IMC GBV Survey Report - April 2009

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IMC GBV Survey Report - April 2009

IMC GBV Survey Report - April 2009

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  • 1. Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative: Summary of Follow-Up Survey Findings in Ingushetia and Chechnya, North Caucasus International Medical Corps Russian Federation-Ingushetia & Chechnya April, 2009 BACKGROUND Gender-based violence (GBV) 1 is a tragic feature of conflict and affects hundreds of thousands of refugees, returnees and IDPs around the world. Acts of GBV are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law 2 and principles, 3 and its impacts are physical and psychological, as well as social and economic. Data on GBV in the Russian Federation as a whole and the North Caucasus in particular are very limited. In 2007, IMC initiated a comprehensive, community-based GBV prevention and response initiative in the North Caucasus region, with funding from the United States Bureau for Population and Refugee Migration (PRM). The objective of the program is to reduce the incidence of GBV, and provide direct medical, psychosocial, referral and follow-up services to GBV survivors among displaced Chechens and vulnerable host populations in Ingushetia and Chechnya. As part of the GBV initiative, IMC carried out a baseline survey in December 2007. The purpose of the survey was to explore community member knowledge and attitudes regarding GBV and perceptions about its extent in the North Caucasus, in order to help educate, focus and further develop IMC GBV program initiatives. In September 2008, IMC carried out a follow-up assessment using similar tools and methods as the baseline. The purpose of this follow-up survey was to gain further understanding of community member GBV knowledge and attitudes, as well as to explore participation in IMC’s GBV management and prevention activities and self-reported changes in attitudes and confidence levels for responding to GBV. SURVEY METHODS The study villages and settlements were purposively selected based on IMC’s presence and activities in the region. Within these study areas, targeted convenience sampling of 899 individuals was employed to obtain respondents representing selected sub-groups of interest as well as the general population. These targeted sub-groups were selected based on IMC’s target groups for its programming, and included youth aged 15 to 18 (9th-11th grades), teachers, health care workers, and police officers. In the baseline survey, a very basic, self-administered questionnaire was administered to all target groups. For the follow-up survey, IMC developed five self-administered questionnaires, one for each target group and the general population, with 42-46 questions prepared by IMC’s Psychosocial Program and Health Technical Unit staff in English and translated into Russian. The follow-up survey included some of the same questions as the baseline. In both the baseline and the follow-up assessment, respondents completed the questionnaires themselves and submitted them to Community Health Activists in sealed, unmarked envelopes. No names or personal data were collected. All respondents were informed of the purpose of the survey, that their participation was voluntary, and that their responses would remain anonymous. At the end of the one-week distribution period, the health activists returned the completed questionnaires to IMC for data entry and processing. 1 Gender-based Violence is defined by the Interagency Standing Committee Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance as a “…term for any harmful act that is perpetuated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females.” 2 Rape and other forms of sexual violence committed during armed conflict are prohibited under international humanitarian law, as enshrined in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977. It is also a war crime under the Statute of the International Criminal Court. The widely ratified Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women commits its signatories to condemn violence against women, to create legal and social protections against violence, and not to invoke custom, tradition, or religion to avoid the obligations it outlines. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1993, and the Global Platform for Action adopted at the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, further elaborate on the nature of gender-based violence and reiterate state responsibility to protect women and girls. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) emphasizes States’ responsibility to end impunity for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls. 3 Including the right to life, equality, security of the person, equal protection under the law, and freedom from torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 1 of 8
