UNDP Collaborates on First Global Standard-Compliant Study on Gender Based Violence in Papua

, 06 October 2016 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), and Rifka Annisa, conducted a survey on health and life experiences in four districts in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. It found the rate of violence against women to be similar to the global statistics—38 percent of women who participated in the study have experienced a physical or sexual violence at least once.

The methodology was modeled after the World Health Organization’s multi-country study on gender based violence, which found one in three women have suffered at least one form of physical or sexual violence.

It was the first of such a study BPS conducted that used the global standard methodology, which took into account ethical and safety sensitivities, and the privacy of the respondents. The survey also interviewed both women and men—with 38 percent of men questioned admitted to have committed violence against women at least once in their lifetime.

The survey, which was funded by USAID, involved 960 women and 971 men in four districts in Papua. The results cannot be generalized to all of Papua, but with experience from the study, BPS is planning a national violence against women survey.

“A study on women’s life experience is urgent,” said Sairi Hasbullah of BPS. “No women should suffer.”

For more on the importance of the study and the findings, here is the opening remarks from UNDP Indonesia Country Director Francine Pickup at the report launch on 30 September.

Ending Gender Based Violence is a central component of UNDP’s gender equality strategy and key to eliminating poverty and reducing inequality. Gender based violence constitutes a fundamental human rights abuse and is a widespread block to development. As a development organization, UNDP should address the root causes of violence and also be mindful of instances when development interventions can actually trigger violence because those interventions upset the status quo in gender relations.

UNDP conducted this survey because it is an important step to understanding the problem, making it visible, and finding solutions to combat it.

This study was a collaboration between UNDP, USAID, BPS, Rifka Annisa Research and Training Center. We appreciate the work of these organizations as well as Emma Fulu, Elli Hayati and Livia Iskandar who have written the research reports.

We also appreciate the participation in this study of almost two thousand women and men in four districts of Papua and West Papua: Jayapura, Jayawijaya, Manokwari and Sorong as well as the service providers and the women’s empowerment office.

The study is extensive and includes a quantitative survey, qualitative component and institutional capacity assessment of the service providers.

The objective of the study is to provide insight into the health and life experiences of women and men in Papua and West Papua provinces. It describes gender relations in those districts and seeks to understand the perspectives of those involved in incidents of GBV, including the survivor, perpetrator and bystander.

This study presents evidence on the scale of incidence of Gender-Based Violence and its impact in the lives of women, men and families. A few words about the findings. At the global level, the World Health Organisation has said that one in every three women has ever suffered physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.

This study reveals a similar number: 38% of ever-partnered women aged 14-64 reported having ever experienced at least one form of physical and/or sexual violence by a male intimate partner in their lifetime, and 18% reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months before the interview.

Reporting was consistent between men and women. Overall, 38% of ever-partnered men aged 14-64 reported having perpetrated at least one act of physical and/or sexual violence against a female partner in their lifetime, and 26% had perpetrated this violence in the past 12 months. Almost one third of all men and women had witnessed the abuse of their mother by her partner during childhood.

The qualitative assessment looked at women’s and men’s view on equity and violence against women. One woman from Sentani said: “In our “Adat House” (rumah adat), men are allowed to speak, but women are not... Women are not allowed to sit in the Pendopo House, mostly men who make the decisions. Women prepare food in the kitchen. “

This concept of Papuan women and men is a learned concept – told by mother and father to daughter and son, amplified by social networks and reinforced by religion, school and cultural practices. Women were taught to be submissive while men were taught to be tough. Crucially, what is taught can be changed through promoting more equal social norms.  

The Institutional Capacity Assessment looked at the services provided to survivors of Gender Based Violence. Findings showed that only 15% of GBV survivors turn to formal support services. The traditional adat justice system plays a key role in responding to incidence of GBV and ensuring that that adat justice supports the women in resolving conflicts is important.

It is hoped that the findings and recommendations provide useful evidence for policy making and programming as part of efforts to eliminate GBV, and contributing to SDG 5 on Gender Equality.

Contact Information
Alice Budisatrijo
Communications Specialist

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