Village Elders’ Training on GBV Prevention and Response – Burnt Forest

Between 16th to 19th February 2015, CEEC conducted a training of 31 Village Elders from Olenguse Location. The training was informed by requests made during the implementation of the project Building the capacity of communities in Burnt Forest to prevent and appropriately respond to Gender Based Violence. The Village Elders are the first point of contact when gender based violence occurs but they are heavily influenced by culture and it is therefore important to strengthen their capacity to make the right decisions, give appropriate advice and make the necessary referrals.

The Village Elders were very grateful because they realized that they have been handling some gender based violence cases from a point of ignorance. They acknowledged that they have been basing their decisions on culture which is usually discriminative against women and girls. They were also shocked to realize that some of the decisions that they make are contrary to the law and they can even land them in jail. They committed to working towards gender based violence prevention and to ensure that if it does occur, appropriate action will be taken. They also undertook to make changes in their personal lives now that they understand that some of the things they were doing in the name of culture are actually violations of women’s and girls’ rights as well as the law.

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