UN Trust Fund grantees – 16th cycle (2011–2012)

Refugee couples participate in a relationship building game during a session in the "Peaceful Families Initiative" run by IRC in Ban Mae Surin Refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand
Refugee couples participate in a relationship building game during a session in the "Peaceful Families Initiative" run by IRC in Ban Mae Surin Refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. Credits: Peter Biro/IRC

In 2011, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women launched its 16th Call for Proposals to support the implementation of laws, policies and action plans on ending violence against women and girls. The Call included a thematic window to address violence against women in conflict, post-conflict and transitional settings. A total of 2,210 concept notes were received with requests totaling USD 1.1 billion. Following an extensive and rigorous review process, the UN Trust Fund awarded over USD 8.4 million to 12 initiatives in 19 countries.

Africa (2) | Americas and the Caribbean (3) | Arab States (1)
Asia and the Pacific (2) | Europe and Central Asia (2) | Cross-Regional (2)


Cape Verde

Institute of Cape Verde for the Advancement of Gender Equality
Project Title: “Programme for the Implementation of the Special Law on Gender-Based Violence”
Description: According to the Cape Verde Demographic Health Survey, one in every five women has suffered from intimate partner violence in the country, with nine percent affected by serious physical violence. In January 2011, following the sustained advocacy efforts of civil society organizations, the Gender Based Violence Law was finally promulgated.

The Institute of Cape Verde for the Advancement of Gender Equality, the national entity responsible for mainstreaming gender in the country’s national policies and plans, played a critical role in supporting the passage of this Law. The Institute will now spearhead its implementation, as part of the country’s Gender Programme for Action (2012-2016). The project will focus on three main areas of violence prevention and response: (i) curbing the acceptance of violence through the use of information, education and communications for attitudinal change targeting schools, men’s groups and the media; (ii) improving the existing multi-sectoral referral system through the establishment of ten “victim support centers” across the country; and (iii) building the institutional capacity of both government and civil society organizations for implementation, intervention and monitoring of plans and measures to address violence against women. The Institute will work closely with the main women’s networks in the country to achieve the project’s objectives, drawing on a partnership that proved highly effective for the approval of the Gender-Based Violence Law.


Concern Worldwide
Project Title: “Ending School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) in Malawi”
Description: School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) remains high in Malawi, with more than 65 percent of girls experiencing some form of abuse, and only 45 percent of girls staying on from primary to junior school. SRGBV manifests as rape, unwanted sexual touching or comments, corporal punishment, bullying and verbal harassment. It is rooted in gender inequality and the unequal power relations between adults and children, males and females. The proposed project will address this phenomenon, promoting equal access to quality primary education for girls and at risk children in twenty-five schools across Malawi’s Nsanje district.

In partnership with local NGOs and government agencies including the ministries of Education, Social Welfare, and the police, Concern Worldwide will empower children, youth and teachers to end violence against girls at the school level while building the capacity of enforcement structures at the community, district and national levels to address these abuses. The project aims to create a safe learning environment for girls in primary schools in the Nsanje district by ensuring that effective awareness, prevention and response mechanisms are put in place while improving capacity at national level to significantly reduce school-related gender-based violence. Informed by learning from Concern Worldwide’s global education programmes, the intervention proposes to introduce new approaches to institutionalizing good practices on child protection and positive discipline, with an emphasis on behavioral change of students, teachers and communities at large for sustainable impact.

Americas and the Caribbean


Belize Women’s Department
Project Title:“Implementation of National Gender-based Violence Plan of Action”
Description: The National Plan of Action on Gender-Based Violence of Belize (2010-2013) was the first in the Caribbean to be endorsed at the highest political level and adopted by the Cabinet as official government policy. Despite this unprecedented political commitment, additional resources are critically needed to accelerate implementation and ensure that the four-year objectives of the National Plan are achieved.