  • 2. SURVEY LIMITATIONS There are several important limitations to this survey that affect the interpretation of the findings. The non- probability sampling procedures used in this study do not follow standard random sampling approaches. Due to the convenience sampling methods, the study sample comprised a different age, sex, educational and occupational profile than the populations from which they were sampled. Varying sampling protocols within the different study areas also invalidates drawing definitive comparative conclusions of the population surveyed in the spontaneous settlements in Ingushetia and the returnee areas in Chechnya. Therefore, these data only represent the experiences of the survey population and findings cannot be generalized to any population beyond the respondents. This survey also addressed highly sensitive issues and approached aspects of GBV and related topics using indirect and sometimes vaguely worded questions. As a result, interpretation of responses to these questions is treated with caution. Furthermore, although all efforts were taken to make the respondents comfortable and ensure their anonymity, some may have felt reluctant to openly disclose their thoughts on these sensitive issues. KEY FINDINGS There was a 98% response rate for completion of the questionnaire in both the baseline and follow-up surveys. Characteristics of the sampled respondents at baseline and at follow-up can be seen in Table 1. Table 1: Respondent Characteristics (n=883) Baseline Follow-up (n=883) (n=883) # % # % Location Chechnya 595 67.4 595 67.4 Ingushetia 288 32.6 288 32.6 Sex Male 295 33.4 335 38.1 Female 588 66.6 544 61.9 Age Group Less than 18 years old 242 27.4 419 47.6 18-35 years old 330 37.4 225 25.6 36-50 years old 242 27.4 195 22.2 Over 50 years old 69 7.8 41 4.7 Marital Status (n=453 in follow-up)* Married 385 43.6 277 61.1 Single 351 39.8 84 18.5 Divorced 94 10.6 55 12.1 Widow/Widower 53 6.3 37 8.2 Occupation Student 217 24.6 426 48.2 Teacher 59 6.7 100 11.3 Medical health professional 104 11.8 94 10.6 Law enforcement agents 0 -- 48 5.4 Housekeeper 0 -- 85 9.6 Sales 62 7.0 32 3.6 Guard 21 2.4 8 0.9 Cleaner 18 2.0 7 0.8 Unspecified 86 9.7 83 9.4 Unemployed 316 35.8 -- -- *Asked to all groups except students in the follow-up assessment Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 2 of 8
  • 3. • Over two thirds (67.4%) of the respondents live in Chechnya; the emphasis on recruiting participants in this republic was because 77.9% of IMC’s target population for this program lives in Chechnya. • Almost two thirds (61.9%) of the sample were female, and just over one third (38.1%) were male. • Nearly half of the sample (47.6%) was under 18 years of age, resulting from the sampling strategy directed toward students, one of IMC’s target groups. Exposure to and Perceived Changes from IMC’s GBV Initiative Over two thirds (68.5%) of sampled respondents had participated in at least one GBV prevention and management activity since IMC’s initiative began. These activities included trainings on violence prevention, campaigns such as sports activities and traditional cultural events that IMC facilitates, conversations with IMC employees, conversations with employees of UNHRC and/or employees of human rights organizations, or other unspecified activities. Figure 1 below demonstrates that most of the participation occurred in activities that IMC facilitated. Figure 1 Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 3 of 8
  • 4. As a result of participation in at least one of these activities in the previous year, about half of the sampled respondents reported a large increase in their knowledge/awareness of what GBV is (57.6%), in their awareness of where to refer for help if they personally experience or a friend experiences GBV (49.3%), in their confidence in their ability to support someone who has experienced GBV (51.4%), and in their willingness to take action to prevent GBV in their communities (54.6%). Figure 2 shows the changes experienced by occupational groups; the overwhelming majority of respondents reported experiencing an increase in their knowledge, awareness, confidence, and willingness to take action as a result of participation in a GBV prevention and management activity. Police officers reported the greatest increase in each of the groupings. Figure 2 Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 4 of 8
