International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2022

24 November 2022
Wish Pandey

by Wish Pandey

Student Intern, CHS Alliance

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is a day for us to pause and acknowledge the dedication of human rights activists, grassroots organisations, and survivors/victims’ advocates in preventing violence against women and girls. This day is also a call to action for the humanitarian and development system to use tools and resources that help prevent and respond to the causes of violence. 

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most persistent and under reported human rights violations across the globe today.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Based on the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, VAWG is defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psycholocial harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”

CHS Alliance is supporting this year’s UN Women campaign, UNiTE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls. This day calls on the global community to promote advocacy, spread awareness, and create spaces for solution-based discourse. This year’s theme inspires us all to become activists for elimination of VAWG, and to actively support women’s rights activists and movements around the world. 

CHS Alliance members and partners can help tackle a shameful example of VAWG in the aid system by using the CHS Protection from Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (PSEAH) Index to measure and improve their work. The PSEAH Index is part of the CHS Verification Framework. It measures organisations’ systems to protect and prevent abuse, exploitation or harassment by aid workers. While not exclusively, women and girls are often the targets of this abuse due to  gender norms and the power differentials in crisis situations.

The CHS PSEAH Index can be used to identify progress points and improvement areas of individual organisations, as part of a verification against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality & Accountability (CHS). We have seen CHS verified organisations improve on areas pivotal to PSEAH such as implementing adequate complaints mechanisms and raising awareness of expected staff behaviour. 

It’s also important to acknowledge and address the intersectional characteristics that may make some women and girls affected by crisis more likely to be subject to violence. Aid organisations supporting women and girls should consider factors like age, migration status, ethnicity and race, physical or psychosocial disabilities, sexual orientation or gender-identity, among many others. The CHS Gender and Diversity Index measures organisations performance in accounting for groups of people who may be in vulnerable or marginalised situations and how well they tailored prevention and interventions in response. 

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls is a reminder for the aid system to take action. We must support survivors/victims of violence, uplift women’s rights activists and organisations, eliminating VAWG together — UNiTED.