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Gender-Based Violence Campaign for Somali Refugees in Ethiopia

News and Press Release
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As in other countries around the world, International Medical Corps in Ethiopia marked the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign in collaboration with UNHCR, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and other implementing partners. From November 25 - December 10, International Medical Corps highlighted this year’s national campaign theme “Peace in the Home is the Foundation for Peace Everywhere” in Melkadida and Kobe refugee camps as well as the Reception Center in the Dolo Ado Region. Our teams have been working since 2009 to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Dolo Ado camps.

Major activities included:

  • An opening ceremony consisting of a parade of refugees displaying GBV prevention messages followed by songs, dances, short plays and remarks from refugees about violence against women and girls. Competitions for the refugee community to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behavior about ending violence against women and girls including a Q&A with prizes such as GBV posters, t-shirts and stationery.

  • Construction of peace houses to symbolize behavior and attitudes that can bring peace in the home. Participants built small model houses and posted messages of peace on them.

  • A series of panel discussions with community leaders, teachers and staff of other implementing organizations in Melkadida and Kobe camps to increase their understanding of GBV prevention including sexual exploitation and abuse in the home, schools and throughout the community. Targeted discussion groups with couples about decision-making dynamics in the home and with teens and adults about sexual violence against women and girls.

  • A closing ceremony held on the last day of the campaign (Dec. 10), which coincided with Human Rights Day. We held a parade and programs including songs, dances, the unveiling of the peace houses, awards and remarks from the refugee community as well as our team and partner organizations.