2016 Update to United States Strategy To Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2012 (Div. I, P.L. 112-74), [H. Rept. 112-331], calls for the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development “to submit to the Committees on Appropriations, not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, a multi-year strategy to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in countries where it is common. The strategy should include achievable and sustainable goals, benchmarks for measuring progress, and expected results. The formulation of the strategy should include regular engagement with men and boys as community leaders and advocates in ending such violence.” In August 2012, when the strategy was issued, President Obama issued Executive Order 13623, Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally. E.O. 13623 called for inter alia an interagency evaluation of the U.S. Government’s implementation of the strategy within three years, and an update to the strategy within 180 days of the evaluation. This document updates the 2012 strategy as called for by Executive Order 13623.
Action 3.1: Promote Ethical and Safe Research, Data Collection, and Evidence-based Analyses Relating to Different Forms of Gender-Based Violence and Prevention and Response Efforts at the Country and Local Level
“When women succeed, nations are more safe, more secure, and more prosperous. Over the last year, we’ve seen women and girls inspiring communities and entire countries to stand up for freedom and justice, and I’m proud of my Administration’s efforts to promote gender equality worldwide.”
– President Barack Obama, Remarks on International Women’s Day, Washington, D.C., March 8, 2013
“You cannot have a conversation about human rights and human dignity without talking about the right of every woman on this planet to be free from violence and free from fear.”
– Vice President Joseph Biden, Washington, DC, April 2, 2013
“Gender-based violence plagues every country and it perpetuates conflict. It creates instability that can flow from generation to generation, and it tears apart the ability of states to hold together as states in some cases. It makes all nations that experience it less secure, less prosperous, and clearly less free.”
– Secretary of State John Kerry, Remarks at the Call to Action Ministerial on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies, New York City, New York, September 22, 2014
“The effects of gender based violence ripple through entire communities, impacting not just women and girls, but men and boys as well. No place is immune. That’s why we need to support families and communities to respond to gender based violence by raising awareness, prioritizing access to health services and information, and changing the harmful beliefs about gender roles that underlie the practice.”
– Administrator Gayle E. Smith, United States Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, June 14, 2016
The United States puts gender equality and the advancement of women and girls at the forefront of the three pillars of U.S. foreign policy—diplomacy, development, and defense. This is embodied in the President’s National Security Strategy, the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, and the 2010 and 2015 U.S. Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Reviews (QDDR). Gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to building resilient, democratic societies; to supporting open and accountable governance; to ending extreme poverty; to furthering international peace and security; to growing vibrant market economies; and to addressing pressing health and education challenges.
Preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of the U.S. Government’s commitment to advancing human rights and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The scale of gender-based violence is tremendous, the scope is vast, and the consequences for individuals, families, communities, and countries is devastating. Such violence significantly hinders the ability of all individuals to fully participate in and contribute to their families and communities, and for societies to thrive—economically, politically, and socially.
In August 2012, President Obama issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13623, “Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally,” directing all departments and agencies to implement the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. Since that time, significant strides have been made across Federal departments and agencies in furthering the strategy’s goals. Three-year evaluations of the implementation of the Strategy conducted by The U.S. Department of State and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), released in December 2015, found specific achievements and progress under each of the four strategy objectives and identified internal and external challenges and opportunities for full and sustainable implementation.
The 2016 Update to the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally is informed by the results of those evaluations and various consultations with U.S. departments and agencies, civil society organizations, the United Nations, and other donor agencies and multilateral institutions. The purpose of the strategy is to strengthen a government-wide approach that identifies, coordinates, integrates, and leverages current efforts and resources to address gender-based violence more holistically, and effectively. It sets forth concrete goals and actions to be implemented and monitored over the next three years, with an evaluation of progress made at the end of the forthcoming three years to chart a course forward. The strategy serves as a call to action for all Federal departments and agencies to strengthen their collective resolve to prevent and respond effectively and significantly to gender-based violence around the world.
The U.S. Congress has long championed efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including in the context of child, early, and forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, sexual violence, human trafficking, and region-specific gender-based violence, from Latin America and the Caribbean to the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Congress has played a critical role in highlighting the bipartisan commitment of the United States to preventing and responding to gender- based violence, and has helped to strengthen ongoing U.S. efforts. The Administration looks forward to consulting with Congress on the implementation of the strategy, which is intended to be a broad framework encompassing all forms of gender-based violence across all regions of the world.
Gender-based Violence (GBV) is an umbrella term for any harmful threat or act directed at an individual or group based on actual or perceived biological sex, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, and/or lack of adherence to varying socially constructed norms around masculinity and femininity. It is rooted in structural gender inequalities, patriarchy, and power imbalances. GBV is typically characterized by the use or threat of physical, psychological, sexual, economic, legal, political, social and other forms of control and/or abuse. GBV impacts individuals across the life course and has direct and indirect costs to families, communities, economies, global public health, and development.
Populations affected by GBV
Women and girls across the life course are most at-risk and disproportionately affected by GBV. It is experienced by individuals across the spectrum of gender identities and gender expression. Men and boys also experience GBV. Certain already vulnerable populations may experience increased risk of GBV including, but not limited to: children and youth; people affected by conflict or crisis; people with disabilities; indigenous, ethnic and religious minority communities; low-wage and informal sector workers; those who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI); migrants, refugees, the internally displaced; older persons; and widows.
Types of GBV and settings where is occurs
GBV is a global problem: it occurs in every country and society. It happens in public and private settings, including but not limited to digital and online spaces, educational settings and schools, the home, workplaces and in transit. Types of GBV include, but are not limited to: child, early, and forced marriage; female genital mutilation/cutting; so-called “honor”-based violence and killings, and other harmful practices; acid violence; dating violence; domestic violence; female infanticide; femicide or gender-related killing of women and girls; all forms of human trafficking; intimate partner violence; sexual harassment; stalking; all forms of sexual violence, including reproductive and sexual coercion, and rape, including marital rape, so-called “corrective” rape, and rape as a tactic of conflict. Other types of violence that are sometimes gender-based include, but are not limited to: abandonment; neglect; bullying; child abuse; corporal punishment; and elder abuse.
*See Annex 1 for other Resources and a Glossary of related terms
The United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally builds on an existing foundation, abides by guiding principles and lessons learned, delineates achievable and sustainable objectives and actions for implementation, and provides for metrics to measure the progress of the strategy’s implementation. The 2016 revisions to the strategy are informed by the Department of State and USAID’s three-year Evaluations of the Implementation of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally, together with relevant U.S. Government agency input, and a consultative process with civil society and other key stakeholders between August 2015 and May 2016. As an example, evaluations showed a need for more gender-based violence prevention via economic empowerment programs for women and a need for special consideration of the human rights of LGBTI persons within this strategy, and within U.S. foreign policy.
The United States has a strong interest in preventing and responding to gender-based violence around the world. Regardless of the form that gender-based violence takes, it is a human rights abuse, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation and development. It is associated with many negative consequences, including adverse physical and mental health outcomes, limited access to education and poorer learning outcomes, increased costs relating to medical and legal services, lost household productivity, and reduced income. Gender-based violence undermines not only the safety, dignity, overall health status, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of nations.
The diplomatic focus and U.S. foreign assistance programming to address gender-based violence has increased since the 1990s, in part due to the growing recognition that rape is used as a tactic of war in several armed conflicts, including in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and that sexual violence is a crime for which there should be accountability. The Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, which entered into force in 2002, expressly recognizes that certain sexual violence may constitute a war crime, crime against humanity, or a constituent act of genocide. Building on earlier jurisprudence, the Rome Statute’s codification of certain forms of sexual violence as international crimes has helped sharpen the focus of the international community. When committed deliberately and on a large-scale against civilians, gender-based violence is a mass atrocity. In Presidential Study Directive-10 and the May 19, 2016 “Executive Order on a Comprehensive Approach to Atrocity Prevention and Response”, mass atrocity prevention was established as a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States. Thus, the full range of US Government tools and resources applicable to atrocity prevention will be applied to the prevention of and response to large-scale and deliberate acts of gender-based violence against civilians. The scope of attention to gender-based violence has gradually expanded across the continuum from humanitarian assistance to development, from service provision for survivors to more comprehensive programming efforts that also focus on preventing gender-based violence, including increased emphasis on engaging men and boys in their various roles as potential perpetrators, agents of change, and survivors themselves. Within foreign policy, the U.S. Government regularly advocates for human rights and gender equality at all levels, engaging with foreign government leaders and civil society organizations alike. Within emergency response programs and health programs, for example, United States humanitarian assistance and health care workers have been trained on gender-based violence prevention and response. In addition, the United States has invested in collecting population-based data on the prevalence of violence, in particular domestic violence and, increasingly, violence against children, for the past 25 years. This has helped to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem in the countries where the United States works. The United States also provides contributions to multilateral organizations to enhance their capacity to address gender-based violence.
With that foundation, the United States has reiterated its commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality as part of its foreign policy and assistance efforts, instituting a number of key policies over the ensuing years.
- In 2009, President Obama designated the first ever Ambassador- at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, significantly raising the profile of gender equality and women’s empowerment in U.S. foreign policy.
- In December, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons recognizing the human rights of LGBTI persons in U.S. foreign policy.
- In March 2012, then Secretary Clinton announced Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality to Achieve our National Security and Foreign Policy Objectives (Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality), which provides the Department of State with guidance on advancing gender equality in U.S. foreign policy.
- In 2012, USAID issued an updated policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment, which includes reducing gender-based violence as one of its three outcomes. Since then, USAID has developed additional Agency guidelines to strengthen the work on behalf of gender equality and to address gender-based violence, such as the Ending Child Marriage and Meeting the Needs of Children Vision for Action and the LGBT Vision for Action: Promoting and Supporting the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals.
- In January 2013, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum for the “Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally,” to ensure that interagency leadership prioritizes gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and response into global USG work.
- In June 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry expanded on previous guidance with the announcement of Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality and Advancing the Status of Women and Girls. In 2015, the Department of State created the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons. The Department’s commitment to gender equality was reaffirmed and as a result, gender issues are better integrated into the Department’s strategic and budget planning processes.
The United States has made significant progress in its efforts to address gender-based violence specifically, including through the development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls; the launch of the Let Girls Learn and The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) DREAMS initiatives; the work of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; and the incorporation of gender-based violence programming into humanitarian response activities.
The United States supports foreign policies and programs that prevent and respond to gender-based violence around the world, primarily through Department of State and USAID funds. Both agencies take a comprehensive approach to addressing gender-based violence, and have a wide range of interventions either as U.S. foreign policy or foreign assistance programs or as part of multilateral or civil society efforts.
The Department of State and USAID have established classifications for U.S. foreign assistance activities addressing gender, including: gender equality/women’s empowerment; gender-based violence; women, peace, and security; and LGBTI (see annex 4 for more information). This allows for streamlined, consistent reporting in budget and performance documentation. Through prior year classifications, estimates of U.S. support for gender- based violence programs totaled approximately
$153 million on average per year, for the past four years (fiscal years 2013 through 2016). This estimate does not capture all funding that impacts prevention of or response to gender-based violence as it is only the portion of U.S. Government funds that was attributed directly to gender-based violence. Many programs and activities can indirectly impact the prevention of and response to gender- based violence, which may not be captured within the gender- based violence attribution.
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the Department of State and USAID requested $142.4 million for programs addressing gender-based violence worldwide, an increase of nearly two percent over the FY 2015 request of $140 million. The FY2016 request is attributed across the following accounts:
- $19.3 million from the Development Assistance account;
- $25.8 million from the Economic Support Fund account;
- $200,000 from the Food for Peace Title II account;
- $45.2 million from the Global Health Programs-State account ;
- $12.4 million from the Global Health Programs-USAID account;
- $14.6 million from the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account; and
- $25 million from the Migration and Refugee Assistance account.
Specifically in FY 2014 and FY 2015, PEPFAR invested a total of $73.3 million in gender- based violence- related activities.
The Department of State takes a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to addressing gender-based violence, including ensuring appropriate care for survivors while also strengthening deterrents through legislation, legal, and judicial action. The Department of State has significantly elevated issues related to the advancement of women and girls. As part of that effort, President Obama designated the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues in April 2009. Through the office led by the Ambassador, the Department of State promotes sustained peace and development by empowering women around the world and promoting policies and programs that prevent and respond to gender- based violence throughout the full range of the Department of State’s diplomatic engagement with host governments, civil society, donors, the media, and the private sector. This work occurs through bilateral and regional diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy, and public diplomacy across the Department of State, as well as through foreign assistance, including supporting training for U.S. Government and foreign governments, and the work of public-private partnerships. The Department incorporates a gender-based violence lens into other intersecting efforts, including human rights, democracy and governance, justice and accountability, programming focused on adolescent girls, implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, women’s economic participation, women’s political participation, programming focused on LGBTI persons, and anti-trafficking policies and programs.
