Gender-Based Violence: Challenging Impunity

From Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide collection, lesson plan 2 of 5

Grade Levels: High School (grades 11-12), Community College, Youth Development Organizations

Time: 90 minutes or two 50-minute class periods + assignments

Subject Areas: Women’s Studies, Social Studies, Civics, Global Studies, Media Studies, Health, English Language Arts

Purpose of the Lesson:

Although it is widespread, violence against women and girls goes widely unreported due to factors such as fear of retribution, shame, stigma, lack of economic resources, inadequate social services, ineffective legal systems, and concern for children (including fear for their children's safety and losing custody and access if they choose to leave). Few countries provide appropriate training for the police and judicial and medical staff who are the first responders for women and girls during and after violent events. As a result, victims of violence are left vulnerable to further abuse from the systems and institutions that are meant to protect them, and the perpetrators are often left unpunished and free to continue perpetrating violence.

This lesson will examine the global crisis of gender-based violence, the culture of impunity that surrounds it, and the impact it has on our own communities. Through the activities, students will be challenged to consider the factors that contribute to violence against women and girls and how they can contribute to local and international efforts to eradicate it.

Objectives:

Through this lesson students will:

  • Consider the benefits and consequences of taking a stand against an injustice;
  • Learn the definition of the word impunity and the meaning of the phrase a culture of impunity, and discuss the contributing factors that allow a culture of impunity to develop;
  • Identify the location of Sierra Leone on a map and understand the social and political context that has shaped the culture of impunity and violence in that country;
  • Develop a working definition for the term gender-based violence and consider the global culture of impunity in relation to violence against women;
  • Work in groups to analyze a scenario that illustrates an example of gender-based violence and imagine how their subject’s story would play out in two different environments;
  • Examine the root causes and impact of gender-based violence in their community and develop a strategy to address it; and
  • Understand the roles that men and boys can play in eradicating gender-based violence in their families and communities.

Resources:

Please note: Download teacher and student handouts in PDF format by clicking "Download lesson materials" at left

  • Film module: Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone (9:45 minutes)
  • LCD projector or DVD player
  • Teacher handouts:
    • Gender-Based Violence Discussion Guide (Download Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide discussion guide PDFs from the Women and Girls Lead website)
  • Student handouts:
    • Gender-Based Violence Glossary
    • Student Handout A: Sierra Leone in Context
    • Student Handout B: Film Module Screening Guide
    • Student Handout C: Gwen’s Story
    • Student Handout D: Representative Gwen Moore and the Violence Against Women ACT (VAWA)
  • Pens/pencils and writing paper
  • Whiteboard/blackboard and markers/chalk
  • Computers with internet access
  • Post-It notes
  • Kraft paper
  • Washable markers
  • Wall map of the world with country names (free printable maps are available here)

Note for Teachers about the Lesson Plan Gender-Based Violence: Challenging Impunity and Its Contents:

This lesson and the accompanying film module from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide address the challenging issue of gender-based violence directly and honestly, but the discussions and topics might not be suitable for all audiences. Teachers should prepare for the lesson by reading all the materials thoroughly and watching the complete film module to determine if this topic and lesson are appropriate for their class. Teachers should also brief students on what they will be viewing in advance and identify students who might be personally or adversely affected by this material. Prior to launching the lesson, please contact your school counselor or social worker to discuss policies and procedures for addressing a disclosure of violence or abuse and be prepared to provide students with support or the option of not participating in the lesson where appropriate.

For additional information about the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and the global crisis of violence against women and girls, please download the free Gender-Based Violence Discussion Guide on the Women and Girls Lead website, visit the project’s official website, and read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

Standards: This lesson aligns to key Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. For a full list of standards, please download the lesson materials above left.

Curriculum Writer: Allison Milewski

This curriculum is endorsed by the National Council for Social Studies. To learn more, visit socialstudies.org.

