Britain on Saturday launched a seven-year project titled 'What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale' which will target countries with some of the highest levels of abuse against women and girls. With this, the UK has emerged as the biggest government funder of programs to prevent violence against women and girls globally. The £67.5 million program of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) builds on a previous initiative launched in 2014. The project aims to reduce instances of violence across Africa and Asia and will pilot and research new ideas to tackle the global crisis.
As stated by WHO, one in three women worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly from an intimate partner.
The earlier project was worth $25 million and supported 13 small-scale projects in Africa and Asia. It also gave evidence on how to tackle violence in poorer countries. Pilot programs under DWID have helped to bring down the levels of physical and sexual violence by half in less than two years. Levels of violence against women in two regions fell from 64% to 34% following 10 weeks of counseling, skills training and mentoring in Tajikistan. Similarly, the percentage of men who claimed to be violent fell from 47% to 5%. Women's suicide rates reduced from 20% to 9% and for men, it reduced to nil from 10%. Earnings of women increased too. A project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that trained faith leaders to challenge abuse in their sermons reduced domestic violence by nearly 60% in 15 villages.
Of the allocated £67.5 million, £33 million will be spent on expanding these successful projects, and adjusting and testing them in new locations. Another £10 million will be used to design and pilot new ideas and programs. DFID also wishes to target violence against adolescent girls and among people with disabilities, and against children in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. DFID also hopes more donations with all the good work.