Lessons Learned from the Integration of Gender-Based Violence Mitigation and Male Engagement Strategies for the Escúchame Project

Escúchame is a 1.5 year project being implemented around San Pedro Sula in Honduras by financial services provider, ODEF Financiera, and their non-governmental and development organization, ODEF NGDO. Inpartnership with Grameen Foundation USA (Grameen), 200 female microfinance clients have participated in a curriculum called Resilient Life Resilient Business (RLRB) and 50 of them are participating in a series of three intrahousehold dialogues (IHDs) with their partners. Lessons for integrating gender-based violence (GBV)mitigation and male engagement strategies into women’s economic empowerment (WEE) programming thus far have shown some promising quantifiable and anecdotal impacts such as improved knowledge of what GBVis and where to seek help for it, improved communication between partners, particularly around active listening, and improved attitudes towards gender equality. Moreover, the frontline facilitators providing RLRBeducation and facilitating the IHDs have experienced changes in their own attitudes and behaviors, at home and in the workplace. Yet, these promising results have not come without challenges. Scheduling of the IHDsfor the couples have resulted in delays, as the female clients and their spouses have had to prioritize income generation over the IHDs. Despite receiving training to convey messages around GBV and where a survivor can seek help, facilitators still lack confidence in talking about GBV given its sensitivities. As a result of these findings, recommendations for integrating GBV and male engagement with WEE programming include:ensuring management and frontline staff engage in attitude and behavior change regarding gender, inclusion,power dynamics and unconscious bias as well as GBV prior to engaging participants in these same topics; fully equipping frontline staff with a list of trusted GBV referral actors that survivors can be linked to and providing multiple ways survivors can access this information including flyers; not introducing topics such as GBV without having previously established trust between the participants; engaging men in the same trainings, if possible, that women will receive to help level the playing field prior to engaging couples in methodologies such as the IHDs.

Resource Type:
  • Case Study

Author: Bobbi Gray, Jenna Smith, Patricia Escoto
Publication Date: 01/19/2024
  • Latin America

Program Area:
  • Women Empowered Everywhere

  • Gender-Based Violence

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