PRESCREENING ACTIVITY

Time: 30 minutes

You will need: Student Handout A: Sierra Leone in Context, whiteboard/blackboard, dry-erase markers/chalk, kraft paper, washable markers, medium-sized Post-It notes, a wall map of the world with country names (free printable maps are available here)

Goal: Students will consider the benefits and consequences of taking a stand against an injustice, and how these factors might affect their own choices. They will learn the definition of the word impunity and the meaning of the phrase a culture of impunity and discuss the contributing factors that allow a culture of impunity to develop. In preparation for viewing the Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone film module, students will identify the location of Sierra Leone on a map and understand the social and political context for the events depicted in the film.

Part 1: To Speak Out or Not to Speak Out

  • Divide the class into groups of three to five students and provide each group with a large sheet of kraft paper, markers, and Post-It notes.
  • Give the students the following instructions:
    • Think of a time when you (or someone you know) successfully spoke out in order to right a wrong or to protect yourself or someone else.
    • Select a Post-It note (one for each student in the group) and write down all of the words you can think of to describe how you felt about yourself or the other person who took a stand.
    • Discuss your responses as a group, then share your words with the class.
  • Have each group hang their kraft paper on the wall and draw a horizontal line across the middle and mark points along the line numbered one to five.
  • Tell the students that this graph represents the likelihood that a person would speak out in a given situation (1=least likely; 5=most likely). In this first scenario, they — or the person they knew — spoke out, so have the students place all of their Post-Its on number five.
  • Following the pattern of the first question, ask students in each group to write the letter corresponding to each of the following scenarios and their responses on a Post-It note and place the completed Post-It on the area of the graph that indicates how likely they would be to speak out.
    • Imagine that you spoke out about an injustice but nothing was done and the injustice was not corrected. Write on your Post-It note all of the words that you can think of to describe how you might feel. Place your Post-It on the graph in the area that indicates how likely you would be to speak out again.
    • Imagine that you knew before speaking out that your actions would probably not be successful or that no one would support you. How would you feel about taking action? Write on your Post-It note all of the words that you can think of to describe how you might feel. Place your Post-It note on the graph in the area that indicates how likely you would be to speak out.
    • Imagine that you knew that you would be blamed, bullied, or shunned if you came forward.
    • Imagine that you found out that your family would suffer.
    • Imagine that you knew it was likely that you or the person you were helping would be in more danger as a result.
  • After completing the activity, discuss the results as a class, including the placement of the Post-its for each question and what can be inferred from the results.
  • Record the student feedback for reference later in the lesson.

Part 2: Culture of Impunity

  • Introduce the word impunity to the class. Have a student volunteer look up definitions in two or more sources and share their findings with the class. (Example: When people are able to commit crimes and/or violate the human rights of others without facing consequences.)

  • Based on these definitions, ask students what is meant by the phrase a culture of impunity. (Example: The term culture of impunity refers to a situation in which people in a society have come to believe that they can do whatever they want without having to face any penalties or punishments and victims of those actions are denied basic rights and/or protections.)

  • Variation: Students can use a word map to process their responses.

  • Ask the students to identify which, if any, of the examples from the previous activity they think are indicative of a culture of impunity and why.
  • Ask students to share possible examples of impunity that they may have seen in the news, learned about in class, or experienced in their own lives. Examples could include the following:
    • Prior to the abolition of slavery, many states allowed slaveowners to treat enslaved people in any way they saw fit. No matter how horrendously owners treated, tortured, or killed slaves, the law would ignore the actions of the perpetrators and the victims had no legal rights or protections.
    • Since the digital revolution, there has been a major shift in the way that music is acquired. As of 2009, only 37 percent of music acquired in the United States was paid for. From 2004 through 2009 alone, approximately 30 billion songs were illegally downloaded.
  • Using the students’ examples as a guide, have the class work in pairs (Think-Pair-Share) and brainstorm a list of factors that might contribute to the creation of a culture of impunity.
  • Complete the discussion with the following questions:
    • What impact would a culture like this have on an individual’s ability to feel empowered to speak out?
    • What role do you think race, poverty, and gender might play in an individual’s ability to achieve justice?
  • Ask the students to keep this activity in mind as they watch the film and tell them that they will revisit their work later in the lesson.

Part 3: Sierra Leone in Context

  • In preparation for viewing the film module, ask a volunteer to locate Sierra Leone on a wall map.
  • Provide students with the one-page fact sheet Student Handout A: Sierra Leone in Context. Have them read the fact sheet and discuss briefly with a partner.