  • 5. • Over one third (35.5%) of health care workers stated that they had seen an increase in GBV cases since September 2007; all health care workers who stated this live in Chechnya (44.6% of health care workers in Chechnya, compared to 0.0% in Ingushetia). Over one third (34.0%) of sampled police officers stated that they had seen an increase in GBV cases since September 2007; all police officers who stated this live in Chechnya (43.2% of police officers in Chechnya, compared to 0.0% in Ingushetia). This indicates that more people may be aware of the health care services available to survivors in Chechnya. • Comparisons of key questions between the baseline and follow-up surveys show increased percentages of sampled respondents who selected the most gender-equitable response, shown in Table 2. This was the case for every question except the attitude regarding an abduction of a fiancée against her will, which had higher proportions of the gender-equitable response at baseline. Table 2 Percent of Respondents Students Teachers Health care workers Follow- Follow- Follow- Baseline Baseline Baseline Up Up Up Sample Size (#) 217 426 59 100 104 94 Whose opinion is more important in decision-making in family affairs? Man's 56.7 39.4 44.1 26.0 58.7 43.6 Woman's 6.0 3.3 5.1 3.0 5.8 4.3 Both have equal rights 32.7 54.7 47.5 71.0 29.8 51.1 Difficult to answer 4.6 2.6 3.4 0.0 5.8 1.1 Decline to reply N/A 0.0 N/A 0.0 N/A 0.0 Do you think an abduction of a fiancée against her will is acceptable? Yes 14.7 11.7 8.5 6.0 9.6 5.3 No 81.6 82.6 88.1 93.0 88.5 88.3 Difficult to answer 3.7 4.7 3.4 1.0 1.9 4.3 Decline to reply N/A 0.9 N/A 0.0 N/A 2.1 Do you think early marriages (<18 years of age) are acceptable? Yes 43.8 22.1 30.5 13.0 32.7 6.4 No 48.8 73.5 66.1 85.0 62.5 88.3 Difficult to answer 7.4 4.0 3.4 2.0 4.8 5.3 Decline to reply N/A 0.5 N/A 0.0 N/A 0.0 Do you think a man has the right to beat a woman in a family? Yes 16.1 2.6 10.2 1.0 10.6 3.2 No 71.0 87.6 79.7 98.0 86.5 87.2 Difficult to answer 12.9 8.7 10.2 1.0 2.9 7.4 Decline to reply N/A 1.2 N/A 0.0 N/A 2.1 If a man has battered a woman: It is necessary to find out who was guilty 28.6 19.3 28.8 15.0 34.6 12.8 initially It means that a woman has deserved it 15.2 7.8 13.6 4.0 14.4 13.8 A man should never beat a woman 56.2 70.8 57.6 81.0 51.0 70.2 Decline to reply N/A 2.1 N/A 0.0 N/A 3.2 Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 5 of 8
  • 6. Continued Need for GBV Programming While IMC has made considerable progress in reaching community members, and many respondents reported experiencing positive changes as a result of participation in GBV prevention and management activities, analysis of the follow-up assessment results indicates that a substantial need remains to address unequal-gender beliefs that contribute to the acceptance of GBV. Students • Almost half (43.2%) of student respondents stated that GBV is a fairly big problem in their communities. Female students were more likely to believe that GBV is a very big problem in their communities (19.8%) compared to male students (10.8%, p<0.05). • Less than two thirds (63.1%) of students believed that men and women should have equal rights; this varied significantly by location, with 55.4% of respondents in Chechnya indicating a belief in equal rights, whereas 88.9% of those in Ingushetia indicated a belief in equal rights (p<0.05). • Almost one fifth (18.1%) of sampled male students believed that forced fiancée abduction is acceptable, and nearly one third (31.9%) believed that early marriage is acceptable. • 42.5% of sampled students in Chechnya believe that boys should be given priority over girls in receiving higher education, and nearly one fifth (18.0%) of sampled students in Chechnya believe that boys are more intelligent than girls. • Figure 3 shows that sampled student respondents had differing views on the acceptable behavior of men compared to women. Figure 3 Students’ Views on Acceptable Behavior for Men and Women A woman has the right to threaten her husband A man has the right to threaten his wife A woman has a right not to give money to her husband A man has a right not to give money to his wife A man should ask permission to make small household purchases A woman should ask permission to make small household purchases A woman has the right not to allow her husband to see his family  A man has the right not to allow his wife to see her family  A woman has a right to humiliate and/or offend her husband A man has a right to humiliate and/or offend his wife A man has no right to express his opinion if he disagrees with his wife A woman has no right to express her opinion if she disagrees with  her husband 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 % of student respondents who agree with statement • Almost one fifth (19.2%) of students believed that in most cases when a woman is raped, she deserved it; sampled males and sampled Chechens were significantly more likely to believe this than sampled females or those sampled from Ingushetia (p<0.05). Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 6 of 8
