Using Data to Expose Gender-Based Violence in Different Communities

While gender-based violence affects individuals from all walks of life, some communities are more vulnerable than others. However, without data, it can be challenging to identify vulnerable populations and accurately quantify the scale of the problem.

Edith Mecha

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global issue that robs people of their basic right to safety and security. While GBV can affect anyone, it disproportionately affects women and girls. In many communities worldwide, GBV is a pervasive social problem, driven by cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes. To tackle GBV effectively, it is essential to understand its nature and extent in different communities. Data-driven approaches play a critical role in exposing GBV, identifying patterns, and developing evidence-based policies and interventions. This blog explores how data can help expose GBV in different communities, leading to better policy and intervention outcomes.

Collecting Data on GBV

The first step in tackling GBV is to collect data on its nature and extent. Collecting data means talking to survivors, service providers, and community leaders to understand their experiences and perceptions. Policymakers can use data to identify trends, patterns, and hotspots of GBV and develop strategies to address them. Data can also help identify groups that are at higher risk of violence, such as young girls or women in rural areas. Data collection can take various forms, such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and should be culturally and linguistically appropriate.

Mapping Data

Once data is collected, policymakers can use mapping tools to visualize GBV patterns in different communities. Mapping data helps identify areas with the highest incidence of GBV, enabling policymakers to target interventions appropriately. Mapping can also identify areas where services are underutilized and need to be expanded. For example, mapping can pinpoint areas with few or no shelters, which is an essential service for survivors of GBV. Mapping data can be done using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other software tools.

Collecting Data on GBV

Using Technology to Collect Data

Technology can be used to collect data more efficiently and accurately. Mobile phone apps, social media, and other digital tools can be used to collect data on GBV and reach out to survivors more quickly. For example, some countries have developed mobile apps that survivors can use to report incidents of GBV. The apps can also provide information on available services and access to emergency helplines. Using technology for data collection can also help policymakers track progress and make informed decisions more quickly.

Sharing Data

Sharing data on GBV is crucial for developing evidence-based policies and interventions. GBV data can be shared with policymakers, service providers, and the public to raise awareness about the issue and encourage action. Sharing data can also help policymakers and service providers identify gaps in services and develop targeted interventions. For example, if data shows that many GBV survivors are not reporting incidents to the police, policymakers can work with law enforcement agencies to improve reporting mechanisms and provide better support to survivors.

Funding for Data-driven Approaches

Funding is crucial for effective data-driven approaches to GBV. Governments, donors, and non-profit organizations must invest in collecting and using data to tackle GBV in different communities. Funding can be used to train data collectors, develop mapping tools, and support researchers in analyzing data. Funding can also support grassroots organizations that are working to combat GBV at the community level. Investing in data-driven approaches can help create lasting change in communities affected by GBV.

Tackling GBV requires a data-driven approach. By investing in data collection and sharing, policymakers, service providers, and the community can work together to tackle one of the most pressing global challenges facing society today.

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