  • Variation: This handout can be provided in advance of the lesson for students to review as homework.

VIEWING THE FILM MODULE

Class time: 10-15 minutes

You will need: Pens/pencils and writing paper, LCD projector or DVD player, the Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone film module, Student Handout B: Film Module Screening Guide, Gender-Based Violence Glossary

  • Distribute Student Handout B: Film Module Screening Guide and instruct students to take notes during the screening, using the worksheet as a guide. Students may also need a copy of the Gender-Based Violence Glossary for reference while viewing the film.
  • Variation: The questions from Student Handout B can be projected or written on the board and reviewed briefly before viewing the film module to save paper.

POSTSCREENING ACTIVITY

Time: 45-50 minutes

You will need: Student Handout C: Gwen’s Story, Student Handout D: Representative Gwen Moore and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), whiteboard/blackboard, dry-erase markers/chalk, pens/pencils, writing paper

Goal: Students will discuss the film module and create a working definition of gender-based violence. They will work in groups to analyze a scenario that illustrates an example of gender-based violence and imagine how their subject’s story would play out in two different environments. Finally, they will consider the status of gender-based violence in the United States, how it impacts their own community, and their role and responsibility in addressing this issue.

Part 1: Discussion Questions

  • Begin by discussing the Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone film module and ask for volunteers to share their notes and quotes from the screening guide. Use the following questions to guide the class discussion:
    • What did you think of the film? Was there anything that surprised you?
    • How do you feel about Fulamatu’s story?
    • In addition to the physical violence Fulamatu experienced, what other forms of violence was she exposed to?
    • What role does Fulamatu’s gender play in her story? Based on what you saw in the film, do girls and women have equal status with boys and men in Fulamatu’s community?
    • In the film, Amie Kandeh says, “When you look at the root cause of violence against women, it is about power and control.” What does this statement mean to you? Do you agree with her?
    • Why did Kandeh work with the International Rescue Committee to establish the Rainbo Centers? How does her personal experience inform her work? Why do you think she is able to stand up against an issue that few speak about openly in her community?
    • Why do you think Kandeh refers to her clients at the Rainbo Center as “survivors” instead of “victims”?
    • Kandeh says that “the IRC (International Rescue Committee) has responded to about 10,000 sexual assault survivors” since the program began in Sierra Leone and “there’s not even one percent of those cases that have been convicted.” What are some of the barriers that get in the way of bringing perpetrators to justice?
    • What did the police do to investigate Fulamatu’s allegations? If you were the police, how would you have handled the investigation?
    • In what ways does our definition of impunity connect with Fulamatu’s story? How did the responses of her family, the police, and the community contribute to the culture of impunity?
    • What impact did the culture of impunity in Freetown have on Fulamatu’s choices and opportunities?
    • How might the outcome of Fulamatu’s story have been different if there was a woman on the staff of the Family Support Unit? Would that have had an impact?
    • What role should the government play in protecting women against violence? What roles should the police and justice system play?
    • What parallels, if any, do you see in the treatment of women and girls in Sierra Leone and the treatment of women and girls in the United States?
    • What impact, if any, do you think factors such as race and economic status have on violence against women and girls in the United States?

Part 2: Gender-Based Violence

  • This lesson plan is titled “Gender-Based Violence: Challenging Impunity.” Ask the students what they think this term means based on what they saw in the film, and brainstorm a definition as a class. Have a volunteer look up additional formal definitions for the term and ask students to further refine the definition as needed.
  • Introduce the following information:

    • Worldwide, gender-based violence kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer, traffic accidents, malaria, and war combined. (Source: UN Women: Say NO -- UNiTE to End Violence against Women)
  • Ask students: What does this statement mean to you? Have them summarize this information in their own words and share with a partner. (Variation: Print out multiple copies of the quote and have students read it quietly, write their responses, then pass it on to another student. Repeat this process two or three times before discussing their responses as a class.)

