International Involvement to Reduce Gender Based Violence : An Intersectional Feminist Analysis of Post-Conflict Colombia 

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) play an important role in tackling gender based violence in many countries. Hundreds of reports have been written and thousands of recommendations made. Yet, rates of gender based violence are known to increase during conflict and post-conflict. Needing a vast multitude of needs addressed in attempt for INGOs to support survivors of gender based violence. This study sets out to understand the ways that INGOs support, empower and advocate for women concerning gender based violence in post-conflict countries such as Colombia. It further analysed how INGOs implemented preventions and interventions of gender based violence. Specifically, exploring aspects such as, empowerment, gender roles and overall service provision. The research takes an intersectional feminist perspective to consider what gender based violence interventions have been used by these INGOs and see how aligned these interventions are with intersectional feminist theory. Further, the research focuses on the involvement of INGOs in gender based violence and their view of women as displayed in that involvement. The study adopts a desk-based research design to explore the involvement of INGOs looking at gender based violence in Colombia. The material was analysed in relation to gender, intersectionality and feminist theory, specifically referencing back to values embedded in inclusivity and gender equality. A number of aggravating factors are identified that seem to critically evaluate the involvement of INGOs in regards gender based violence. Despite their best efforts to provide an inclusive approach, the study indicates that some INGOs perpetrate unequal power dynamics, depict survivors of gender based violence as victims and do not address other intersectional issues such as lack of inclusivity. Overall, the thesis is critical as to why gender based violence seems to be a lower priority for INGOs and local actors and recommends that more intersectional feminist values should be included within projects and programs.

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