Working in partnership with men: Violence against women in Cote d’Ivoire

If we try to challenge men’s concepts of gender norms, can we change discriminatory attitudes and violent behaviour? Reducing violence against women by changing men’s attitudes and behaviour is an intervention area that has not been well-explored, particularly in low income settings. GVHC is working in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Men’s Resources International (MRI) to conduct an intervention study in Cote d’Ivoire to evaluate a new violence prevention programme that focuses on men. MRIs intervention aims to challenge existing constructions of masculinity in 12 rural communities. GVHC will assess the intervention impact through a randomized community trial study that will take place over three years. The first phase of the study, completed in December 2008, included a baseline survey of nearly 2,700 women and men to measure the prevalence of violence in and outside the home and conflict-related experiences and responses, including physical and mental health symptoms. The intervention will be followed through monitoring activities and qualitative methods to help IRC understand the pathways of influence of the MRI strategy. In 2011, GVHC will conduct an end-line survey to assess differences between communities that did and did not receive the intervention. Our research in Cote d’Ivoire is a unique post-conflict study that can inform policy level decisions on disarmament, rehabilitation and reconstruction. The findings will also provide insights for current and future violence prevention programming in Cote d’Ivoire and other similar settings.

GVHC research staff: Mazeda Hossain, Cathy Zimmerman, Charlotte Watts Project partners: International Rescue
Committee Donor, Phase I: International Rescue Committee
Phase II: Funding is being sought to conduct an economic evaluation of the project, and to support local research capacity building activities.

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