With a focus on policy development, creation of capacities and strong collaboration among government agencies, the Women’s Department in Belize will lead efforts towards the implementation of the National Plan of Action on Gender-Based Violence. The project will prioritize primary prevention by addressing the root causes of violence against women through the development of a specialized school curricula and the engagement of teachers as allies. The project also address the urgent need of data on incidence, frequency and severity of gender-based violence in coordination with the National Statistical Institute, providing critical support to existing data collection systems in the Police Department and The Ministry of Health. The Women’s Department is the country’s National Women Machinery and lead coordinator of Belize’s response to violence against women. Guided by its multi-sectoral approach, the Department will work closely with the Ministries’ Gender Focal Points who are responsible for monitoring implementation of the Action Plan. It will also coordinate actions with the National Gender-Based Violence Committee, an advisory body on the National Plan’s implementation, which brings together representatives of relevant public sector Departments and Ministries, statutory bodies, civil society groups and United Nations country offices.

Chile – Colombia – El Salvador

SOUTH Corporation of Social Studies and Education
Project Title: “Colombia, Chile, El Salvador. A new step in the implementation of policies to tackle violence against women with police: Safer Women”
Description: The continuum between domestic violence and violence against women in public spaces has been rarely addressed even when it is increasingly evident that these are not separate issues but ones that feed into each other. Building on previous success of the regional Safe Cities programme in Latin America, South Corporation intends to work with police to ensure an effective institutional response to violence against women in private and public spaces in Colombia, El Salvador and Chile.

On behalf of the Latin American Women and Habitat Network, and encompassing partnerships with women’s organizations in each of the three countries, the proposed initiative will engage police in prevention, response and implementation of national laws to end violence against women, and public safety plans and policies. A robust gender curriculum for police would be developed and institutionalized to ensure sustainability of the initiative and governments’ ownership. Knowledge would be generated through mapping existing policies on women’s safety and collection of police administrative data, with the aim of feeding into the Regional Observatory of Cities, Violence and Gender, for comparative analysis. The programme underscores the importance of dialogue between police institutions and women’s organizations for an adequate response to women’s safety in the cities. At the regional level, priority would be given to sharing of knowledge and good practices across the three countries.


DEMUS- Research for the Defense of Women’s Rights
Project Title:“Contributing to Building a Justice System that Prosecutes, Sanctions and Provides Redress in Cases of Sexual Violence”
Description: Women survivors of sexual violence in Peru are confronted with a justice system that has precariously incorporated considerations of gender, human rights, and race in both its institutional policies and the prosecution of cases. Measures adopted to address gender discrimination, prevent re-victimization and provide specialized services for women survivors of sexual violence have been scarce and poorly implemented.

The proposed programme seeks to end impunity for sexual violence crimes by ensuring access to justice for women through improved application of the new Peruvian Criminal Procedure Code. DEMUS will influence and strengthen the capacity of justice officials responsible for providing protection orders and reparation to victims to prevent gender stereotypes from being applied in the investigation and trying of cases. In coordination with the National Judicial Academy, gender criteria will be incorporated as part of the evaluation procedure of judges seeking ratification, thereby securing institutionalization of the knowledge. DEMUS will bring justice closer to women by generating mechanisms of dialogue between justice authorities and grassroots women’s organizations in six districts of the country. This will include public campaigns and proposals presented by the organizations to the judiciary to overcome obstacles faced by women survivors of sexual violence when seeking justice.

Arab States


International Medical Corps (IMC)
Project Title: “Addressing Violence against Women in Post-conflict and Transitional Libya”
Description: As Libya emerges from conflict and a new government is established, questions remain regarding the extent to which women’s rights will be represented in emerging laws and policies. With many issues and priorities to consider during this transitional period, it will be important to ensure that issues affecting women and girls including gender-based violence are effectively addressed and prioritized by local and national authorities.

By increasing the service and coordination capacities of Libya’s fragile state institutions, this project will strengthen the institutional response to both conflict-related and ongoing violence against women and girls. The project will work directly with local communities to promote women’s legal status and reduce stigma against survivors of gender-based violence. Training on gender-based violence will be provided to the police and local katibas (militias), while building the capacity of health facilities in five target areas. IMC also proposes to pilot a training programme that will equip community-based groups to identify survivors and at risk individuals, and provide them with case management and psychosocial support services. The programme intends to establish five safe spaces for women to serve as hubs for psychosocial support and referrals. The proposed programme will operate during a critical period marked by the formation of the Libyan State, and thus presents a remarkable opportunity for shaping a positive future direction for women and girls in the country.

