1. WHY we focus on GBV in Emergencies

Gender-based Violence (GBV) takes many forms in times of crisis, both in private and public life. The prevalence and risks of GBV increase as existing gender inequalities are exacerbated by the chaos and tensions within households, communities, and society.

Crises often lead to increased levels of intimate partner violence; sexual violence as a tactic of war; sexual assault or exploitation during displacement; child, early and forced marriages; denial of resources; increase in harmful traditional practices; and sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian aid workers, peace-keepers and security forces.

During an emergency and its aftermath, access to lifesaving care and support is unpredictable, vulnerability to violence is higher, and systems that protect women and girls, including family, community and state structures, may weaken or break down.

Prevailing evidence and research dictate that GBV occurs in all emergencies worldwide, so we do not wait to prove GBV is occurring before taking action.

CARE believes gender inequality is at the root of all GBV. In humanitarian settings, where structures, systems and all support for women and girls are interrupted or have broken down, we believe it is vital to continue our focus on building agency, changing relations and transforming structures throughout our programs.

Ending GBV in Emergencies is a core pillar of CARE’s approach to Gender in Emergencies.