With the ongoing support of Secretary Kerry and effective Department-wide policy frameworks, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues coordinates and leads the Department’s sustained efforts to incorporate gender-based violence and gender equality policy and programming into the work of many regional and functional bureaus and offices within the Department of State. While the Office leverages the significant combined resources of the many programmatic and policy bureaus across the Department identified above, it has developed programs under its specific purview aimed at women’s empowerment, protectionandadvancement. Throughitsover$50 millioninactiveprogramsin 66 countries, ithasgathered important best practices that contribute to the Ambassador’s diplomatic efforts, and has engaged private sector partners as force multipliers. One such programmatic example is the Accountability Initiative, which works to build the capacity of partner governments to prosecute sexual violence crimes in countries that are ravaged by war and violence and insecurity. In addition, the Department’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which outlines its policy objectives, guiding principles, and action framework, serves as a cross-sector implementation tool to support women’s economic empowerment globally, and to prevent women’s vulnerability to GBV by promoting women’s economic independence. Similarly, the Department supported Afghan Women’s Leadership Initiative, which addresses early and forced child marriage and provides livelihood trainings to young women vulnerable to abuse.
USAID has a long history of programming around gender-based violence prevention and response within its development and humanitarian assistance mandate. USAID programs address the root causes of violence; improve prevention and protection services; respond to the health and economic needs of those affected by gender-based violence; and support legal frameworks that, when implemented, mitigate against gender-based violence. USAID has strengthened its attention to gender equality issues, including through its 2012 Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy; its implementation plan for the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; its policy on Counter-Trafficking in Persons; its LGBT Vision for Action; its gender equality guidance and requirements related to strategic and program design; and its suite of training, including an introductory course required of all USAID staff. Furthermore, USAID has an active gender-based violence working group chaired by the Senior gender-based violence Advisor in the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and consists of members from various bureaus and offices across USAID. USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and the Senior Gender Advisor in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning (both positions established in the last seven years) together with the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, collaborate closely with Agency-wide networks of gender experts, including dedicated gender-based violence advisors and allies, to reduce gender disparities in access to, control over, and benefit from resources; address gender norms; increase capability of women and girls to realize their rights; and reduce gender-based violence and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities, through programs in every sector globally. In addition, the Senior LGBT Coordinator works across USAID bureaus, missions and independent offices to ensure that LGBTI persons are included in gender-based violence programs.
Interagency efforts advance gender-based violence prevention and response through existing strategies, policies, and processes. The strategy complements and reinforces those efforts to support long-term gender- based violence prevention and response. Examples of such efforts include:
At the conclusion of interagency vetting processes, in July 2015, President Obama announced Malawi and Tanzania as the first two focus countries for comprehensive efforts on GBV and for Let Girls Learn. Focus country selection allows for a multi-sector, and approach to issues affecting women and girls, including girls education and gender-based violence prevention and response programs. These two countries will be the first in a coordinated interagency effort among the Department of State, USAID, PEPFAR, Peace Corps and other agencies for gender programming. Collaborators include USG agencies, multilateral and bilateral partners, and civil society, the private sector, as well as affected women and girls.
In 2016, Secretary Kerry launched the U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls to address challenges related to adolescent girls’ safety, health, and education. Adolescence is a critical period in a girl’s life, when significant physical, emotional, and social changes shape her future. It is also an ideal point to leverage development and diplomacy efforts and disrupt poverty from being a permanent condition that is passed from one generation to the next. The progress of this population will be an essential determinant of our success in achieving the goals set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Today’s epidemic of undereducated and impoverished girls is tomorrow’s crisis of instability, conflict, health, hunger, and avoidable child deaths.
The goal of U.S. Government efforts under the strategy is to ensure adolescent girls are educated, healthy, socially and economically empowered, and free from violence and discrimination, thereby promoting global development, security, and prosperity. Bringing together the efforts of the Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the strategy identifies how the United States will address the range of challenges facing adolescent girls, including through enhancing girls’ access to quality education in safe environments; providing economic opportunities and incentives for girls and their families; empowering girls with information, skills, services, and support; mobilizing and educating communities to change harmful norms and practices; including child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting; and strengthening policy and legal frameworks and accountability.
In March 2015, the President and First Lady launched Let Girls Learn to address the problem of 62 million girls around the world who are not in school. Let Girls Learn brings together the Department of State, USAID, the Peace Corps, and the MCC, as well as other agencies and programs like PEPFAR, to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attaining a quality education that empowers them to reach their full potential. As part of this announcement, the President announced Malawi and Tanzania as the first two focus countries for coordinated Let Girls Learn and gender-based violence programming. Resulting programs combine the necessary political will, diplomacy, grassroots organizing, and development expertise to create lasting change. Recognizing that adolescent girls face multiple challenges in pursuing an education, including gender-based violence, Let Girls Learn is employing a holistic approach to change the perception of the value of girls at the individual, community and institutional levels; foster a safe and enabling environment for adolescent girls’ education; and engage and equip girls to make life decisions and important contributions to society. Building on existing U.S. Government efforts and expertise, Let Girls Learn elevates existing programs and invests in new ones to expand educational opportunities for girls—including in areas of conflict and crisis. It leverages public-private partnerships and challenges others to commit resources to improve the lives of adolescent girls worldwide. The initiative will also expand collaboration with experts and place particular emphasis on community-led solutions to help adolescent girls complete their education.
AAs directed by 2011 Executive Order, the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security was instituted with the goal of promoting U.S. national security by empowering women abroad as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries affected by war, violence,and insecurity. Together, Executive Order 13595 and the National Action Plan chart a roadmap for how the United States will accelerate and institutionalize efforts across the Federal Government to advance women’s participation in peace processes and decision-making; prevent and respond to gender-basedviolence, trafficking in persons, and other forms of exploitation and abuse in conflict areas; promote women’s engagement in conflict prevention; and ensure safe, equitable access to relief and recovery assistance, including health, education, and economic opportunity. The National Action Plan provides a mechanism for the United States to protect women and girls, as well as men and boys, from gender- based violence and abuse in conflict-affected environments through a range of actions, including building the capacity of protection actors, developing and implementing laws and policies that reduce impunity, providing comprehensive services for survivors of violence, and ensuring that gender and protection issues are systematically addressed in the provision of humanitarian assistance. The National Action Plan (updated in 2016) also represents ongoing government-wide efforts to leverage U.S. diplomatic, defense, and development resources to improve the participation of women in peace and conflict prevention processes, protect women and girls from GBV, and help ensure that women and girls have full and equal access to relief and recovery resources.
PPEPFAR is an interagency program coordinated by the Department of State’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and implemented through the Department of State, USAID, Health and Human Services (HHS) (including the Center for Disease Control), Department Of Defense (DOD), the Department of Commerce, and the Peace Corps. It aligns its efforts to focus on women, girls, and gender equality across all U.S.-supported development efforts. PEPFAR’s gender strategy recognizes that addressing gender norms and inequities is essential to reducing HIV risk and increasing access to HIV prevention, care, and services for women and men. Reducing violence and coercion is one of the gender strategy’s key priorities. Country studies indicate that the risk of HIV among women who have experienced violence may be up to three times higher than among those who have not. PEPFAR supports significant work in the field to integrate gender-based violence prevention and treatment into existing HIV programs. This includes PEPFAR’s Gender-based Violence Scale-Up Initiative in Mozambique, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which totaled over $48 million over three years (2011-2014). In Tanzania, an outcome evaluation was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of the program.
In December 2014, PEPFAR launched the DREAMS Partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women. DREAMS is a $385 million partnership to reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub- Saharan African countries. DREAMS is delivering a core package of interventions that combines evidence- informed approaches that go beyond the health sector, addressing the structural drivers that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education. In addition to existing work to prevent and treat GBV, the DREAMS guidance conveys to countries working on reducing new infections in adolescent girls and young women that addressing GBV is an essential component.
Recognizing the strong links between women’s health and their ability to participate in the economy— and between women’s economic participation and overall economic development—the United States, particularly the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services, championed the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Initiative through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Under this initiative, representatives from APEC economy governments, industry, academia, and non- governmental organizations came together to examine how a lack of health care prevents women’s economic participation in the workforce. The Healthy Women Healthy Economies Initiative groups address these health-related barriers in five categories: Workplace Health and Safety; Health Access and Awareness; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Gender-based Violence; and Work/Life Balance. It provides a policy toolkit that makes concrete recommendations for government and private sector companies to address each of these barriers. The toolkit presents this information in a user-friendly way, providing a menu of options that APEC member economies may draw upon, choosing the actions most appropriate for their specific contexts.
Founded in 2001, the Donors Working Group on Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) brings together key actors representing governments, all relevant UN agencies and multilateral organizations, and private foundations engaged in the common effort to end FGM/C and promote gender equality. The U.S. Government, through the Department of State and USAID, is one of 11 government members. Members share an overarching objective to support large scale social transformation that benefits children and women. Donor Working Group members share information on technical and political developments on efforts to eliminate FGM/C, coordinate on upcoming initiatives, and advocate for a common understanding among donors of the policy and programmatic elements required to end the practice. Thanks to this broad consensus and growing partnership, the basis now exists for scaling up abandonment strategies.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HHS, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Office of Food for Peace (FFP) work together to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in conflict-affected regions around the world.
Overseas assistance: PRM and USAID invest in GBV prevention and response at both the global and field levels by ensuring that women and girls have equitable and meaningful access to all disaster response and disaster risk reduction programs, and requiring that programming is safe, and tailored to meet the different needs, capacities and interests of women, men, girls and boys.
Safe from the Start is a joint U.S. Department of State and USAID effort to help humanitarian actors prioritize GBV prevention and response and deliver quality programs from the onset of an emergency or crisis. Safe from the Start represents the U.S. Government’s Commitment to the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies—a groundbreaking effort that brings together governments, donors, and humanitarian responders to coordinate our collective efforts on GBV prevention and response in humanitarian emergencies. From 2013-2015 the United States committed nearly $40 million to projects and activities in support of Safefromthe Start. The Call to Action and Safefromthe Start asks all stakeholders to make and meet their commitments to take action to address GBV from the start of humanitarian emergencies. This means that both specialized and mainstreamed programming are resourced and established from the outset of emergency response. As part of its commitments to realizing the objectives of Safe from the Start, PRM and USAID have supported partnerships with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), the International Committee ofthe Red Cross(ICRC), the UNPopulation Fund(UNFPA), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UNICEF, and non-government organizations, in strengthening GBV support services and in developing guidance needed to prevent and mitigate the effects of GBV. Building on Safe from the Start and the Call to Action in 2014 USAID/OFDA launched the innovative Real Time Accountability Partnership (RTAP). The RTAP convenes key humanitarian agencies and organizations to focus on promoting system-wide accountability for GBV prevention and response in emergencies, with a goal of ensuring that both specialized and mainstreamed programming are resourced and established from the outset of emergency response.
PRM and USAID also coordinate with the CDC’s Emergency Response and Recovery Branch (ERRB). This branch is responsible for CDC’s response to complex humanitarian emergencies, and provides both remote and on- site assistance to humanitarian responders on a range of public health issues including gender-based violence, upon request by the U.S. Government, United Nations agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
Refugee Resettlement: PRM also coordinates with the HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, the DHS’ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and other departments and agencies to administer the USRAP. USRAP works with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and nine Resettlement Support Centers overseas to process refugees, including women-at-risk and survivors of gender-based violence who qualify for refugee status, for resettlement in the United States.
Federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons, estimated to affect more than 20 million people worldwide, a majority of whom are women and girls, are coordinated by the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF). The PITF is a Cabinet-level entity chaired by the Secretary of State and composed of the heads of more than 15 Federal departments,agencies, and offices. High- level designees of PITF representatives meet regularly as the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG) to coordinate interagency policy, grants, research, and planning issues involving trafficking in persons and the implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106- 386), as amended. The SPOG is chaired by the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the Department of State. In addition to actions and policies affecting domestic populations, member departments and agencies of the PITF and SPOG implement a number of programs of relevance to gender-based violence abroad, including grants to non-governmental organizations providing comprehensive services to trafficking survivors, in addition to legal and technical support to foreign governments on both sex and labor trafficking, including forced child labor and child sex tourism.
Public Law (PL) 109-95, The Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act, was signed into law to promote a comprehensive, coordinated and effective response by the U.S. Government to the urgent needs of the world’s most vulnerable children. The U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity (APCA), collaboratively developed by U.S. Government departments and agencies involved in international assistance to vulnerable children and launched by the White House in 2012, has as its stated goal to achieve a world in which all children grow up in protective family care and free from deprivation, exploitation, and danger. The plan serves as a framework for international assistance, providing overarching guiding principles, goals, objectives and outcomes to guide a whole-of-government response on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children. To address gender-based violence, the plan promotes efforts to mainstream and integrate gender-based violence prevention and response activities into sector work as well as initiatives to improve host-country reporting of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect of vulnerable children. Multiple offices across seven Federal departments and agencies, including the Departments of State, Labor, Health and Human Services, Defense, Agriculture, the Peace Corps and the USAID, collaborate on the implementation of APCA to respond to the needs of children facing adversity overseas.
