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stand up training


Taking a Stand Against Sexual & Gender Based Violence in Mozambique: The Role of Healthcare Providers

By Sylvia Ekponimo, Project Advisor, Stand Up for SRHR

By Sylvia Ekponimo, Project Advisor, Stand Up for SRHR

Approximately one out of four women in Mozambique experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime, with one in two girls marrying before the age of 18. During the COVID 19 pandemic, reports revealed an exacerbated experience faced by women and girls in the country. With healthcare providers being most likely the first point of contact a survivor would have, it is essential that they are equipped to screen, identify and clinically manage GBV cases, while referring survivors to the relevant authorities where applicable.

Numerous structural obstacles and cultural practices hinder individuals from accessing essential health services, particularly those addressing sexual violence and abuse. When survivors navigate these challenges and make it to a clinic, service providers must be adequately prepared to address their needs.

It is against this backdrop that IPPF’s Member Association in Mozambique, AMODEFA, supported a 3-day training from 20 to 22 March 2024, on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) for healthcare workers providing care in select health facilities. The training was organized within the framework of the Stand Up project, a multi-stakeholder, multi-country initiative that contributes to the increased enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The training’s objective was to equip and increase healthcare providers’ knowledge on SGBV topics and strengthen their capacities and skills in responding and providing SGBV-related services to adolescents and young women. The training also aimed at disseminating appropriate SGBV documentation and providing referrals for complementary non-clinical services, such as psycho-social support and legal redress.

With participants ranging from nurses, GBV focal persons, data entry officers, and representatives from other Stand Up partners (Ophenta & LAMBDA), the training addressed harmful social norms, beliefs, attitudes, values, and harmful behaviors that contribute to SGBV. To foster ownership and sustainability, the Nampula District Director of Health, Women and Social Welfare as well as representatives from the Prosecutor’s office and Provincial Health Services were also in attendance.

Other topics addressed included human rights, with a special focus on children and women's rights; the perception of sexuality and sexual and reproductive rights as fundamental to access quality SRH services; legislations on GBV, legal instruments that safeguard survivors’ rights to protection, access to justice, and access to clinical services. Additionally, there were sessions to review methodologies in addressing SGBV cases such as information gathering equipment, reporting standards and referrals of SGBV cases by health centers; and the data capturing tools for recording, reporting, and referring cases of SGBV services at the health centers.

To learn more about the Stand Up project click here.                 






Related Member Association

Associação Moçambicana para Desenvolvimento da Família