Ending gender-based violence and promoting transformative masculinities

Lilian Mutheu speaking to a group during a DREAMS session in Mukuru Kwa Njenga. Photo: Sean Hawkey/ACT

ACT Alliance is weighing in on issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global Summit on Population and Development, ICPD, being held in Nairobi from 12th to 14th of November.

ICPD is an important moment, coming 25 years after the Cairo Summit introduced the UN Population Fund’s Programme of Action.  In Nairobi, ACT will be continuing its work towards achieving gender justice, women’s rights, protection of LGBTQI people, the right to contraception, prevention of HIV and of gender-based violence.

ACT has worked with the Associated Press to produce the first of a series of short documentaries on these issues, telling stories from the slums of Nairobi, and looking at how faith-based groups contribute to tackling endemic gender-based violence and toxic masculinity. The short documentary was produced in coordination with ACT member LWR/IMA and with support from UNFPA.

Philip Ocheche, a mentor with DREAMS, on the streets of Mukuru Kwa Njenga. Photo: Sean Hawkey/ACT

The movie highlights the DREAMS project in Nairobi, a programme that provides education and support to young women who are subject to gender-based violence and who have little or no access to critical health education and services. The video introduces characters who are mentors in a scheme that is supported by ACT member LWR/IMA. Many of the people being mentored are in their early teens. The mentors themselves have been beneficiaries of the program that promotes access to services that empower young women and girls to take ownership of their reproductive health.

“The DREAMS program uses a proven, community engagement approach for reducing HIV infection among adolescents and young women,” IMA VP for Health Programs, Allyson Bear said. “We know young women in informal settlements are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection and other threats.” 

General Secretary of the ACT Alliance, Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, said that ‘Through projects like DREAMS, ACT members are working around the world to advance gender justice, to work against gender-based violence, and to live into our commitments to the ICPD, fighting for the rights of all people, and in particular for women and the LGBTQI community whose rights are still a long way from being respected.‘

Read ACT’s commitments to ICPD.

Watch the DREAMS video.