Asia and the Pacific

Papua New Guinea

Voice for Change
Project Title: “Advocacy Program on Ending Violence against Women”
Description: In Papua New Guinea, tribal communities tend to rely heavily on traditional norms and beliefs to enforce customary laws and make decisions affecting the community. Many of these traditional laws and customs are discriminatory and do not protect the rights of women. This programme aims to develop by-laws for the newly established Jiwaka Province in Papua New Guinea to -prevent and respond to violence related to polygamy, excessive bride prices, torture and the murder of alleged “sorcerers” in an effort to address forms of violence against women that remain widespread in the province.

Voice for Change, a local women’s human rights organization, has been approached by the South Waghi Local Government to facilitate the development of these new by-laws and the organization intends to involve the community, tribal and youth leaders, village and district courts, and the police to ensure their endorsement and effective implementation. The project will also apply strategies to strengthen the institutional response to violence against women and the quality of services delivered to survivors. By engaging men and boys, developing school-based interventions and working with the media, the project will aim to prevent violence against women and girls by addressing its root causes. The project places great emphasis on community mobilization and ownership, working directly with the four tribes, 37 sub-clans and 62 inter-sub-clans in the Jiwaka Province in order to address the issue of violence against women at the grassroots level.


International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Project Title: “Enhancing a Community-based Multi-sectoral Response to Gender-based Violence in Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin Karenni Refugee Camps”
Description: The protracted nature of the Karenni community’s displacement in Thailand, combined with harmful cultural beliefs and attitudes about gender, has contributed to an environment where women and girls experience structural and systemic forms of gender-based violence. According to a recent reproductive health assessment within nine refugee camps along the Thailand-Burma border, over 20 per cent of refugee women had experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime. The majority (75 per cent) of cases handled by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in the Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin refugee camps are perpetrated by an intimate partner, over half of which include threats to kill or the use of a weapon.

The proposed programme intends to scale-up an already proven approach to service delivery for gender-based violence in humanitarian contexts: a survivor-centered, multi-sectoral approach to address the needs of survivors. This approach will be augmented by cultivating the Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO), a respected and trusted community-based organization for the Karenni population, as the leader of the approach. By developing KNWO into the lead agency for gender-based violence response and a technical resource hub, IRC seeks to engender greater technical capacity for, and ownership of, such services for the long-term among the displaced Karenni community. This is an extremely important shift for a camp population that has been forced to depend on direct service provision from NGOs for over fifteen years. By building KNWO’s technical and organizational competence for gender-based violence service provision, the proposed programme thus has the opportunity to foster greater, long-term community commitment to sustaining quality gender responsive services for survivors in these communities.

Europe and Central Asia


Women’s Resource Center
Project Title: Strengthening a Multi-Sectoral Response to Counter Gender Based Violence in Rural Areas of Armenia
Description: Since its independence in 1991, numerous socio-economic challenges have afflicted Armenia, resulting in a drastic decrease of women’s economic and political status and alarming rates of gender-based violence. According to a nationwide survey on domestic violence, sixty-one percent of women have been exposed to controlling behavior with 25 percent facing psychological violence and abuse. The absence of comprehensive domestic violence legislation, the lack of shelter and resources for survivors, limited training for police and healthcare workers, and the perception of gender-based violence as a private matter, have all exacerbated the problem of violence against women in the country.

The Women’s Resource Center, the first organization to address sexual violence against women in Armenia, will promote the government’s responsibility to implement the 2011-2015 Strategic Action Plan to Combat Gender-Based Violence through developing monitoring mechanisms and providing recommendations to relevant government agencies on legal and policy changes needed to support survivors. The initiative will pioneer a referral system for survivors based on sustained cooperation between governmental and non-governmental organizations. The project will strengthen the capacity of sub-national Divisions on Family, Children and Women’s Issues in the three rural regions of Shirak, Lori and Syunik, where violence is most rampant. The project will also aim to shift cultural and social perceptions towards gender violence through awareness raising campaigns, and community mobilization around the unacceptability of violence against women.

