26 Mar 2017
Natalia Linou, Policy Specialist, Gender, Health and HIV, UNDP
Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence often do not seek help for fear of stigma and a lack of accessible services. Photo: UNDP Kenya
As #CSW61 comes to a close, our work to empower women and end gender-based violence continues
Physical injuries are some of the more visible, and at times most deadly, consequences of gender-based violence (GBV). But the long-term mental health consequences are often invisible and left untreated. Similarly, the reproductive and sexual health needs of survivors from rape and sexual violence – to reduce the risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe terminations, and long-term reproductive complications – are often unmet, stigmatized and under-reported.
But it is not only health needs which must be met. GBV is a consequence and reflection of structural inequalities that threaten sustainable development, undermine democratic governance, deepen social fragmentation and threaten peace and security. UNDP and the Republic of Korea hosted an event at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women on “Gender-based violence, health and well-being: Addressing the needs of women and girls living in crisis affected context” , bringing together government officials, practitioners and academics.
A common message emerged: survivors need dignity for themselves and their families, they need immediate health services and legal services, livelihood support and economic empowerment. Multi-sectoral approaches that can meet these distinct, but inter-connected, needs are often the …