‘¡Ya basta!’ is a famous Spanish phrase meaning ‘Enough is Enough!’ It pretty much sums up how we feel about gender-based violence. Last month we held a training series for our participants in Peru on how we can all take part in ending gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence has deep roots in the global society, especially in developing countries like Peru and Uganda where the economic pressures of poverty exacerbate the problem. It’s an issue we have to be on top of because women’s empowerment can intensify violence in homes where male household members want to keep females disempowered. We incorporate a lot of training and care on gender-based violence centered around three themes: knowledge, action, and leadership.
Women need to know their basic human rights. We find that often times, the women we work with are unable to identify what gender-based violence is because it’s such a normal part of their daily life. The first step we take towards gender equality is always telling the women that they don’t deserve to be treated poorly just because they are female.
Knowledge leads to action. Women are more likely to make a stand against violence in their households and communities when they know that gender-based violence is wrong. By no means is this an easy stand to make, but our mentors are there to support the ladies through the process. When necessary, the mentors provide counseling, mediate family conflict and help file domestic abuse claims with the local police and social services.
Women who make a stand against gender-based violence are leaders in the movement to end gender-based violence for good. Girls who grow up in households where women are respected, are more likely to demand that same respect. Family members who see the transformation from fear to confidence will want the same change for themselves. By demanding respect, our participants are on the front lines of promoting greater of gender equality and women’s empowerment.