Republic of Serbia

United Nations Country Team (UNDP, UNICEF and UN Women)
Project Title: Integrated Response to Violence against Women in Serbia
Description: While Serbia has ratified a body of laws and policies to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence, implementation remains a challenge. The severe financial and economic crisis has heavily affected Serbia’s national budget, leading to reduced budgetary allocations for the Gender Equality Mechanisms (GEMs) that play a critical role in the implementation of strategic plans and the enforcement of laws on women’s rights, including gender-based violence.

In line with the National Strategy for Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women in the Family and in Intimate Partner Relationship 2011, and building upon lessons learnt from previous interventions, the UN Country Team will contribute to the establishment of a coordinated institutional response to address violence against women through a set of prevention and protection measures. In the area of protection, the programme will strengthen institutional response in alignment with the requirements of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence 2011 (Istanbul Convention) and promote multi-sectoral coordination of key actors at both national and provincial levels. In the area of prevention, the programme will raise awareness among children and youth through school-based and community interventions including new educational packages and social mobilization campaigns. The Joint Programme will pilot working with perpetrators at four Centres for Social Welfare, and assess the possibility of standardizing this intervention as part of the country’s social protection services. The UN Country Team will also contribute to public awareness of services for survivors of gender-based violence, increasing visibility and outreach of the existing national SOS hotline and a one-stop centre.


Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Uganda, Libya

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
Project Title: “Advancing Gender Justice in Countries under ICC investigation”
Description: There is an urgent matter of accountability for gender-based crimes in the context of the armed conflict and post-conflict settings where the International Criminal Court (ICC) is conducting on-going investigations. Although gender-based violence has been reported in all of these conflict-related settings, little accountability has been provided and limited medical assistance and support are available to survivors. Women have also been largely excluded from the peace processes and transitional justice mechanisms have to date not included gender provisions in their mandate, jurisdiction and implementation.

In order to respond to this situation, the Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice, the only international women’s organization that has been granted amicus curiae status by the ICC, will work to engender existing post-conflict recovery policies, frameworks, and transitional justice mechanisms. The project will strengthen local capacity to undertake documentation programmes in order to generate credible knowledge and data on the commission of gender-based crimes in armed conflicts in order to ensure domestic and international accountability of these crimes. The project will also provide assistance to survivors in need of urgent medical or psychosocial support through piloting a new model of transit houses for war-affected women in remote areas. The project also intends to enhance the legal status of women in conflict and post-conflict settings specifically through reform of rape laws.

The Women’s Initiative for Gender Justice will work with its extensive network of women’s organizations in the four target countries, contextualizing interventions to meet the specific needs of survivors in each setting.

Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Colombia, Tunisia, Nepal

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
Project Title: “Transitional Justice: Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Ensuring Women’s Participation”
Description: In periods of conflict or repression, violence against women often dramatically increases, and women’s ability to seek recourse to defend their rights is severely limited. Transitional justice responses to gender-based violence during conflict and authoritarian rule are not only important to ensure full justice for mass human rights abuses, but they can also help combat women’s marginalization and create stronger protections for their human rights in post-conflict settings. Despite increased attention to and recognition of the impact of conflict on women, women continue to be marginalized in peace building and justice efforts.

This project aims to ensure that transitional justice mechanisms in Tunisia, Nepal, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Uganda are designed in ways to better address the specific justice needs of victims of gender-based violence. By providing in-depth technical assistance and trainings to national policymakers involved in the design of transitional justice measures, women’s organizations, and practitioners, the project will ensure that gender-based violence is addressed, particularly in the areas of truth-seeking and reparations. The project also seeks to conduct consultations with women survivors and rights groups to assess their justice priorities and needs and to exchange strategies developed by actors across the six countries to effectively integrate gender issues into current and future transitional justice initiatives.