The project is expected to enhance the protection of GBV survivors, by expanding prevention of and response to GBV in partner countries. Transferring coordination to local counterpart, integrating comprehensive GBV activities into national programmes/service provisions, strengthening networks and enhancing information sharing the project aspires to create a respond to GBV model in the context of the refugee crisis and the mass influx of non European citizens in European societies. To this end, rather than ‘culturalise’ women’s experiences, the emphasis will be on the ‘inter-culturalisation’ of services, meaning greater inclusiveness and sensitivity to the needs of women under specific vulnerability circumstances and to the effectiveness of immigration regulations in the protection of women.
At the same time, the project intends to bridge the split of treating violence against migrant and refugee women separately from ‘mainstream’ violence against women, and often as part of antiracist and immigration policy instead of as part of gender violence work. This also feeds into a dichotomy between ‘emancipated’ European women and ‘oppressed’ ethnic or minority women contributing in remaining prevalent the essentialist views of cultural and religious identity. Treating separately violence against minority women serves a discriminatory or xenophobic agenda which in some cases creates legitimate concerns that women’s rights are being exploited by. Nevertheless, a focus on religion and culture should not mean that social and economic factors, power imbalances and institutionalised discrimination – all of which contribute to women’s marginalisation – should be ignored.
Taking into consideration these controversies and new challenges the project recognises the need to build (human) capacity and to include governments and non-state entities in coordination mechanisms as well as to engage community in GBV prevention and response by including GBV activities in inter-agency strategies and appeals and by identifying and mobilizing all available resources nationally and transnationally. Building capacity of key professionals involved, coordinating and systematizing the activity of relevant NGOs, and adjusting them to the current circumstances, it will contribute in the advancement of GBV prevention and protection systems.
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