What does CARE’s strategy call for?

CARE International’s Program Strategy 2020 identifies strengthening gender equality and women’s voice as a cross-cutting approach and articulates the right to a life free from violence as an outcome that CARE pursues. Monitoring, mitigating and responding to gender-based violence  (GBV) in all CARE programming is mandatory. This means being deliberate about both confronting GBV in sectoral (health, food security, livelihoods, etc.) programming in an integrated way, as well as developing stand-alone innovative interventions and programming to confront and prevent GBV.

CARE understands GBV not as a technical problem to be solved, but rather as a systemic social problem that cross-cuts sectors. It is shaped by patriarchal social norms, unequal relationships, discriminatory laws and unresponsive institutions. CARE seeks, by 2020, to support 12 million women and girls to exercise their right to a life free from violence. CARE does so by implementing programming in alignment with a GBV strategy that is focused on four objectives:

  1. People of all genders and ages make choices, assert their voices and realize their right to a life free of GBV. 
    This includes activities such as: fostering self-reflection on social norms and gender stereotypes; training and dialogues on masculinities and femininities; integrating GBV monitoring and mitigation interventions into the work of savings groups; and strengthening women’s participation in community-based GBV response and referral systems.
  2. People of all genders and ages negotiate and create healthy relationships within families and communities built upon mutual respect, open communication, solidarity and non-violence
    This includes activities such as: couples workshops and counseling on communication, trust and intimacy; parent-child workshops and counseling on family relationships (i.e. mother-in-law and daughter-in-law interactions, fatherhood); support for men as allies in GBV prevention; and challenging community norms through social media, theater and community dialogues.
  3. Groups negotiate rights, choices, access to resources and services with formal and informal institutions, transforming social norms and practices to prevent and respond to GBV
    This includes activities such as: promoting collective action of groups (i.e. indigenous groups, domestic workers, migrants) to reshape social norms through theater, journalism and sports; engaging religious and cultural leaders to denounce GBV and work against harmful traditional practices; and enabling grassroots voices to be heard in policy fora and broader discussions on GBV. 
  4. Transparent and accountable formal and informal institutions prevent and respond to GBV
    This includes activities such as: strengthening district and national level systems for GBV prevention and response (particularly in humanitarian settings); networking and building the capacity of frontline institutions (i.e. social work, health, education) to implement coordinated and inclusive GBV response; and advocacy to hold national, regional and global actors to account for meeting GBV-related policy commitments.

In each of these domains of change, CARE aims to:

Employ gendersynchronized approaches that

  • amplify voices of women and girls – particularly within groups most affected by GBV - in coordination with
  • engaging men and boys, and
  • shifting social norms that underpin GBV
  • build on relationships and capacities of solidarity groups
  • secure positive development outcomes as well as promote deeper social transformation