Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic, causing death, poverty, exploitation and abuse across all regions and cultures worldwide. Child, early and forced marriage is one of the most detrimental forms of violence and affects 650 million women and girls in the world today. The slow pace of change is largely the result of deeply entrenched cultural values, attitudes and practices that perpetuate gender-based violence and discrimination.
With determination to accelerate this progress, and with financial support from Global Affairs Canada, Oxfam introduced the program Creating Spaces to Take Action on Violence Against Women and Girls, a five-year project to reduce violence against women and girls and the prevalence of child, early and forced marriage in six countries in South and South East Asia (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines).
This compendium report highlights cross-cutting themes and findings from feminist research conducted across the project areas by implementing partners. It identifies the most discriminatory gendered social norms, and material and structural factors at different levels of society that drive violence against women and girls and child, early and forced marriage. It also provides emerging examples of community-driven approaches to target and transform social norms and to advocate for legislative change. This is the first report in a series of publications that will document knowledge, learnings and promising practices from the project.
This research is grounded in Oxfam Canada’s feminist research principles, which recognize the intersectionality of identity, honour the complexity and uniqueness of each context, reflect on the balance of power in the participant-researcher relationship, welcome participants as co-creators and co-owners of the research and, above all, follow the highest ethical practices to do no harm.
The research was also conducted within the framework of Oxfam Canada’s Feminist Knowledge System, which uses a participatory and learning-centered approach, acknowledges existing power structures and inequalities, and is intended as an advocacy tool to end those inequalities.