  • Share the Gender-Based Violence Glossary with the students and use the following prompts to guide a discussion or have students make a brief journal entry based on one or more of the questions:
    • What do you think about this information?
    • How does this information connect with our definition of gender-based violence?
    • How was this information reflected in the film?
    • In what way, if any, do you think violence against men is included in gender-based violence? Why or why not? (Explain that, although it is far less frequent than violence against women, gender-based violence has its roots in power and control, and many men and boys have been the victims of gender-based violence perpetrated by women or a male partner.)
    • In what ways, if any, does this information connect to our discussion of a culture of impunity?

Part 3: Gwen’s Story

  • Divide the class into groups of three to four students and provide each group with Student Handout C: Gwen’s Story.
  • Have the groups review Gwen’s story and consider how it would play out in two different environments: 1) Fulamatu’s community in Freetown; 2) A community in the United States.
  • Using the prompts in Student Handout C: Gwen’s Story as a guide, each group will write two endings for their subject’s story, one for each scenario. When complete, the groups will share their stories with the class, followed by a class discussion.
  • Reveal and discuss the origin of Gwen’s story by either using Student Handout D: Representative Gwen Moore and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or reading the description below:

“Gwen’s Story” is based on the experience of Congresswoman Gwen Moore, representative for Wisconsin's Fourth Congressional District. She is the first African American and second woman to be elected to Congress from the state of Wisconsin and has served since 2005.

In the mid-1970s, Rep. Moore was attacked and raped by her friend in his car. She said that he later challenged her story in court on the grounds that she was dressed provocatively and had a child out of wedlock. She remembers, “I was literally on trial that day.” Rep. Moore said that her rapist was found not guilty and she was fired from her job as a file clerk for not calling in to work the day after the attack.

Rep. Moore shared her story on the floor of the House of Representatives in March 2012 in support of renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. She stressed that the attack happened almost 20 years before the Violence Against Women Act had been passed into law in September 1994 and that the outcome of her story might have been different if current laws providing stronger protection and support for victims of gender-based violence had been in place.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was the first major U.S. law to help government agencies and victim advocates work together to fight domestic violence, sexual assault, and other types of violence. It created new punishments for certain crimes and started programs to prevent violence and help victims. Since the law was passed, there has been a 51 percent increase in reporting of domestic violence by women and a 37 percent increase in reporting by men. The number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34 percent for women and 57 percent for men.

Despite this progress there is still work to do. In the United States today, a woman is abused -- usually by her husband or partner -- every 15 seconds, and is raped every 90 seconds and only about 3 percent of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

  • Complete the lesson with a discussion, using the prompts below as a guide. (Students can also respond to one or more of these questions in their class journal.)
    • Were you surprised by this information? In what way?
    • What does this suggest about the status of women in the United States?
    • What role do power and control play in gender-based violence?
    • How does this information connect with what we have learned about gender-based violence worldwide?
    • In what ways, if any, does this information connect to our discussion of a culture of impunity?
    • What responsibility do we as individuals have to address gender-based violence in our communities?
    • What role do you think men can play in eradicating violence against women and girls? What role can women play? How can we work together to address this issue?

Assignments

Select one or more of the following assignments to complete the lesson:

Assignment 1. What would our Rainbo look like?

Share the following information with the class: Gender-based violence is a global problem and even our country struggles with a culture of impunity. In the United States, only about 3 percent of rapists ever serve a day in jail.

  • Imagine that Amie Kandeh asked you to open a Rainbo Center in your community to address gender-based violence in the United States.
  • Who would you work with?
  • What services would you provide?
  • How would you reach out to families, men, youth, and community leaders?
  • How would you involve law enforcement?
  • What legal support would you provide for the survivors?
  • What challenges would you expect to face?
  • What outcome would you hope to achieve?

Assignment 2. A Letter of Solidarity

Instruct students to write a letter of solidarity to Fulamatu describing the effect that her story and her choice to speak out has had on them. What impact has her action had on breaking the silence and the global culture of impunity surrounding gender-based violence? (For example, even though her perpetrator was set free, her story has reached young men and women around the world.) Next, have students research current events and news stories related to this issue and identify an individual or community that has experienced gender-based violence. Have students write a second letter of solidarity to them, sharing what they have learned about the importance of breaking the silence through Fulamatu’s story.

Assignment 3. Say No to Violence!

