • Organizations/Projects: Women's Refugee Commission
  • Document Types: Guidance, Tool
  • Donor Type: Other US Government Agency

Conflict and displacement destroy livelihoods and force people to adopt new strategies to support themselves. New livelihood strategies can increase the risk of gender-based violence (GBV). Women often have no safety net; they usually flee with few resources and little preparation and may become separated from or lose family members. A lack of access to economic opportunities while displaced often forces women and girls to resort to harmful measures to survive.

Women often face a trade-off between their protection and their livelihood. Most women in crisis situations actively seek to earn money, despite knowing the risks that having or earning money may bring. They need to make informed livelihood choices and to shape their livelihood options. Programs need to involve women throughout the project lifecycle—assessment and design; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation.

To facilitate practice the Women's Refuge Commission has collected lessons learned from workshop participants, conducted site visits to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia and completed desk research. The result is guidance and draft tools to help livelihood and gender-based violence practitioners design safe economic programs: "Preventing Gender-based Violence, Building Livelihoods: Guidance and Tools for Improved Programming."