The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) is a U.S. Government security assistance program funded through the Department of State that is designed to build international capacity and capabilities to conduct United Nations (UN) and regional peace operations. GPOI is primarily focused on military forces, but also contributes the development of formed police units through its support of Italy’s Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units, complementing the efforts of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. To date, GPOI has trained more than 320,000 personnel and facilitated the deployment of more than 230,000 personnel to 29 peace operations around the world. Since 2012, GPOI has facilitated the deployment of 2,539 female military peacekeepers in its 50 active partner countries. GPOI implementation is consciously structured to proactively address protection of civilians (POC). As a part of its focus on POC, GPOI emphasizes the prevention and remediation of sexual and gender based violence as well as child protection. In an effort to promote appropriate forms of behavior, conduct, and response, GPOI- funded peace operations training includes instruction on human rights, conduct and discipline including the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, and POC including prevention of sexual and gender based violence and child protection. In 2015 alone, GPOI funded more than 120 training events and courses that included instruction on these topics. In addition to specific courses/training activities, GPOI provides assistance supporting the development of United Nations materials and events on POC, such as: In-mission senior leader level table top exercises on POC and prevention of sexual and gender based violence; tactical- level guidance for POC and the prevention and remediation of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV); development and implementation of an integrated training course on preventing and responding to CRSV, and; development of training materials for Women Protection Advisors and Gender Advisors.
The Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma membership is an interagency group with more than 100 representatives, including Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, Department of State, Peace Corps, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Veteran’s Affairs and the White House’s Violence Against Women office. The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Department of Health and Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration currently co-chair the Committee which was established in April 2009. The Committee’s work is guided by the recognition that the impact of violence and trauma on women and girls is a public health problem with profound implications for programs and services provided by many different agencies. Initial activities focused on identifying the extent of the implications for on each agency’s approaches to individuals affected by trauma, developing a technical assistance agenda, and promoting evidence-based public health practices. Membership is open to any federal entity concerned with issues related to women and trauma. Collaborations have resulted in outcomes such as joint training and curriculum development; re-examination and creation of new policies on workplace violence, bullying and health education; joint participation in international forums; changes in grant programs; joint research initiatives; the development of state coalitions; and technical guidance memoranda. The Committee published two reports in 2011 and 2013 and plans to publish its third report in the summer of 2016.
The United States recognizes that for people to achieve their full potential, their lives must be free from violence. The strategy incorporates the following overarching priorities to ending gender-based violence:
- Prevention of gender-based violence from occurring in the first place, and from recurring, by reducing risk and by working with local grassroots organizations, civil society, and key stakeholders in the community;
- Protection from gender-based violence by identifying and providing services to survivors once the violence occurs; and
- Accountability to end impunity and ensure that those responsible for gender-based violence are prosecuted by strengthening legal and judicial systems.
To ensure this strategy is meaningful and effective, it incorporates key lessons learned, challenges, gaps and promising practices in designing, executing, and evaluating U.S. programs and policies. In December 2015, the Department of State and USAID each released their Evaluation of Implementation of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally, which also outlines many of these lessons. Successful policies and programs that prevent and respond to gender- based violence should incorporate the below lessons learned.
- Recognize that violence can occur throughout the life course.
- Recognize the cycle of abuse, as research indicates that experiencing violence as a child increases one’s risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence later in life.
- Carefully consider the potential impact of all efforts in order to do no harm to the individuals that such efforts intend to support and protect.
- Understand and address the causes, socio-cultural dynamics, and economic empowerment factors that can prevent or perpetuate violence.
- Engage women and girls, including advocates and survivors, from local civil society and indigenous organizations, as allies, change agents partners, and role models to inform and improve policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.
- Engage men and boys, including advocates and survivors, from local civil society and indigenous organizations, as allies, change agents, partners, and role models to inform and improve policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.
- Engage individuals of diverse gender identities and expressions, including advocates and survivors, from local civil society and indigenous organizations, as allies, change agents, partners, and role models to inform and improve policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation.
- Ensure inclusion of vulnerable and underserved populations, including children, people affected by conflict or crisis; persons with disabilities; racial, ethnic and religious minority communities; low wage and informal sector workers; LGBTI persons; migrants, refugees, and the internally displaced; older persons; and widows.
- Engage local and national governments in bilateral and multilateral partnerships to remove structural barriers to gender inequality to prevent gender-based violence.
- Engage faith-based community, local civil society, education, and health care providers to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in their communities.
- Engage private sector, partners, and donors to empower local community efforts on prevention and response to gender-based violence.
The strategy will ensure that the guiding principles and lessons learned continue to inform the U.S. work in this area.
The strategy represents a multi-sector approach that includes the justice and legal, security, health, including access to sexual and reproductive health, rights, education, economic, social services, humanitarian, and development sectors, and that works at the individual, family, community, local, national, and global levels. The overarching goal of this strategy is to strengthen and marshal the
U.S. expertise and capacity to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. It is imperative that the United States employ its human and financial resources in the most effective, efficient, and coordinated way. Since 2012, the United States has made significant progress toward meeting the objectives. To achieve this goal beyond 2016, the United States prioritizes the following four objectives:
- Institutionalize coordination of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts among U.S. Government departments and agencies and with other stakeholders;
- Integrate gender-based violence prevention and response efforts into existing U.S. Government work;
- Collect, analyze, and use data and research to enhance U.S. Government’s gender-based violence prevention and response efforts; and
Expand U.S. Government programming that addresses gender-based violence.
Objective 1: Institutionalize Coordination of Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Efforts among U.S. Government Departments and Agencies and with Other Stakeholders
The United States is working to strengthen and institutionalize interagency coordination to support Federal departments and agencies’ gender-based violence prevention and response activities. The Interagency will prioritize collaboration with external stakeholders, including civil society, foreign governments, multilateral organizations, other donors, and the private sector. The Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide important platforms for this kind of collaboration, partnership, joint funding, and data collection globally.
Action 1.1: Interagency and Intra-agency Coordination
- Interagency Coordination: The U.S. Government’s departments and agencies that work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence domestically and internationally work toward a strategic, deliberate, and inclusive interagency process that will draw upon each agency’s expertise, mandate, and capacity to provide a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to this issue. Interagency coordination is an essential component to the strategy as a whole. For relevant departments and agencies, interagency coordination also includes field-level or country-level coordination, for example, within and between U.S. missions, embassies, and consulates abroad.
- The Interagency utilizes existing platforms, working groups, and task forces to share information and promising practices (including strategies, successes and challenges in gender-based violence integration into agency efforts, and effective training modules) in order to avoid possible duplication of efforts. The Interagency discusses improvements to program development and implementation and analyzes how gender-based violence is addressed in current crises around the world.
- Interagency coordination includes interactions with existing and active interagency bodies with like-minded goals, such as the Interagency Working Group on Violence Against Women, led by the Vice President’s Office, the Let Girls Learn Task Force, PEPFAR Gender and Adolescent Girls Technical Working Group, the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), the Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG), and Federal Partners’ Committee on Women & Trauma, DREAMS Task Force, the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance and the President’s Global Development Council, the Hate Crimes Interagency Initiative Convening, relevant interagency policy committees (IPCs), etc.
- Intra-agency Coordination: Federal departments and agencies strengthen existing or create new mechanisms for coordinating their work on gender-based violence. For example, USAID and the Department of State have established agency-wide gender- based violence working groups to assist in internal coordination and integration of gender-based violence into their programming and policies.
- Action 1.2: Ensure Greater collaboration with other stakeholders: The United States recognizes the importance of deepening engagement and coordination with host governments, international organizations, including multilateral and bilateral actors, the private sector, civil society organizations (including those that serve or are led by survivors), such as representatives of indigenous and marginalized groups, foundations, community- based, faith-based, and regional organizations labor unions, universities, think tanks and research organizations. These types of partnerships are critical to coordinating and leveraging resources, identifying and building on best practices, conducting research, identifying and filling gaps, scaling up promising projects, and leveraging opportunities
for discussion of lessons learned, challenges, and successful efforts.. The Interagency will consider whether new platforms for collaboration with outside stakeholders, especially civil society, should be established or strengthened.
- Civil Society Consultation: Consistent with Federal law, departments and agencies consult with representatives of both U.S.-based and host country civil society organizations with demonstrated experience in preventing and responding to gender- based violence, including grassroots organizations, academics, survivors, service providers, and other experts.
- Cross-sector Collaboration: As opportunities arise, the Interagency will facilitate opportunities for collaboration among diverse organizations, such as those focused on agriculture; climate change; democracy and governance, including human rights; economic growth; education; energy; health; humanitarian response; labor; justice and accountability; and law enforcement to develop the most comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
- Public-Private Partnerships: Federal departments and agencies work with non- governmental organizations and the private sector to determine which aspects of this strategy can be conducive to developing public-private partnerships. 
Objective 2: Integrate Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Efforts into U.S. Government work
Consistent with the Department of State’s Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality, Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality and Advancing the Status of Women and Girls, and USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, departments and agencies comprehensively integrate gender-based violence prevention and response programming into their policy and programming efforts.
- Action 2.1: Integrate Content on Gender-based Violence into Existing Department and Agency Programs and Policies: Federal departments and agencies integrate content on how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence into their current operations, policies, trainings, and strategies. . Departments and agencies are building upon the Department of State and USAID’s Evaluation of Implementation of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally, and areas that other departments and agencies have identified for improvement during strategy and project design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Such integration has been backed by staff capacity and technical expertise in gender-based violence as well as a review of potential gender-based violence interventions.
- Action 2.2: Use Existing Platforms to Advance Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Gender- based Violence: Many interagency programs and interventions work across sectors, such as agriculture; climate change; democracy and governance, including human rights; economic growth; education; energy; health; humanitarian response; justice and accountability; labor; and law enforcement provide valuable opportunities to advance preventing and responding to gender-based violence efforts. The Interagency will continue to work to ensure these existing platforms focus on gender-based violence prevention and response, as appropriate. The Interagency will also coordinate different efforts as they relate to gender-based violence to leverage the most effective programs and to avoid duplication.
Objective 3: Collection, Analysis, and Use of Data and Research to Enhance Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Efforts
Many countries, including the United States and international and non-governmental organizations, have conducted research on gender-based violence throughout the world, but the data is often not easily obtainable, comprehensive, consistent, or usable. The Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs provide a platform for a unified approached to data. Each of the 17 global goals has specific targets to measure progress for every country in the world. As an anchor member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the United States is committed to supporting open, new and usable data to drive decision-making. This work will inform the collection, analysis and use of Data and Research to Enhance Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Efforts. The United States continues to promote research efforts that address the gaps in data, and build upon existing data collection and research. The U.S. identifies and shares promising practices, data, and research, including smaller, community-based studies. Departments and agencies use such data and any new research findings consistent with the principles outlined in the Presidential Memorandum of March 9, 2009, on “Scientific Integrity,” together with agency implementing guidance, to inform policy and projects that prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
Action 3.1: Promote Ethical and Safe Research, Data Collection, and Evidence-based Analyses Relating to Different Forms of Gender-Based Violence and Prevention and Response Efforts at the Country and Local Level.
- Revisit and Strengthen Research Efforts: Relevant departments and agencies assess their research and data collection capabilities, needs, and gaps to help support a relevant research agenda that builds upon existing data and research, and is coordinated with the work of other organizations that are prioritizing global gender-based violence research. The departments and agencies also share and better coordinate research and data processes regarding both domestic and global gender-based violence issues . Issues include those related to vulnerable populations and in humanitarian contexts.
- Partnerships with Stakeholders: Departments and agencies, as appropriate, identify public-private partnerships to support U.S. Government research initiatives, strategic planning efforts, and private sector research priorities. Departments and agencies, as appropriate, also seek to collaborate with local communities to develop and implement research projects and priorities
- Research the Impact of Gender-based Violence on Foreign Policy and Assistance Goals: A growing body of evidence shows that reducing gender- based violence, empowering women and girls, combating stigma and discrimination of LGBTI persons, and reducing gender inequalities in health, education, and access to economic resources are associated with lower poverty, higher economic growth, greater agricultural productivity, better nutrition and education of children, improved public health, and other outcomes are vital to the success of countries. As such, the United States explores and supports research to more fully assess the economic as well as social costs of gender- based violence.
Capacity-Building of Data Collection Systems and Surveys: Departments and agencies, as appropriate and where possible, support the development of country-level systems that routinely obtain descriptive information on key indicators of gender-based violence over time. They also support the implementation of population-based surveys in countries to collect key information around exposures, related risk factors, and health and social outcomes related to gender-based violence. Capacity-building of countries are supported through training programs and working with host countries, academic institutions, and local civil society to plan and implement data collection and monitoring systems and surveys. These data collection systems and surveys complement existing and past efforts including, but not limited to, Demographic and Health Surveys, the Violence against Children surveys, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) and other surveys that collect data on gender-based violence, including among and against vulnerable populations.
