Through recognizing and responding to gender-based violence in our community and clinical programs, PSI staff challenge negative gender norms and spark community-wide intolerance of gender-based violence. Our established network members also support smaller community-based organizations working to end gender-based violence (GBV) with capacity-building services.
Across the world, PSI staff come into contact with tens of thousands of people every day, through community mobilization, peer outreach, community health programs and in our franchised clinics. Each of these interactions is a chance for us to educate the community about gender-based violence and for survivors to disclose to us. We provide a compassionate response, validating that the violence our clients experience is wrong and ensuring that they receive appropriate referrals for care and support. By treating GBV as a problem instead of a social fact, PSI staff are part of a global movement challenging the inevitability of violence and inviting communities to change.
Because of our extended network and long-standing presence in many countries, we are often well-positioned to support smaller, local organizations working directly to end GBV. We can provide the training in support in organizational management, fundraising, and communications that these groups need to survive and thrive, and help them build powerful networks for change.
Making a Difference
PSI partnered with Maverick Collective member, Barbara Jones, to defeat gender-based violence (GBV) in Myanmar with a four-pronged approach that begins with the women themselves.
First, we are working to understand the daily lives and experiences of women living in Yangon and Mandalay. We are generating evidence that comes from a place of empathy — in seeking to gain an awareness of women’s daily lives and beliefs, we can begin to design a program that will transform cultural practices and help end GBV.
Second, we will use the results of our research to design targeted violence prevention and counselling programs. PSI’s huge network of franchise clinics already supply a large proportion of the healthcare in Myanmar. Doctors at these clinics will deliver essential services to women who have suffered or who are at risk of violence.
There are many local organizations that have deep roots in the community and it is important we engage them to avoid duplicating efforts. Our third goal is to help build the capacity of these organizations to serve women who have experienced violence and establish a network for providing GBV support services.
Finally, we will use the evidence gained from our research to develop and launch behavior change communication campaigns through inter-personal outreach, radio and other channels. We aim to transform negative gender norms that perpetuate GBV, to promote healthy relationships, and provide information about support services.