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

A resource package

16th WAVE Conference in Vienna

December 11, 2014

The Annual WAVE Conference took place in Vienna, Austria, at the end of November 2014. It gathered about 300 participants, including professionals from women’s NGOs, representatives from Austrian local and federal institutions, and representatives from European and International institutions, from more than 40 European countries, as well as from Canada, South Africa, the Philippines and the USA.
Among various workshops, one was on prevention violence against women in health sector where the multi-sectoral approach in combating GBV was presented.
Aida Ghazaryan from the sub-regional office UNFPA Kazakhstan and Maria Rösslhumer from WAVE office Austria, presented the UNFPA_WAVE cooperation on strengthening the health system responses to gender-based violence in EECA region. As important part of that, they presented the resource package “Strengthening Health System Responses to Gender-based Violence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. They explained the aim of the package, its target group and the structure. It was stated that in order to achieve multi-sectoral cooperation, each station of this chain should be obliged. This means that the health system should not be isolated in the referral system.
Elisabeth Gruber from Domestic Violence Intervention Center Vienna, Austria, explained why not only the medical staff, but also the health care managers have a key role in prevention of violence against women. For more information about Domestic Violence Intervention Center Vienna, visit
Ulrike Janz and Marion Steffens from Gesine, Germany presented a trans-regional program on intimate partner violence (IPV) in Germany. They work on connection of different parts of the health system in order to prevent and combat IPV: doctors, carers, psycho-therapists, hospital-social work department, health insurance employees, psycho-social advisory services, massage and physiotherapy, body therapy and other. For more information about their project, visit
Once again, this workshop showed the great necessity for multi-sectoral approach in providing adequate service to the patients, survivors of GBV, VAW, IPV, and the significance of the health system in this approach.