Strengthening Health System Responses to Gender-based Violence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

A resource package

3. The role of health systems in the response to gender-based violence

3.1        Outline of the module

Duration of the module

2 hours

Aim of the module

To enable participants

  • to understand why the health sector plays a crucial rule in responding to GBV,
  • to understand what this role entails, at the levels of both front line staff and management of health facilities, and
  • to reflect on the barriers to effective health system responses to GBV that exist at the levels of both the patient and the health care professional and on ways to address these barriers.

Key learning messages

  • States are under an obligation under international human rights law to improve health system responses to GBV.
  • Health care professionals are the first and sometimes only point of contact for women survivors of GBV seeking help.
  • Health care professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in the response to GBV can make an important contribution to improving the health, wellbeing and safety of the patient. At the same time, lack in knowledge and skills on the part of health care professionals can put women at further risk and harm.
  • Health facilities need to provide an institutional framework to guide the day-to-day interventions of health care staff, to address any barriers to an effective response, and to ensure sustainability of efforts.

Background readings for trainer

UNFPA-WAVE Resource Package, Part I, chapters 2.1-2.4

Further readings:

CEDAW, Istanbul Convention, IFFP 2010, UNFPA 2001, WHO 2013

Methods

  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 1-15, handout 8)
  • Group exercise: The role of health care professionals (handout 9)
  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 16-23, handout 10)
  • Group exercise: Barriers to effective health services – the perspectives of survivors of GBV and health care professionals(handout 11)
  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 24-25, handout 12)

Notes for trainers

When preparing the presentation, check the website of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention for any updates on signatures and ratifications by the country/countries covered in your group of participants.

 

Group exercise: The role of health care professionals (handout 10) – duration: 45 minutes

Distribute handout 9. Divide participants in small groups and ask them to read the case study and answer the questions listed on the handout in the small group (20 minutes for group work). Ask each group to nominate a rapporteur, to write the answers on flip chart paper and to present them to the group (max. 5 minutes for presentation) to the group. Wrap up the summaries presented, using PPT slide 20.

 

Group exercise: Barriers to an effective health care response to GBV (handout 12) – duration: 45 minutes

Distribute handout 12. Divide participants in small groups and ask them to read and answer the questions listed on the handout. Each group should identify

  • barriers that prevent women survivors of GBV from accessing and receiving health services (survivor barriers), as well as
  • barriers that prevent health professionals from providing effective care and treatment to patients who have experienced GBV (provider barriers).

It is suggested to divide survivor barriers and provider barriers among the groups (e.g. in case of four groups, ask groups 1 and 2 to work on survivor barriers and groups 3 and 4 to work on provider barriers).

Each group should also try to come up with 2-3 suggestions on what health care professionals can do in their daily work to address these barriers.

Ask the group to summarize their results on a piece of flipchart paper. Allow 20 minutes for the group work. Each group should assign one rapporteur who will present the points collected on the flip chart to the group (5 minutes max. per group).

For wrapping up the summaries presented by the groups, use PPT slides 24-25 and handout 13.

Materials for training session

Presentation:PowerPoint presentation Module 3 (Download it at the bottom of the page)

Handout:

Handout 9: State obligations under international human rights law to improve the health system’s response to gender-based violence

Handout 10: Group exercise: The role of health care professionals in responding to gender-based violence

Handout 11: Types of clinical policies and protocols recommended for health facilities

Handout 12: Group exercise:Barriers to an effective health care response to end gender-based violence

Handout 13: Barriers to an effective health care response to gender-based violence