- Improvement and Harmonization of Research and Data Collection Methods: To increase accurate, consistent, coordinated, and comparable data, departments and agencies explore harmonization of indicators, where appropriate, and the use of common guidelines. There is a concerted effort to improve data collection methods across departments and agencies.
- Ethical Considerations and Human Subjects: Departments and agencies require the use of internationally recognized guidelines on ethical and safe practices, including the World Health Organization’s Ethical and Safety Recommendation for Research on Domestic Violence Against Women, to protect the confidentiality and safety of human subjects when conducting U.S.-funded gender-based violence research and data collection. In other circumstances, departments and agencies advocate for the use of these ethical guidelines and any additional privacy considerations as appropriate, including the adaptation of the guidelines to local settings.
Action 3.2: Prioritize Monitoring and Evaluation of U.S. Government Programs: Strong monitoring and evaluation contributes to the identification of promising practices that can be promoted in future gender-based violence prevention and response programs. Departments and agencies continue to monitor and evaluate gender-based violence prevention and response interventions to determine their effectiveness.
- System for Monitoring and Evaluation: Many indicators are used to capture performance information about Department of State and USAID gender-related activities (see Annex 3). Within the entire suite of shared indicators used to capture the results of foreign assistance funding across all sectors, all indicators for which it is possible are reported with sex-disaggregated data. A subset of indicators in the performance suite are specifically focused on gender issues, and of those, two are specifically focused on gender-based violence. PEPFAR also uses a common indicator for program monitoring and evaluation (see Annex 3). The Interagency considers whether to adopt some of the existing indicators to ensure consistency and comparability of data across the U.S. Government or whether to develop other accountability measures to monitor and evaluate their programming.
- Assess Evidence to Ensure that the Best Available Strategies are Implemented: Departments and agencies examine existing resources, to assist program staff and policy-makers to understand and use more effectively the best available evidence to help make decisions about gender-based violence prevention and response strategies to adopt and about resources to invest.
Action 3.3: Identify and Share Promising Practices, Lessons Learned, and Research Within the Interagency and with Outside Partners: Departments and agencies continue to build the evidence base for gender-based violence prevention and response programming and monitoring and evaluation, and share promising practices within their own departments and agencies, with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and with implementing partners as appropriate . Departments and agencies strengthen and support use of other mechanisms, such as international exchanges, to ensure that the United States is exchanging and learning promising practices, resources, and research with country and non-governmental partners, including civil society. Further, departments and agencies will explore existing gender-based violence databases or registries and investigate the development of an infrastructure, such as a resource bank, for compiling and disseminating data and research results efficiently and effectively to Federal departments and agencies and their partners.
- Domestic Promising Practices and Expertise: Certain departments and agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence against Women and Office for Victims of Crime, HHS’s Family Violence Prevention & Services Program and Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Services Administration, and CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, have worked in the area of gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls domestically for many years. These departments and agencies provide technical assistance domestically to states and local communities on a wide range of issues including best practices in the criminal justice system, effective methods for serving survivors, and the development of prevention campaigns. The FVPSA Program, in particular, assists states, U.S. territories and Indian tribes in efforts to prevent domestic violence and dating violence; provides immediate shelter and supportive services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and their dependents; provides for a National Domestic Violence Hotline; and provides for technical assistance and training relating to domestic violence, dating violence, and domestic violence programs to states, tribes, public agencies, community-based programs and the public. FVPSA funds more than 1,600 local public, private, nonprofit and faith-based organizations that provide survivors of domestic and dating violence and their children with: emergency shelter, safety planning; crisis counseling; support groups; options counseling; legal advocacy; information and referral; and other vital services. And FVPSA funded programs serve millions of survivors each year through its grants to shelters, hotlines, and other supportive services. Likewise, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published guidance on developing workplace violence prevention programs, and conducts outreach to employers and employees on methods for reducing the likelihood of workplace violence, which includes gender-based violence. Where possible and appropriate, domestic expertise and materials may be adapted for use in the international context. . Similarly, experience and materials used in global context may be adapted for use and benefit of domestic gender-based violence prevention and response programs.
- Promising Practices and Expertise from a Range of Sectors: Departments and agencies will examine lessons learned and harness expertise from sectors, such as the rule of law/law enforcement sector, health sector and humanitarian programs that have successfully scaled up programs, worked with the private sector and civil society, and/or support and shared data and research.
The United States supports programming that provides a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, including multi-sectoral programming, such as agriculture; climate change; democracy and governance, including human rights; economic growth; education; energy; health; labor; justice and accountability; and law enforcement, as well as greater attention to efforts in humanitarian contexts. The United States enhances or expands such programming based on available resources.
- Action 4.1: Replicate or Scale Up Successful Interventions: Departments and agencies identify which of their programs meet the criteria for evidence-based promising practices to be considered for replication or scaling up. Promising programs with strategies to address gender-based violence affecting a range of vulnerable populations must adhere to quality standards in service delivery and ensure that interventions are not inadvertently causing harm. Programs should aim to be transformative in addressing the root causes of gender- based violence in that particular program context.
- Action 4.2: Coordinate Focus Country Approaches: The Interagency assesses the feasibility of a coordinated, multi-sector, and comprehensive approach to gender-based violence programs. Coordinated funding should assess opportunities for supporting health programs and social services; increasing access to justice through civil, criminal, legal, and judicial protections and increasing capacity by strengthening institutions and training; encouraging changing social norms through communication and organizing efforts; promoting access to economic opportunity projects; and improving educational, economic and employment opportunities for women and girls. Criteria for country selection may include host government engagement; local civil society organizational capacity, including survivor-led groups; presence of international and private sector entities with gender- based violence programming experience; and the presence of U.S. Government efforts, such as the Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, Let Girls Learn, and PEPFAR to leverage resources. Other criteria may include whether a country is experiencing or has recently emerged from disaster, conflict or insecurity; and geographic, ethnic, and cultural representation.
The White House National Security Council provides oversight of the implementation of the Strategy. The Department of State and USAID are the U.S. Government’s primary implementers of programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence around the world. Secretary Kerry and USAID Administrator Smith have reaffirmed that advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to U.S. foreign policy. The Department of State and USAID have myriad efforts underway in this area, including programs to reduce gender-based violence.
Participating U.S. Government departments and agencies, include Departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Labor, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and State, the Peace Corps, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls, and the National Security Council will continue to designate one or more representatives, as appropriate, with incorporating the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally into policies and programs with the objective of full implementation.
Pursuant to the strategy’s objectives, the Department of State and USAID cooperate closely on implementing the strategy. The current implementation plans developed in 2012 (see Annex 2 and Annex 3) outline the specific modalities for realizing the strategy’s objectives and actions, and served as the framework for the three-year evaluations in 2015.
Following the 2016 Update of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally, agency specific implementation plans will be reviewed and updated as needed. The implementation plans will outline metrics to be used to measure progress of the implementation. Other participating departments and agencies will develop implementation and monitoring plans as needed.
The progress and implementation of this strategy will be assessed through annual reporting in line with the various existing policies and strategic frameworks, including the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; the United States Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, in alignment with agency-specific policies and tools, such as the Department of State’s Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality; Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality and Advancing the Status of Women and Girls; USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy; and the updated PEPFAR Gender Strategy. An evaluation of the implementation of the 2016 Update of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally will be conducted three years after its release.
To bolster its efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, the United States has developed an updated, coordinated, and integrated strategy that leverages the expertise and capabilities of its various and diverse departments and agencies. This strategy seeks to maximize positive effects through institutionalization, coordination, integration, improved data collection and research, and expanded and holistic programming. Equally important, the United States must collaborate with other governments and non-governmental partners, including civil society and the private sector, both in the United States and abroad, to use their knowledge, capacity, and innovation to address gender-based violence around the world.
Ultimately, the United States’ goal is to eliminate gender-based violence around the world. Such an achievement would not only help ensure that individuals across the globe can reach their full potential, but also strengthen the U.S. foreign policy and foreign assistance priorities. This strategy provides a blueprint to guide the next steps of the United States’ in working to end gender-based violence.
The United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally allows for coordination and joint understanding of terms across the United States Government. The definitions and related terms in this Strategy are informed by:
- Lessons learned since 2012 from gender-based violence related policy and program implementation throughout the USG;
- The DOS and USAID “Evaluation of Implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally” reports, released December 2015;
- Multiple consultations with civil society, including public international organizations and United Nations bodies;
- New and existing USG policy and programs that intersect with the issue of gender-based violence.
United States Government Gender-based violence related resources include:
- The U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012 and 2016 Update);
- U.S. Department of State, "Strategy For Women’s Economic Empowerment," (2016);
- The “U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls,” (2016);
- Global Protection Cluster Interagency Standing Committee’s “Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action” (2015);
- The USG-funded public health resource, “A Facilitator’s Guide for Public Health and HIV Programs: Gender & Sexual Diversity Training”, Washington, DC: Futures Group, Health Policy Project (2015);
- The Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG), “Gender 101 Training” and training supplements on Gender Integration, HIV + Sexuality, Safe Motherhood, Gender-Based Violence and Constructive Male Engagement, (2015);
- USAID, “Child, Early and Forced Marriage Resource Guide,” (2015);
- The Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, “Intimate Partner Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements, version 2.0,” (2015);
- USAID, “LGBT Vision for Action: Promoting the Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Individuals,” (2015);
- U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, "INL Guide to Gender in the Criminal Justice System,” (2014);
- The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women “Areas of Focus” (2014);
- The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),“FY14 Updated Gender Strategy, (2013);”
- USAID, "Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy," (2012).
Other recommended resources for international definitions, standard terms and further guidance include :
- The UNODC “Recommendations for action against gender-related killing of women and girls” (2014);
- The evaluations of the UNICEF and UNFPA Joint Programme on FGM/C;
- The World Health Organization, “Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: An Interagency Statement; and UN Women’s internet resource on “Defining ‘honour’ crimes and ‘honour’ killings”.
U.S. Government Interagency coordination bodies addressing gender-based violence include (but are not limited to):
- The Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance;
- The anti- trafficking in persons Senior Policy Operating Group (SPOG);
- The DREAMS Task Force;
- The Federal Partners’ Committee on Women & Trauma;
- The Hate Crimes Interagency Initiative Convening;
- The Interagency Working Group on Violence Against Women, led by the Vice President’s Office;
- The Let Girls Learn Task Force;
- PEPFAR Gender and Adolescent Girls Technical Working Group;
- The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF);
- The President’s Global Development Council;
- Relevant interagency policy committees (IPCs) led by the White House National Security Council.
Sex: the classification of people as male, female, or intersex. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, and genitalia. Intersex is a term for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that does not appear to fit typical definitions of female or male.
Gender: the socially constructed set of roles, rights, responsibilities, entitlements, and behaviors associated with being a woman or a man in societies. The social definitions of what it means to be masculine or feminine, and negative consequences for not adhering to those expectations, vary among cultures, change over time, and often intersect with other factors such as age, class, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
Gender Equality: the state or condition that affords men and women of all gender identities equal enjoyment of human rights, socially valued goods, opportunities, and resources. Genuine equality means more than parity in numbers or laws on the books; it means expanded freedoms and improved overall quality of life for all people.
Gender Expression: external appearance of one’s gender identity which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Gender Identity: a person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth. For transgender people, their birth-assigned sex and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match.
Sexual Orientation: an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction (or a combination of these) to another person. These inherent attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or asexuality.
Patriarchy: a social system in which men hold primary power, predominately in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, and economic organization of a range of different cultures. This system constrains the full actualization of all people, including men.
The Department of State takes a multi-pronged approach to preventing and responding to gender-based violence around the world. These efforts are guided by the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and the Secretary’s March 2012 Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality to Achieve our National Security and Foreign Policy Objectives. This strategy and implementation plan also align with, and work to complement, the Department of State’s commitments to address gender-based violence in conflict-affected environments, as detailed in the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.
The Department of State currently works to prevent and address gender-based violence in cooperation with several other United States Government agencies. The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) regularly coordinates with other Department of State bureaus and United States Government agencies on issues including child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, “honor” related crimes,girls’ access to education, gender-biased sex selection, discriminatory treatment of widows, sexual violence in conflict, and intimate partner violence, among many others. A variety of bureaus and offices within the Department of State develop policy and support programs that take multi-faceted, multi-sector approaches to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in diverse settings. For example, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) has taken a lead role in raising and addressing the special protection needs of women and children in humanitarian response. The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) conducts operations in-country to prevent, mitigate, and respond to conflict. Based on its conflict prevention and crisis response mandate, CSO works to reduce violence in societies, including gender-based violence. Many other bureaus and offices within the Department of State are critical in the work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. These include: the Office of Global Criminal Justice; the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO); the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL); the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL); the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP); the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; and all Department of State regional bureaus.
