Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
Of the millions of Venezuelans who have left and crossed international borders in recent years, it is estimated that at least 40 percent identify as women. Venezuelan women and girls are at particular risk of exploitation, social exclusion, abuse, and gender-based violence, and there is a pervasive hypersexualized stereotype of Venezuelan women and girls.
This reality is not an exception in Panama, one of the primary receiving nations of Venezuelan migrants in recent years. To address this situation, the Challenge is funding “Balancing the Scales: Men Against Gender-based Violence,” an initiative led by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) that builds on previous work in Panama, Colombia and Kenya, to reduce gender-based violence (GBV), creating safe spaces for deconstructing unequal gender systems.
Through a robust training curriculum, and an ongoing analysis of power relations, the program will raise awareness about violence, gender and social norms, and their consequences, encouraging attitudinal and behavioral change among beneficiaries and their peers. Through its innovative approach of engaging men as change makers, the training will be student-centered and interactive, promoting trust through participation, communication, critical analysis and inclusive language. It will be led by highly-skilled facilitators, targeting a cohort of 165 Venezuelan migrants between ages 18 and 60 in three high-density locations where HIAS already works. This online and classroom-based approach will be complemented with inter-gender dialogues between men, vulnerable women and adolescents.
Program activities will be coordinated with other strategic actors including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, National Refugee Council and the National Women’s Office and Women’s Affairs Bureau in Panama, as well as local organizations to ensure effective referral pathways and strengthen local capacity and services.
Focus Areas and Impact
|Gender Equality & Women’s Economic Empowerment|
|Xenophobia, Gender-Based Violence & Violence Prevention|