  • 7. Teachers • Nearly one-third of teachers stated that gender-based violence is a very big problem in their communities (31.2%). An additional 55.2% of teachers stated that it was a fairly big problem. • Almost one third (30.3%) of sampled teachers believed that a husband has the right to have sex with his wife whenever he wants; the proportion of male teachers who agreed with this statement (66.7%) was greater than the proportion of female teachers (24.7%, p<0.05). • 70.0% of teachers in Chechnya believed that a raped woman is a dishonor to her family, compared to 7.7% of teachers in Ingushetia (p<0.05). Health Care Workers • As shown in Figure 4, the majority of health care workers stated that GBV is a fairly big problem in their communities. Figure 4 Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 7 of 8
  • 8. • Nearly half (43.6%) of health care respondents stated that men’s opinions are more important in decision- making affairs. • Approximately one quarter (26.6%) of sampled health care workers stated that a woman has no right to express her opinion, even if she disagrees with her husband, even though only 7.4% of health care workers believed that a man has no right to express his opinion, even if he disagrees with his wife. Police Officers • Almost half (48.9%) of police officer respondents stated that GBV/family violence is a fairly big problem in their communities, and an additional 17.0% believed that it is a very big problem. • Less than half (41.7%) of sampled police officers believed that men and women should have equal rights; this varied significantly by republic, with police officers in Ingushetia more likely to believe this than those in Chechnya (80.0% in Ingushetia, 31.6% in Chechnya). A similar proportion (42.6%) stated that men’s opinions are more important than women’s in decision-making in family affairs. • Nearly one half (47.9%) of sampled police officers agreed that a woman should ask permission to make small household purchases, compared to 25.0% agreeing that a man should ask permission. • Over half (52.6%) of sampled police officers in Chechnya believed that a husband has the right to have sex with his wife whenever he wants, compared to none in Ingushetia (p<0.05). • There was an overwhelming difference between the two republics regarding the honor of raped women: nearly all (94.7%) of sampled police officers in Chechnya agreed with the statement: “A raped woman is a dishonor to her family,” compared to none in Ingushetia (p<0.05). CONCLUSION Despite the challenging political environment, IMC has succeeded in reaching a large number of IDPs and returnees in Ingushetia and Chechnya with GBV prevention and management activities and messages. Many of the follow-up survey respondents participated in GBV prevention and management activities that IMC facilitated, and they reported large changes in their knowledge/awareness of what GBV is; their awareness of where to refer to for help if they personally or if a close friend experiences GBV; confidence in their ability to support someone who has experienced GBV; and their willingness to take action to help prevent GBV in their communities. Furthermore, a comparison of key questions indicates that a greater proportion of respondents selected gender-equal responses during the follow-up survey than in the baseline. However, many beliefs about gender inequality still exist in these republics, raising concern about the vulnerability of girls and women to acts of GBV. There is a need for IMC to proceed with its current activities in order to continue to create awareness about GBV; to improve the local capacity of health, community, and educational services; and to increase local capacity to address and prevent GBV. By addressing these issues, IMC can continue to improve the knowledge and change the attitudes surrounding GBV in the North Caucasus, thereby reducing the vulnerability of girls and women to acts of GBV and the devastating physical and psychological consequences that result. International Medical Corps (IMC) is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. www.imcworldwide.org Knowledge, Attitudes and Exposure to IMC’s Community-Based GBV Prevention Initiative in the North Caucasus, IMC Follow-Up Survey Page 8 of 8