Each bureau offers a unique perspective and expertise to respond to and prevent gender-based violence that helps the United States address the issue in comprehensive manner. For instance, the Office of Global Criminal Justice strives to address the issue of accountability as a deterrent, and IO works to deepen the Department’s multi-sector partnership with the United Nations (UN) andother international, regional, and sub-regional organizations involved with preventing and responding to gender-based violence. DRL considers gender-based violence a serious human rights violation or abuse and funds a variety of programs, including those that build the capacity of justice sector actors to investigate and prosecute gender-based violence cases; provide legal and psychological resources to gender-based violence survivors; educate communities about women’s rights and gender-based violence, including protection techniques; and support capacity-building of the media and civil society to advocate against gender-based violence and to monitor and report on cases of gender-based violence. INL designs and implements global criminal justice programs across the police, justice, and corrections sectors. It also incorporates appropriate gender sensitive strategies into its reform, assistance, and capacity building programs. Recognizing that women and girls represent the vast majority of sex trafficking survivors and a significant percentage of forced labor survivors globally, J/TIP leads diplomatic engagement focused on eradicating modern slavery. J/TIP also supports partnerships with civil society, multilateral organizations, and foreign governments aimed at improving efforts to prevent human trafficking, protect and assist survivors, and prosecute traffickers.
Regional bureaus also work to monitor and address this issue. For example, as part of its comprehensive gender strategy, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) seeks to ensure that all security initiatives in the region focus on decreasing the high levels of gender-based violence, which will in turn yield positive results in lowering overall levels of violence in the region. WHA is partnering with INL to ensure that training for law enforcement personnel includes gender-sensitive curriculum, and supports increased participation of women in training of law enforcement. The Bureau of South and Central Asia (SCA) has made the economic empowerment of women in the region a top priority. In July 2011, SCA and S/GWI convened the Women’s Economic Symposium (WES) for Central Asian and Afghan women. The WES is a regional initiative that supports a network of women leaders and provides the tools they need to increase economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and trade. Since the WES, SCA has committed $1.17 million in continuing support of this initiative.
The Department of State’s implementation plan aims to ensure appropriate care for survivors of violence while also strengthening deterrents to such violence. Priorities include:
- supporting survivors through vital assistance, including meeting physical, legal, and psychosocial needs;
- preventing violence through education efforts and public awareness campaigns;
- prosecuting perpetrators to enhance accountability and counter impunity; and
- sharing best practices and information within the United States Government.
Where existing platforms and resources do not meet identified programming gaps, additional staff or financial resources may be required to meet strategic objectives.
In an effort to improve the prevention and response to gender-based violence around the world, the Department of State will continue to raise such issues through diplomacy, policy, and programming, in coordination with other United States Government agencies. Preventing and responding to gender- based violence will be addressed throughout the full range of the Department of State’s diplomatic engagement-with host governments; civil society; multilateral, regional, and sub regional organizations; the private sector; and the media. Complementing U.S. foreign policy pillars of development and defense, diplomacy around gender-based violence is necessary in order to highlight the issue as essential to the United States’ overall foreign policy priorities. This includes bilateral and regional diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy, and public diplomacy efforts, as well as through public-private partnerships.
- The Department of State and USAID have developed a comprehensive strategy for women and girls in Afghanistan entitled “U.S. Government Civilian Strategy for Assistance to Women in Afghanistan,” which addresses their health, education, economic, political, and security needs. The strategy includes a significant portion on access to justice, which addresses violence against women. The U.S. Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy, which is the Administration’s guiding policy document on developing peace, stability, and economic prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan, includes advancing women’s rights and their empowerment as crucial to this effort. The Department will continue to raise these issues with both governments.
- During then Secretary Clinton’s trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2009, and on subsequent occasions afterwards, she urged President Kabila to take concrete measures to address impunity and hold accountable those accused of gender-based violence, including mass rape. The Department will continue to raise such issues bilaterally and regionally.
- Department of State officials attended the December 2011 International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Heads of State Summit, which included a special session on gender-based violence. Department officials reiterated the United States’ commitment to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and urged countries to advance specific objectives of the ICGLR’s declaration. The Department of State will continue to follow up and raise such issues in other regional forums around the world.
The United States has a history of providing leadership and support for women’s initiatives at the UN and other international, regional, and sub-regional organizations. The United States has brought attention to issues affecting women-including gender-based violence-in multiple UN forums, including the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly and its committees, the World Health Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, among others. The Department of State also works closely with the UN Secretariat to ensure that its efforts to address sexual violence are prioritized and receive the necessary authorities and resources. This includes both diplomatic and technical support for development of training and operational tools to enable peacekeeping missions to carry out their mandates. The Department will continue to work with other governments in multilateral forums to highlight issues of gender-based violence, and will continue to partner with the UN in efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. For example:.
- The Department of State will continue to exercise leadership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on women’s rights, and will remain at the forefront of efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. For example, the United States introduced UNSC Resolutions 1820 (2008), which stressed that sexual violence may impede peace and security; 1888 (2009), which requested the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; and 1960 (2010), which requested the establishment of monitoring, analysis, and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence.
- Likewise, the Department will continue to advocate for UN peacekeeping missions to have strong mandates to protect civilians, including from gender-based violence, and provide diplomatic support for initiatives in the UN General Assembly Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and budget committees to build the capacity and provide operational tools for the protection of civilians and the prevention of gender-based violence.
- The United States is a strong supporter of UNSC Resolutions 1325 (2000), which made the conceptual breakthrough of engaging women not only as victims of conflict but also as agents of peace and security; and 1889 (2009), which resulted in the creation of indicators to track progress in women, peace, and security.
- The Department, through the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, will continue to work closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, UN Women, the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, among others, to ensure that their efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence are appropriately mandated and resourced. PRM will continue to work with key multilateral partners and numerous international forums to promote standard protocols and integration of gender perspectives in humanitarian response, including gender-based violence prevention and response.The Department will continue to fund small UN projects aimed at protecting civilians and addressing gender-based violence. For example, IO has funded witness protection in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a project to develop a framework for integrating protection efforts across all elements of UN missions. The Department will continue to look for opportunities to leverage its bilateral efforts through partnership and collaboration with the UN. For example, DRL funds a program in the Democratic Republic of Congo to support the Team of Experts of the UN SRSG to train selected security forces in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Training includes how to address gender-based violence crimes that might be committed by colleagues and teaches civilian self-protection techniques to prevent gender- based violence.
- Similarly, the Department, through the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, is supporting the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of Member States to fight human trafficking by providing expert consultation and technical assistance on implementation of key international instruments focused on combating trafficking.
- The Department, through the Office of Global Criminal Justice, will work to ensure that multilateral mandates addressing transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies integrate, address, and take into account the perspectives of survivors of gender-based violence, including women and children, through the promotion of augmented reporting and recommendations on gender-based violence provided through commissions of inquiry.
The Department of State will continue to engage in public diplomacy outreach to strengthen international efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Examples of specific events, international days, or public diplomacy efforts-where the Department of State will enhance or expand its engagement-include:
- Human Rights and Trafficking in Persons Reports: The Department raises issues of gender- based violence diplomatically and spotlights the issue in various reports including the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Trafficking in Persons Report. The Department will continue its efforts to ensure robust reporting on issues of gender-based violence as part of these reports.
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: The Department has engaged in a full range of public diplomacy activities around this day and the 16 Day Campaign to End Gender Violence, including op-eds by the Secretary of State, embassy events around the world, and events in Washington, D.C. For example, Embassy Kabul recorded 17 video Public Service Announcements (PSAs) delivered by a diverse group of Afghan male and female activists, athletes, celebrities, law enforcement and government, officials, legal experts, media figures, current and former members of parliament, and religious leaders, which were released throughout each of the 16 days. They worked closely with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, which helped disseminate the PSAs and 30,000 purple ribbons to the provinces.
- International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: To commemorate this day of zero tolerance, in 2011 the Department of State and USAID organized, at the Department of State, the first-ever joint event highlighting the harmful traditional practice of female genital mutilation/cutting, which included remarks from then Secretary Clinton. The Department will continue public diplomacy efforts to highlight harmful traditional practices as forms of gender-based violence.
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Conferences hosted by the Department of State’s Special Advisor for International Disability Rights (SADR) in 2010 and 2011 included specific panel discussions highlighting violence against women and girls with disabilities, including prevention and response strategies. The SADR will continue to highlight these issues in future public diplomacy initiatives, as well as in bilateral and multilateral dialogue with governments and civil society.
The Department of State recognizes the power and potential of harnessing the private sector in robust partnerships to tackle issues of gender-based violence. The Department will continue to contribute toward, and seek support from, public-private partnerships to advance shared goals, where appropriate. One current example includes the Together for Girls partnership—a unique public-private coalition that brings together private entities, the UN, and the United States.
The Department of State will employ various mechanisms to ensure a coordinated process for enhanced intra- and interagency coordination on addressing gender-based violence. The mechanisms outlined below mirror the framework detailed in the Secretary’s Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality, and will be integrated across existing coordinating bodies on gender issues, both in Washington and within embassies and missions.
Under the Secretary’s Policy Guidance, relevant Department of State bureaus and embassies will develop strategies to promote gender equality and advance the status of women and girls across geographic regions and functional bureaus. Bureau and country strategies to address gender issues will be developed as part of the Department of State’s ongoing strategic planning and budgeting process. Strategies will be grounded in analysis of existing inequalities and focused on action items that the Department and embassies can advance in both near-term and longer-term timeframes. To implement the strategy on gender-based violence, the Department of State will:
- Review relevant functional bureau strategic plans to ensure that gender-based violence is adequately addressed; and
- Request that relevant regional bureaus and embassies include specific gender-based violence issues within their strategic plans, as applicable to specific country or regional contexts.
Guided by newly-revised definitions and guidance to bureaus and embassies, current budget processes have been strengthened to more accurately represent budget levels for the following Key Issue areas: gender equality/women’s empowerment (both primary and secondary attribution), gender-based violence, and women, peace, and security. The process informs the annual Congressional Budget Justification in these critical areas and serves to advance gender equality through both direct and integrated approaches.
Embassies and bureaus will strive to ensure that the full range of U.S. policy and assistance programming identifies and addresses existing gender disparities, capitalizes on the unique skills and contributions of women and girls, and is accessible and responsive to ongoing challenges confronted by women and girls. In order to further this agenda on issues specific to gender-based violence, the Department of State will:
- Establish an intra-agency working group, consisting of representatives from a wide range of bureaus and offices across the Department, to assist in internal coordination and integration of gender-based violence prevention and response in Department programming and policies. The working group will share information and establish priorities, as well as coordinate existing policies and programs to eliminate gaps and effectively maximize existing resources.
Through existing policy and diplomatic mechanisms and programming, including the Secretary’s International Fund for Women and Girls and S/GWI, the Department of State will:
- Advocate for development and implementation of laws and policies in other countries to monitor, prevent, and respond to gender-based violence. This includes work to strengthen institutions and support partner governments’ efforts to develop appropriate legislation, harmonize laws and other provisions in the legal code, develop action plans for implementation, and help train oversight of and advocacy for implementation of the laws;
- Support capacity-building of and outreach to civil society, including the media, criminal justice sector, and health providers;
Support civil society and community-level approaches to change behaviors and attitudes concerning violence and to facilitate discussion among families, community organizations, and religious, traditional, and other community leaders around human rights and gender-based violence, and effective ways to address these issues. Through these community level approaches, the Department will aim to target and engage:
- Men and boys;
- Female leaders and women’s groups;
- Religious, faith-based, and community leaders; and
- Build off existing platforms (GHI, PEPFAR, etc.) and scale up programs that have been found effective, contingent on resources. This could include programs that integrate screening of and response to gender-based violence into health service delivery programs, as well as psychosocial support where feasible; or programs that require health and life skills programming for adolescent and pre-adolescent girls and boys, for example to address sexual coercion and abuse and promote elements of healthy relationships;
- Establish multi-sector linkages regarding violence prevention and response programs, with particular attention to the legal/judicial system and the education and economic sectors; and
- Address the causes, including root causes, of gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls. This includes reducing barriers between women and men and girls and boys in economic, political, and civic arenas and implementing initiatives that protect human rights and raise societies’ respect and value for all women and girls, including inclusive education and economic empowerment opportunities.
The Department of State, in conjunction with USAID, has worked to improve monitoring and evaluation processestoensure that U.S. foreignassistanceachievesdesiredoutcomes, andthatbureaus, embassies, and missions are integrating sex-disaggregated data into reporting mechanisms.
- New performance indicators specific to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment were created for the FY 2011 reporting cycle, for which relevant Department and USAID bureaus and missions began reporting for the first time.
- The Department of State will assess relevant performance data from other initiatives, including the Women, Peace, and Security Department of State implementation plan; GHI; and PEPFAR.
- The Department of State Program Evaluation Policy, released in February 2012, provides a framework to implement evaluations of programs, projects, and activities that are carried out and funded by the Department. This will include programs that seek to prevent or respond to gender-based violence.
In line with the Secretary’s Policy Guidance on Promoting Gender Equality, the Department of State will strengthen management and oversight, build human capital, and emphasize training on gender equality issues, building on reforms described in the 2010 QDDR. To implement this guidance and the United States’ strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence:
- The Department will ensure that training and skills-building on gender-based violence issues-and on specific forms of gender-based violence-is included and integrated in relevant Department of State and Foreign Service Institute courses and curriculum, as well as stand- alone courses.
