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IOM launches Gender-Based Violence in Crisis Framework in MENA Region

A victim of trafficking, in her beauty salon, following the IOM reintegration program. © Sibylle Desjardins / IOM
A victim of trafficking, in her beauty salon, following the IOM reintegration program. © Sibylle Desjardins / IOM

IOM's Regional Office of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Protection Division - Emergency and Post Crisis Division, alongside IOM's Global Gender Based Violence (GBV) staff, marked a significant milestone with the launch of the Gender-Based Violence in Crisis Framework (GBViC Framework) at the regional level. This initiative aims to ensure the promotion of the GBViC Framework’s principles and strategic interventions at all levels, with careful consideration of practical applications in each crisis operation.

The event drew participation from nearly 140 colleagues, with opening remarks that highlighted the vital importance of addressing gender-based violence in the MENA region and recognizing its enduring impact in both humanitarian and non-humanitarian contexts.

During the event, IOM Jordan and IOM Iraq shared their experiences showcasing effective mitigation of GBV risks and supporting survivors. Global GBV specialists presented a comprehensive approach, focusing on addressing root causes through the methodology "SASA! Together", developed in partnership with the feminist organization Raising Voices.

The primacy of the subject was underscored as "we face one of the largest displacement crises globally, disproportionately affecting women and girls", while “the number of domestic violence cases is rising at alarming rates, along with risks of sexual violence and exploitation of women and girls that are displaced, in transit, in temporary shelters, or at border crossings waiting for visas”. 

IOM's role as a lead operational agency calls for equipped responses to identify specific risks and address them safely in a dignified manner. The roll-out of the GBViC in the region was deemed crucial to mitigate risks actively and to promote the investment in GBV specialized capacities to ensure GBV response services are available to all survivors.

A call to action for all missions in the region was issued to proactively take leadership and align programming with the GBV framework to strengthen accountability for protecting women and girls. The culmination of the event saw IOM Yemen recognized as the GBV Champion country in the MENA region, with a concrete Action Plan set to be developed in the coming months for implementing the GBViC Framework.

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