- Chiefs of Mission and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretaries will lead Departmental work to implement a focus on gender equality, including attention to issues of gender- based violence. This also includes developing appropriate staffing mechanisms across the Department of State and expanding training at our Foreign Service Institute in this area.
- The Department of State will expand internal websites and other online platforms to promote the sharing of best practices and continued focus on gender issues, including gender-based violence.
2012 U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
It is vital to promote the rights of all individuals and reduce gender-based violence while mitigating its harmful effects on individuals and communities. Unless women, girls, men, and boys fully enjoy their human rights and are free from violence, progress toward development will fall short. For nearly two decades, USAID has partnered with non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, and host government institutions to increase awareness of the scope of the problem and its impact, improve services for survivors of violence, and strengthen prevention efforts.
This implementation plan complements and builds upon existing USAID policies, including the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy; the U.S National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Policy; and the forthcoming United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The plan also complies with the Global Health Policy and the President’s December 6, 2011 Memorandum on LGBT Foreign Policy/Assistance.
In the last several years, USAID has obligated approximately $60 million per year on programs to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. . A preliminary analysis of USAID’s gender-based violence prevention and response programming for FY 2011 showed that while missions are working to address gender-based violence, future efforts will need to focus on the forms of gender-based violenceand related practices that are most prevalent in their countries. For example, in a number of countries, despite data showing that intimate partner violence and/or child marriage are prevalent, there are no programs addressing these issues.
USAID’saspirationissimple—tobuildonitsglobalreachandexpertiseindevelopmentandhumanitarian assistance to maximize the impact of Agency efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. If successful, USAID will see shifts in attitudes and greater strategic alignment of programming. Specifically, the two outcomes will be:
- An increased share of the population will view gender-based violence as unacceptable; and
- USAID resources will be appropriately focused on addressing the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence in the country.
A review of USAID’s efforts to address gender-based violence is already underway in conjunction with the implementation of USAID’s Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy and the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. These policies emphasize the importance of addressing gender-based violence as a critical area of focus for empowering women and achieving development objectives. One of the three overarching outcomes of the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy is to reduce gender-based violence and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals and communities. Both the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy and the National Action Plan emphasize that, where appropriate, all operating units must identify and address gender inequalities and female empowerment objectives, including the reduction of gender-based violence, across all Agency programs. USAID has already integrated reporting on gender-based violence activities on a country basis through annual Key Issue attributions published in the Congressional Budget Justification,and through PEPFAR’s Country Operational Plans.
Gender advisors based at headquarters and in USAID’s missions around the world, as well as technical experts in various sectors, support their respective operating units in this effort. Following the release of the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy in March 2012, there has been high demand from missions for technical assistance. In response, USAID is using outside contracts and in-house expertise, as well as required training for many USAID staff, to increase the focus on gender issues in strategic planning, program and project design, and monitoring and evaluation. The Agency also plans to develop additional courses focused on how to integrate gender-based violence prevention and response efforts into USAID’s work across sectors. To strengthen coordination and information and resource sharing, USAID has reinvigorated its internal gender-based violence working group, chaired by the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which includes representatives of various bureaus and offices across the Agency.
Consistent with the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, addressing gender-based violence is a shared Agency responsibility and success depends upon the commitment of all staff. Senior managers and Mission Directors will be held accountable for ensuring that gender-based violence is addressed strategically in their portfolios. Regional bureaus are the primary liaison between Washington, D.C. and Mission Gender Advisors, and will provide useful information on research findings and programming approaches related to the prevention and response to gender-based violence. Pillar bureaus will provide assistance and develop or utilize existing tools on how to address gender-based violence within their pertinent technical areas. The Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment will continue to coordinate the Agency’s gender-based violence working group. The working group will develop guidance for the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning to incorporate gender-based violence prevention and response efforts, where appropriate, into Country Development Cooperation Strategies, project design, and learning and evaluation products. The Office of the Administrator will use the power of the Office to highlight USAID’s commitment to preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
USAID is committed to developing and implementing effective measures for preventing and responding to gender-based violence and changing the behaviors that perpetuate it. The Agency recognizes the need to focus on gender-based violence prevention, especially by elevating the voices of local actors, including civil society organizations, to address the underlying traditions, social norms, and cultural beliefs that perpetuate, condone, and exacerbate gender-based violence, gender inequality, and human rights violations or abuses.
To achieve the two major outcomes, the Agency will work to achieve the following goals:
- Mainstream and Integrate Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Activities into Work Across Sectors
- Sharpen Program Priorities
- Expand Collaborative Efforts
1. Mainstream and Integrate Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Activities into Work Across Sectors
Gender-based violence prevention and response efforts will be integrated throughout country portfolios in development and humanitarian contexts. In certain sectors, the importance of addressing gender-based violence is evident and well understood; important efforts to prevent and respond exist in the global health, human rights, and democracy and governance fields. For example, USAID supports stand-alone and integrated programs that address gender-based violence in health services, community mobilization, and health policy interventions. These efforts are essential, but even in these areas gender-based violence efforts must be strengthened and expanded. In other fields, such as education, infrastructure, economic growth, and agriculture, USAID must further develop and implement strategies that ensure gender-based violence is addressed. Educational programs can train teachers on gender-based violence issues and form parent/teacher councils to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in schools; agricultural programs can address gender-based violence within farmers associations; and infrastructure programs can build structures that minimize the vulnerability of beneficiaries to gender-based violence. Generally, the integration of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts in various sectors can increase awareness and reduce acceptance of harmful practices. USAID will develop and promulgate strategies and approaches for addressing gender-based violence as part of all sector work.
USAID recognizes the need to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in bridging the transition from relief to development, with an emphasis on building resilient communities that do not condone violence or discriminate against survivors. A multi-sector approach is necessary to prevent gender- based violence and effectively address the needs of survivors. Integrated approaches to gender-based violence are especially critical in conflict-affected and fragile states where the risk and incidence of gender-based violence can be extremely high: domestic violence tends to rise, as do sexual assaults outside the home. Sexual violence is used as a tactic of war to intimidate, humiliate, and terrorize families, and can destroy communities. Women and girls are often the victims, but men and boys are also subjected to this crime. USAID humanitarian assistance programs are designed to minimize risks from harm, exploitation, and abuse for disaster- and conflict-affected populations. Therefore, in active conflicts and in post-conflict environments, USAID will pay close attention to protecting women, girls, men, and boys from physical harm. Additionally, the Agency will seek to actively empower women to act as decision makers in peacebuilding, relief, and reconstruction efforts, and to ensure that peace agreements and related accountability or transitional justice mechanisms are designed to address crimes of gender-based violence and reduce impunity.
The selectivity and focus of gender-based violence investments will be determined by a combination of the following criteria: (1) prevalence rates of different types of gender-based violence;; (2) the political will, capacity, and commitment of the host government to reduce gender-based violence; (3) the strength of local civil society; and (4) mission interest and institutional capacity to institute programming to reduce gender-based violence. This targeted approach will ensure USAID is able to address the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence in a country.
Once these factors have been considered to determine the need and opportunity, USAID’s internal gender- based violence working group will use a two-pronged approach to assist missions in enhancing their gender- based violence prevention and response programming: (1) missions developing Country Development Cooperation Strategies (CDCS), and missions in conflict prone countries (CPCs) using different strategy cycles, will receive appropriate technical support early in the process to ensure gender-based violence issues are addressed. Special efforts will be made in gender analyses to identify and highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence within countries, specific forms of violence that may need to be addressed, and related gaps in services; and (2) missions will be provided technical assistance to assess their current and previous gender-based violence programming, and to design future gender-based violence activities.
One central USAID vehicle for facilitating integration of gender-based violence interventions into programming will be the CDCS formulation process in stable USAID countries and ad hoc strategic planning in CPCs not undertaking CDCSs. CDCSs are five year, results-oriented strategies that focus investments in key areas to enhance a country’s overall stability and prosperity. The CDCS formulation process, a multi-step endeavor that takes several months, is an opportunity for a mission to integrate gender-based violence interventions into its program portfolios, as part of the larger effort to effectively address gender-related barriers to development.
Developing the CDCS involves close consultations with host country governments and citizens, civil society organizations, the private sector, multilateral organizations, other donors, the Department of State, andother United States Governmentagencies. Perthe Gender Equalityand Female Empowerment Policy, this consultation process will address as one topic of discussion gender equality issues, including gender-based violence as relevant to the country context. Each mission will ensure that the outcomes of these discussions are, as appropriate, reflected in the Results Framework proposed for the CDCS and raised in communications with USAID/Washington. Gender advisors in regional and pillar bureaus are resources to assist missions in this process. Gender-based violence will be addressed in the following components of the CDCS:
Country Gender Analysis: As part of the required country-level gender analysis which describes the country context, missions will examine existing data (for example, the Demographic and Health Survey and World Health Organization data) and highlight the types of gender-based violence affecting males and females that are of concern in the country, as well as country and regional patterns of prevalence, as appropriate, and help identify gaps in prevalence data.
These informed gender analyses along with evidence-based examples from the development literature will assist missions to address data gaps and design effective programs to reduce gender-based violence.
- Development Objectives and Intermediate Results: As part of broader efforts to address gender- related barriers and desired outcomes, missions will consider how gender-based violence issues should be addressed in the development objectives, intermediate results, or sub- intermediate results.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: As appropriate, indicators on gender-based violence , along with other measures of gender equality and female empowerment, will be explicitly included in project monitoring and evaluation plans. As part of USAID’s evaluation policy, evaluations can also consider a program’s effects on gender-based violence in measuring its success. Technical assistance from USAID/Washington bureaus can be drawn upon, and the lessons learned from these evaluations will help to inform the design of future projects.
- Learning: In the CDCS implementation process, missions are encouraged to develop a plan to improve coordination and collaboration with development partners; test promising new approaches; build on what works; and learn from, improve, and/or eliminate what does not. Missions working on gender-based violence programming will share lessons learned to strengthen programming by facilitating coordination, collaboration, and exchange of experiential knowledge internally and with external stakeholders. USAID/Washington will play a leading role in this effort.
USAID missions that have completed their CDCS process will focus on integrating activities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in project design. USAID requires three mandatory analyses during the project design process, one of which is a gender analysis at the project level. The findings from the gender analysis will reflect on gender-based violence and inform the project design process.
CPCs are not a part of the formal CDCS process, but are still required to have a country-level gender analysis per the Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy. CPCs will incorporate gender-based violence prevention and response efforts into their programming and strategies, and will monitor and evaluate them.
As appropriate, missions that meet the selectivity and focus criteria above, and other missions that are interested in assessing their current gender-based violence programming efforts, will be assisted by USAID/Washington to undertake gender-based violence assessments that could involve desk reviews; keyinformantinterviewswithbeneficiaries, stakeholders, andgovernmentministries; andsitevisits. The information gathered from these assessments will be used to design gender-based violence activities. Lessons learned from these assessments may also be relevant to other missions and Washington-based operating units.
To maximize impact, USAID will seek to scale up successful activities to global or multi-country interventions. Scaling up will be based on evidence gathered from high quality impact evaluations (see below) and from development research and literature. The scaled-up activities may be stand- alone projects to address gender-based violence, or may be adapted and integrated into existing USAID sectoral activities. Furthermore, USAID will seek to use partnerships with host countries, local organizations, other United States Government agencies, other donors, and the private sector to expand the reach of interventions, leverage resources, and ensure sustainability.
USAID will participate in an assessment of the interagency pilot country endeavor, drawing upon its expertise to work in concert with other United States Government agencies to support better coordinated, holistic gender-based violence programming.
In countries where systematic gender-based violence prevalence data has not been collected, USAID will seek to support improved data collection. Primary data collection might be carried out through research efforts, though many countries already invest in collecting the population-based Demographic and Health Surveys, which offer special modules on Domestic Violence and Female Genital Cutting.
Analysis of this data can provide critical statistics on age of marriage and sex-ratios at birth to help identify the prevalence of child marriage and sex selection practices. . Where in-country willingness and ability to collect data is weak or lacking, missions will explore how to best engage with local civil society, policy champions, advocacy groups, and the media to utilize emerging data on prevalence and impact to expand public awareness of gender-based violence and promote policy dialogue around gender-based violence issues. Such information may also be used to design policies to address gender-based violence or enforcement activities that contribute to an enabling environment for effective and sustainable prevention and response.
USAID will also invest in longer-term research to identify promising programmatic approaches to gender-based violence, particularly those that emphasize prevention and aim to change norms that perpetuate gender-based violence and that generally require a longer time horizon to achieve measurable results.
Two major obstacles to preventing and responding to gender-based violence are women’s lack of decision- making power in social contexts and their under-representation as leaders in political processes, both of which influence a country’s willingness to address gender-based violence. To have transformative impact on gender-based violence, women must have full access to social services and treatment, and they must have a voice in decision-making and be leaders in national-level and community-level policy making. As USAID moves forward in implementing effective programming to address gender-based violence, it will actively work to increase women and girls’ capacity for social transformation by identifying key issues and providing appropriate leadership training to women to enable them to become effective change agents within their societies. In some cases, the behavior and attitudes of women toward gender-based violence must also be addressed; for example, female elders sometimes advocate in favor of harmful traditional practices, and mothers-in-law sometimes condone domestic violence against daughters-in-law.
Numerous studies speak to the importance of addressing men and boys’ perceptions and behaviors on gender- based violence in their roles as perpetrators, gatekeepers, supportive partners, and caregivers. Engaging men and boys to challenge harmful social norms that perpetuate the cycle of violence is critical to achieve sustained transformational change. USAID will enhance its efforts to actively work with men, including youth, to change harmful attitudes and behaviors, reduce gender inequalities, and prevent violence.
Gender-based violence overwhelmingly affects the most vulnerable in a given society. Many factors can contribute to one’s vulnerability to gender-based violence, including disability, social or economic status, sexual identity, and gender expression. USAID will focus on prevention and response efforts for underserved and vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities and the LGBTI community.
Although not often discussed, gender-based violence against men also occurs, both in stable and unstable environments. More attention must be placed on understanding the scope of the problem and developing appropriate interventions. For example, there is growing evidence of acute manifestations of gender-based violence against men and boys in conflict settings. In such environments, documented sexual torture and rape of men and boys has been used to “de-masculinize” male populations, and humiliate and traumatize entire communities. Men who experience gender-based violence can be particularly marginalized given the degree of isolation and shame that typically follows, and the frequent absence of prevention or support services responsive to their specific needs.
Another aspect of gender-based violence that has not received sufficient attention is child sexual abuse, which has different dynamics from those surrounding adult sexual abuse, and warrants special attention. Currently, most interventions are tailored to adults, and there are very few facilities designed to address the complex and multi-faceted needs of children and adolescents. Cultural norms and specific roles and tasks expected of boys and girls increase their vulnerability to abuse and exacerbate the long term consequences of such violence. These norms may also negatively affect the way service providers and community members respond to boys and girls who have experienced abuse, potentially resulting in increased stigmatization or harm. Child sexual abuse prevention efforts are critical to breaking the cycle of violence for the next generation.
Effective gender-based violence interventions will best be sustained by creating new and deepening existing partnerships with civil society organizations and the private sector. Each entity brings distinct perspectives, skills, andresourcesforaddressinggender-basedviolence. Forexample, localorganizations can mobilize community leaders, government officials, and non-governmental organizations to change policy and meet needs at the community level. Private firms can help enable innovation and scale up to improve development outcomes.
USAID will use existing processes to measure progress towards achieving the two overarching outcomes. For example, the Foreign Assistance indicator on societal views regarding the acceptability of gender- based violence will be useful in monitoring and evaluating progress on changing attitudes. The analyses of CDCS’ and project designs that address the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence will aid the monitoring of progress strategically targeting investments.
USAID also will seek to measure the following results under the goals identified above:
Goal 1: Mainstream and Integrate Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Activities into Work across sectors
Increase in the integration of gender-based violence interventions within all sectors
- Number of project designs that integrate gender-based violence interventions
Goal 2: Sharpen Program Priorities
Increase in the number of missions addressing gender-based violence
- Number of CDCS that address gender-based violence
- Number of missions dedicating more funding to gender-based violence programming as tracked in Operating Plans or Country Operational Plans
Increase in the number of scaled-up gender-based violence programs
- Number of scaled-up activities at the regional, national or multi-country level
Goal 3: Expand Collaborative Efforts
Increase in the number of USAID partnerships (host government, civil society, private partnerships, other United States Government agencies, or donors) working to address gender-based violence
- Number of agreements or contracts with partnerships working to address gender- based violence
At a programmatic level, the joint USAID-Department of State Foreign Assistance indicators will help evaluate USAID’s gender-based violence programming:
- Number of laws, policies, or procedures drafted, proposed, or adopted with United States Government assistance designed to improve prevention of or response to gender-based violence at the regional, national, or local level
- Number of people reached by a United States Government-funded intervention providing gender-based violence services (e.g., health, legal, psychosocial counseling, shelters, hotlines, other)
- Percentage of target population that views gender-based violence as less acceptable after participating in or being exposed to United States Government programming
In addition, as part of routine procedures for Operational Plans, Mission Resource Requests, Performance Management Plans, and Country Operating Plans, missions will ensure that expenditures relatedtogender- based violence are fully tracked. USAID/Washington will review the guidelines in the above standard processes to ensure the collection of specific information on gender-based violence interventions.
In accordance with USAID’s Evaluation Policy, released in January 2011, USAID is committed to conducting rigorous and high quality evaluations to generate evidence to make program decisions. To assess the effectiveness of its activities working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, USAID will use the findings of evaluations to inform future programming and improve decision-making.
In operationalizing this strategy, USAID will work across sectors to: enhance USAID’s capacity to reduce gender-based violence by providing training and technical assistance; conduct research on prevalence levels and proven effective responses; and identify best practices for adaptation and replication. Specifically, USAID will focus on:
Identifying, Developing, Adapting, and Disseminating Toolkits and Best Practices: USAID’s gender-based violence working group will assist missions in assessing current programming related to gender-based violence and in ensuring they are addressing the specific types of violence most prevalent in their country. The working group also will refine criteria for identifying and prioritizing gender-based violence focus countries. Additionally, USAID will analyze and disseminate existing best practices and gender-based violence research findings and will develop new or apply existing toolkits and program guides regarding ways to integrate gender-based violence into various sectors.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Refinement of the Agency approach to monitoring and evaluation will be an immediate priority. To enable the measurement of progress towards achieving the two major outcomes of the strategy, country-level baseline data will be collected on attitudes towards gender-based violence and activities focused on the most prevalent forms of gender-based violence. Baseline data collection will enable target setting and metrics for progress. Additionally, as outlined above, USAID will monitor progress towards achievement of three goals by periodically assessing programming using existing processes for tracking this information. USAID will conduct a mid-term evaluation after 18 months of implementing the strategy to enable an informed revision of the strategy at the end of its three-year term.
Initiating Research: There are pervasive gaps in understanding gender-based violence-lack of data, lack of recent statistics, lack of analysis, and incomplete knowledge of effective interventions. To inform the design of interventions, USAID will support targeted research to: understand the correlation between women’s economic empowerment and the prevalence or reduction of gender-based violence; better engage men and boys as allies in addressing gender-based violence; identify strategies for scaling up successful gender-based violence pilot programs; and help design approaches to addressing gender- based violence across the transition from relief to development. Additional research might include: analysis of the prevalence of gender-based violence among men and boys and identification of effective strategies for assisting this population, as well as assessments of the comparative strengths of different interventions and combinations of interventions in preventing gender-based violence.
Mobilizing Resources: Missions in countries with a high prevalence of gender-based violence will be encouraged to address gender-based violence as a development challenge when identifying mission and country development priorities, and will be advised to devote adequate program resources to effectively respond to this challenge. In addition, subject to the availability of funds, an incentive fund will be created to enable missions to integrate creative gender-based violence prevention and response interventions into their current programs. In countries where there is a scarcity or lack of prevalence data, missions will be encouraged to devote adequate resources to filling these data gaps. Where existing platforms or resources do not meet the programming or research gaps, additional financial or staff resources may be required to achieve the goals.
Collectively, these endeavors will strengthen USAID’s efforts to effectively prevent and respond to gender-based violence by promoting transformative behavioral and social change within communities. USAID is committed to ensuring that its development efforts deliver real results for all, including those whose likelihood of benefitting from traditional development activities is limited by gender-based violence.
INDICATORS AND KEY ISSUES
Department of State and USAID Gender Indicators
In the fall of 2015, the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources coordinated a comprehensive revision of performance indicators for foreign assistance reporting. Gender experts across the Department of State and USAID worked collaboratively to enhance the suite of cross-cutting gender indicators, and to ultimately enhance the monitoring of performance against priority outcomes and objectives. The specific gender indicators are as follows, with gender-based violence indicators shown in bold:
- Number of legal instruments drafted, proposed or adopted with USG assistance designed to promote gender equality or non-discrimination against women or girls at the national or sub- national level
- Percentage of female participants in USG-assisted programs designed to increase access to productive economic resources (assets, credit, income or employment)
- Percentage of participants reporting increased agreement with the concept that males and females should have equal access to social, economic, and political resources and opportunities
- Number of legal instruments drafted, proposed, or adopted with USG assistance designed to improve prevention of or response to sexual and gender based violence at the national or sub- national level
- Number of people reached by a USG funded intervention providing GBV services (e.g., health, legal, psycho-social counseling, shelters, hotlines, other)
- Number of persons trained with USG assistance to advance outcomes consistent with gender equality or female empowerment through their roles in public or private sector institutions or organizations
- Number of training and capacity building activities conducted with USG assistance that are designed to promote the participation of women or the integration of gender perspectives in security sector institutions or activities.
- Number of local women participating in a substantive role or position in a peacebuilding process supported with USG assistance.
GEND_GBV: Number of people receiving post-Gender Based Violence (GBV) care
By type of service:
- § SEXUAL Violence (Post-Rape Care)
- § PHYSICAL and/or EMOTIONAL Violence (Other GBV Care)
- By Age/Sex: <10 male, 10-14 male, 15-17 male, 18-24 male, 25+ male; <10 female, 10-14 female, 15-17 female, 18-24 female, 25+ female
- PEP service provision (related to sexual violence services provided)
U.S. Foreign Assistance Gender Key Issue Definitions – Selected Excerpts
Gender programs are captured in the U.S. foreign assistance budget through the reporting of four interrelated Gender Key Issues: (1) Gender Equality /Women’s Empowerment -Primary; (2) Gender Equality /Women’s Empowerment -Secondary; (3) Gender-based Violence , (4)Women, Peace and Security and (5) the additional LGBTI key issue which responds to the Administration’. The Gender Key Issue Definition is a living document, and is updated annually by State and USAID gender technical experts.
In addition, PEPFAR captures budget information on gender-based violence through a distinct, secondary budget attribution in Country Operations Plans (COPs). This is in alignment with the foreign assistance reporting. While they are separate processes, the definition and illustrative activities outlined in the COPs are aligned with foreign assistance reporting indicators and guidance.
Gender Equality/Women’s Empowerment-Primary (GE/WE-Primary)
Gender Equality/Women’s Empowerment-Primary (GE/WE-Primary) includes projects/activities in which gender equality or women and girls’ empowerment is the explicit or primary goal and fundamental in the design, results framework, and impact. If a project or activity passes the GE/WE-Primary screen, all funding should be attributed to this Linked Key Issue.
Examples of GE/WE-Primary projects/activities are:
- A project/activity to develop school-aged girls’ decision-making skills through peer dialogue and providing information on rights, sexual and reproductive health, and life and leadership skills
- Legal literacy activities for women and girls
- Maternal health and family planning/reproductive health activities that articulate women’s empowerment, gender equality, or male engagement as the primary program objective.
- Capacity building for women candidates, voters, election administrators, election observers, and leaders of political parties
- Capacity building of partner government ministries, offices, or units to address gender equality through policy and legal reform, the recruitment and retention of women, or the integration of gender perspectives.
- Activities designed to help women entrepreneurs access capital, training, and/or other resources needed to start or grow businesses
- Literacy activities designed specifically to address barriers to education and access for women and girls.
Gender Equality/Women’s Empowerment-Secondary (GE/WE-Secondary)
Gender Equality/Women’s Empowerment-Secondary (GE/WE-Secondary) encompasses activities in which gender equality or women and girls’ empowerment purposes, although important, are not among the principal reasons for undertaking the project/activity. To be considered in this Linked Key Issue, the Gender Equality/Women’s Empowerment component must be integrated into key parts of the project/activity, with expected gender results explicitly described.
Examples of GE/WE-Secondary projects/activities are:
- A project/activity designed to reform major government laws and documents that includes work on a Gender Equality Strategy and Gender Action Plan
- A project/activity designed to develop a curriculum on human rights that includes a module on gender equality and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) issues
- A project/activity designed to increase the capacity of civil society groups to operate as activists and watchdogs that includes support to women’s organizations
- A project/activity designed to strengthen fiscal management skills at the local government level that includes a component on gender-based budgeting
- A project/activity to train teachers on improving overall classroom learning environments that includes a gender component.
- A project/activity designed to strengthen election reform that includes an intervention designed to combat the phenomenon of family voting
- A project/activity designed to increase the capacity of the financial sector to extend loans to small and medium enterprises that includes a focus on designing forms of credit that are tailored to the needs of women
- A project/activity to construct schools that includes a component designed to provide separate sanitation services for girls or a water intervention that sets aside funds for women user committees
- A project/activity designed to increase productivity in key agriculture sectors explicitly includes a component aimed at increasing female smallholders’ access to key inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, technology, and credit
- A project/activity designed to generate better employment opportunities in a community with high unemployment levels is specifically structured to ensure that women and girls benefit equally with men and boys
- A project/activity designed to reduce a communicable and/or non-communicable disease addresses the biological, cultural, and social factors that disproportionately impact women’s vulnerability to the disease
- Components of family planning/reproductive health or maternal health projects/activities which address gender barriers in order to achieve program health outcomes although this is not the overall goal of the program.
- A project/activity designed to increase the number of ethnic minority students who enroll in higher education includes a focus on choosing non gender-typical areas of study
- A project/activity to increase enrollments in secondary school addresses the issue of boys dropping out
Gender-based Violence (GBV)
Gender-based Violence is a separate Linked Key Issue and for the purposes of attribution should be considered to be mutually exclusive from the GE/WE-Primary and GE/WE-Secondary Linked Key Issues. This Linked Key Issue includes activities aimed at preventing and responding to GBV. As defined in the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence, GBV is a violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex, gender identity, gender expression or perceived adherence to socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity. It includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercions; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life. Forms of gender-based violence include, but are not limited to, female infanticide; child sexual abuse; sexual coercion and abuse; neglect; domestic violence; elder abuse; and harmful traditional practices such as child, early and forced marriage, “honor” killings, and female genital mutilation/cutting. All interventions that address or respond to GBV perpetrated against women and girls or men or boys, or other groups on the basis of their gender identity or expression, are to be reported in this Linked Key Issue. The narrative that accompanies the key issue must clearly state the form(s) of GBV that is(are) being addressed by the project/activity.
GBV projects/activities may be stand-alone (such as a multi-sector project – with health, access to justice, and economic components) or embedded in a larger activity;
For instance, examples of standalone projects/activities include
- A project/activity to reduce child, early, and forced marriage through legislation and enforcement with associated public awareness campaigns for students in grades seven and eight
- Projects/activities that support one-stop centers where survivors of violence can receive comprehensive services, such as health, legal, psychosocial, economic, etc.
- Projects/activities that engage boys and men as allies and advocates to decrease gender- based violence in all sectors, and in all settings.
- Projects/activities that support the development and implementation of sexual harassment policies that promote safe work environments (offices, agro-processing facilities, factories, businesses, construction sites, etc.), and living spaces (urban planning, transportation, etc.)
- Activities that support decreasing the prevalence of harmful traditional practices (child, early and forced marriage; female genital mutilation/cutting; bride kidnapping; etc.)
Examples of GBV components in larger projects/activities include
- A reproductive health services project/activity that includes training for providers to recognize and respond to survivors of domestic violence
- A project/activity designed to increase capacity of judges that includes a training module on how to handle cases of GBV
- A project/activity designed to enhance the capacity of the police force that includes a special cell or investigative unit to help address cases of GBV
- A project/activity that focuses on improving students’ learning outcomes includes a component that promotes safe environments and GBV prevention through training teachers, students, and community members to confront this issue.
- A project/activity that supports broad social norm change for men and women and adolescent boys and girls that includes life skills activities that examine gender roles and support improved couples’ communication so as to prevent GBV.
- A construction project/activity includes a component on the development and implementation of sexual harassment policies that promote safe work environments for all.
Women, Peace and Security (WPS)
The U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security, launched in 2011, is a comprehensive roadmap describing the course the United States Government will take to empower women as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity. Both State and USAID have agency-specific plans directing their implementation of the NAP.
The Women, Peace, and Security Independent Key Issue collects information on projects/activities designed to:
- Promote women’s rights, participation, and leadership in formal and informal peace processes, peacebuilding activities, conflict prevention, and security initiatives (e.g., peace negotiations, preventive diplomacy)
- Promote women’s participation and leadership in decision-making institutions and processes in societies emerging from crisis or conflict, or experiencing a political transition (e.g., elections, security sector reform, constitutional drafting, transitional justice)
- Protect women and girls, and men and boys, from violence, discrimination, exploitation, and abuse in crisis and conflict-affected environments, including gender-based violence and trafficking in persons; these projects/activities include but are not limited to those that help prevent violence, address the harmful effects of violence and the needs of survivors, or strengthen systems for holding perpetrators of violence accountable
- Promote women’s participation and the integration of gender perspectives in efforts to build resilience to recurrent crises, conflict, and insecurity, including conflict prevention and mitigation; early warning, preparedness, or response; countering violent extremism; disaster risk reduction; and climate-related adaptation activities
- Address the distinct needs of women and girls, and men and boys, as part of relief and recovery efforts, including humanitarian assistance, reintegration, and early recovery projects/ activities; and to promote women’s economic empowerment and access to education and health services in crisis and conflict-affected environments
Examples of WPS projects/activities are:
- Conflict management or mitigation projects/activities designed to increase the representation of women in formal or informal peace or peace-building processes
- Capacity building projects/activities for female elected officials and candidates for election in countries emerging from or affected by crisis or conflict; or experiencing a significant political transition
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Activities (LGBTI)
This Key Issue responds to the Administration’s priority to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in USAID and State’s programs as articulated in the December 6, 2011 presidential memorandum and associated annual mandatory reporting requirement. The acronym LGBTI is inclusive of sexual minorities – sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and intersex issues – and all individuals, groups and associated advocacy organizations working in this area.
Information gathered from this Key Issue will be used for an annual required report submitted to the White House on efforts taken to advance the goals in the Presidential Memorandum. Data derived from the Key Issue will also be used for other internal and occasional external reporting on LGBTI global funding and activities. Any information provided outside of State and USAID will generally not be grant or activity specific unless it is cleared with relevant Operating Units prior to being provided to any external audience.
Attributions to the LGBTI Key Issue should cover activities that protect, fulfill and promote the human rights of LGBTI communities (as defined by the DR.6 Human Rights program area or the Advancing Human Rights Key Issue), advance the non-discriminatory access to and/or receipt of public goods and services for LGBTI individuals either as the primary or a secondary focus of broader foreign assistance programming, such as in Health, Education or other sectors.
Below are specific instructions related to attributing USAID and State funding to this Key Issue:
- In cases where addressing LGBTI issues is the explicit or primary goal of a project/activity, all funding associated with that project/activity should be attributed to this Key Issue.
- In cases where addressing LGBTI issues is not the primary goal of a project/activity but a sub-component or portion of the project/activity does explicitly do so, only the portion of the funding that is associated with this component should be reported against this key issue.
 For instance, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will bring its knowledge of criminal justice sector development to the table, while the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will highlight its shelter and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and mechanisms to provide trauma informed services for survivors of sexual violence. Both agencies have expertise in providing outreach to underserved communities, including rural and immigrant survivors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will focus efforts on prevention utilizing a public health approach. The Department of Labor has substantial experience in funding projects internationally to raise awareness and to reform labor and criminal law to reduce gender-based violence related to work.
 Examples of international interagency bodies for potential coordination include: (1) the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action (SWG). The IASC SWG has a broad membership of organizations, bringing together all key humanitarian actors. The SWG is co-chaired by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Relief International, and International Medical Corps; (2) the Interagency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG), Sub- Working Group on Gender-based Violence. The IAWG promotes access to quality reproductive health care for refugee women and others affected by humanitarian emergencies. The IAWG Sub-Working Group on Gender-based Violence is co-chaired by CDC and UNFPA, and members include representatives from the United Nations and nongovernmental, research and donor agencies; (3) the Institute of Medicine Global Forum on Violence Prevention. This forum brings together a range of organizations and experts to address various aspects of violence prevention including gender-based violence. They are supported by a number of United States Government agencies including DOJ (i.e., the National Institute of Justice) and CDC, and international organizations and members (e.g., UNICEF); (4) the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA). VPA is a network of World Health Organization Member States, international agencies, and civil society organizations working to prevent violence. VPA participants share an evidence-based public health approach that targets the risk factors leading to violence and promotes multi-sector cooperation; (5) the Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence (IACPV). IACPV, which is hosted by the Organization of American States and includes CDC, the Pan- American Health Organization, USAID, World Bank, UN-Habitat, the Inter-American Development Bank, and a variety of other partners, is the result of common concerns of its partner institutions about the impact of crime and violence on the development of societies in the Americas; and (6) the Gender-based Violence Area of Responsibility under the Global Protection Cluster. This global level forum for coordination and collaboration on gender-based violence prevention and response in humanitarian settings brings together non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, academics, and others under the shared objective of ensuring more predictable, accountable, and effective gender-based violence prevention and response in emergencies. The group is co-led by UNICEF and UNFPA and facilitated by a Geneva-based coordinator.
 For example, the United States Government might support and create incentives encouraging private investments in technologies to help prevent and respond to gender-based violence. In seeking to avoid unintended negative consequences associated with the use of new technologies, an effort would be made to first pilot and evaluate any new technology, bearing in mind the potential implications for women’s and girls’ safety. The Interagency could consider whether to create a prize or challenge to the private sector to foster innovation in addressing gender-based violence, a tool that the Obama Administration has used with success.
 For instance, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs recognized that efforts to prevent and respond to gender-based violence must be incorporated into existing HIV interventions, including screening, counseling, and referrals. In the last two years, PEPFAR funding has significantly scaled up efforts to address gender-based violence within HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs. PEPFAR will continue to scale up such efforts. Similarly, the Global Health Initiative called for increased attention to gender-based violence within other health programs, such as family planning/reproductive health and maternal health. Also, the Millennium Challenge Corporation required its country partners to identify constraints to poverty reduction grounded in gender inequality. In countries with a high prevalence of gender-based violence and in relevant sectors, gender-based violence prevention content can be incorporated into compact activities.
 For example, further research is needed on (1) primary prevention strategies; (2) accelerating change in community norms around the acceptability of gender-based violence; (3) documenting the health and social consequences and economic costs of gender-based violence; (4) the link between a woman’s economic independence and gender-based violence; (5) impact evaluations to scale up successful programs and identify effective policies; (6) best practices for the effective inclusion of men and boys in prevention and response to gender-based violence; (7) programs to prevent recidivism among perpetrators; (8) the incorporation of gender protection considerations at the onset of emergencies; and (9) the linkages between gender-based violence, drug use, and HIV risk behavior to implement integrated prevention and treatment strategies that address the multiple risk and protective factors involved. This goal fulfills the spirit of President Obama’s memorandum dated March 4, 2011, which requested that departments and agencies identify and seek to fill in gaps in statistics and improve survey methodology relating to women.
 For example, the National Institute of Justice planned an inter-agency process, which included Federal agencies that conducted research on intimate partner violence to share past, current, and future research priorities, identified ways to collaborate, and work toward creating a Federal-wide intimate partner violence research agenda. This process took place in the fall/winter of 2012.
 For example, HHS issued general guidance on screening women for intimate partner violence in May 2012, which may inform the screening protocols of programs designed to respond to gender-based violence. Also, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration supports a program to identify best practices for shelter interventions that can help protect survivors of gender- based violence in forced displacement settings.
 Lessons learned in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls in the United States may be helpful in developing international policy and programming. For example, one of the signature achievements of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the United States is the concept of a coordinated community response. VAWA encourages jurisdictions to bring together stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, such as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, survivor advocates, health care providers, and neighborhood organizers, to share information and to use their distinct roles to improve community responses to violence against women. Also, CDC administers and provides technical assistance for the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) Grant program to help health departments and sexual assault coalitions address sexual violence. Through RPE, states and territories have strengthened their infrastructure to implement prevention and education programs. Current international efforts to respond to gender-based violence include these types of programming.
 For example, in the criminal justice sector, programs will work to ensure that committing gender- based violence is a serious criminal act with appropriate perpetrator accountability; ensure that legal frameworks exist to support the effective investigation, prosecution, and detention of those convicted as appropriate; ensure that criminal justice institutions provide safe and secure access for alleged victims and witnesses; and ensure that public education of gender-based violence laws, including its consequences and avenues for victim redress, are widely disseminated. Such criminal justice reforms will help overcome barriers that may currently exist in certain countries, including lack of legislation that criminalizes certain acts of gender-based violence and cultural norms among police officers, judges, and prosecutors that think of gender-based violence as a “family issue” and continue to place individuals in danger from family and community members.
 Recommended, though not endorsed by the USG.
 This is based on recent Operational Plan and Country Operational Plan budget figures. Approximately $40 million of this is PEPFAR programming to address gender-based violence.
 Prevalence rates will be determined using resources such as: Demographic and Health Survey data on domestic violence and child marriage, Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, the Global Gender Gap Index, and other reports.
 Prevalence rates will be determined using resources such as: Demographic and Health Survey data on domestic violence and child marriage, Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report, the Global Gender Gap Index, and other reports.
 Other gender-based violence related surveys available to missions include a survey on sexual violence against minors (www.togetherforgirls.org); the World Health Organization survey on gender- based violence; and smaller scale surveys by expert researchers. USAID gender advisors are available to provide additional technical advice on possible instruments.
 The GBV Linked Key Issue will be updated to match the new definition of GBV as stated in the 2016 Update.