Have students research the impact of gender-based violence in their community and the services and supports that are available to survivors. Working in groups, students should develop a plan of action to mobilize their community and become part of the campaign to eradicate violence against women.

  • Instruct students to work in groups to create their own multimedia “Say No to Violence” toolkits, including a Google Map detailing local programs and organizations in their community and the services they offer.
  • When developing their campaigns, students should consider how they can galvanize support from a broad range of audiences. How will they reach out to students, adults, women and girls, men and boys, etc.? Recommend that students visit the White Ribbon Campaign and Man Up Campaign for information and resources on how men and women can work together to end gender-based violence:
  • For more ideas, groups can research and connect with the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, which was launched in 2009 by UN Women to engage people from all walks of life, online, and on the ground to end gender-based violence in all its forms.

Activity 1: Is all violence created equal?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 to recognize the pervasive nature of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to provide comprehensive, effective, and cost-saving responses to these crimes. VAWA programs were created to give law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges the tools they need to hold offenders accountable and keep communities safe while supporting victims. But if violence, assault, and stalking are already crimes, is it necessary to have a specific law that targets violence against women? Why or why not?

  • Instruct students to research the history and content of the Violence Against Women Act and how its provisions relate to existing criminal laws.
  • Ask students to compile data on the impact of the VAWA since it was enacted.
  • Explain that there is an ongoing debate about how and if the VAWA should continue to be funded, and if it should be expanded to include groups such as undocumented immigrants and members of the LGBT community.
  • Following their research, have students engage in a formal debate about the issue. Education World offers a selection of debate resources that provide guidelines and rules for classroom debates.

Activity 2: Why should boys and men care about ending gender-based violence?

Violence prevention requires a change in the social conditions that make violence normal and acceptable. Men and boys receive messages about relationships, violence, and power every day, and they also experience different forms of oppression: racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, etc. Men also enjoy certain privileges in institutions established by sexism. Generally speaking, men have greater access to resources and opportunities and are in a position to influence large social structures and institutions. As a result, they can play an important role in preventing violence against women.

Activity 3: Journalism vs. Activism

Nicholas Kristof actively participates in Fulamatu’s story, even helping the authorities track down the accused child-rapist. He considers the journalistic ethics of his involvement and concludes that he is comfortable with his decision.

  • Have students view the entire Gender-based Violence segment from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
  • Ask students to consider the following questions: What do you think about Nicholas Kristof’s decision? Is there a distance that journalists should maintain in order to remain objective? Is it more ethical to simply observe and report or to actively participate?
  • Share The Guardian article and photo essay, The Bystanders with your students and discuss what a journalist’s responsibility is when reporting a story.
  • Have students select a photojournalist featured in the story and consider if they agree or disagree with the journalist’s decision.
  • Ask them to draft a letter from perspective of the journalist to one of their photograph’s subjects explaining their decision: why they feel that it was the correct choice or what they wish they had done differently. The completed letters can be presented as a monologue.

Activity 4: The silent war against women and girls

Violence against women and girls was a hallmark of the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone but these atrocities are not unique to this conflict. Rape has long been used as a weapon of war, and violence against women during or after armed conflicts has been reported in every war-zone. Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped during the conflict in Bosnia in the early 1990s. In 2009, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution classifying rape as a war tactic and posing grave threat to international security. The resolution describes sexual violence as a deliberate weapon that humiliates, dominates, instills fear and worsens conflict situations by forcibly dispersing or relocating communities.

  • Ask students to consider why violence against women and girls is especially prevalent in war zones.
  • Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students and instruct each member of the group research a different contemporary conflict and the role that gender-based violence plays in it. Each student should identify root causes of the violence, how violence against women was used as a tool of war, and what the long-term impact was/is for the communities that were affected.
  • Once each member of the group has completed their individual research, have them compare their results with their partners and identify areas of commonality.
  • Groups can present their collective findings as a multimedia presentation including their research, photo-essays, video footage, audio clips, and infographics using the following websites as resources:

Activity 5: Students Rebuild!

Have your students participate in the global campaign to improve the health, opportunities, and safety for youth around the world. Students Rebuild is an initiative of the Bezos Family Foundation that mobilizes young people worldwide to “connect, learn and take action on critical global issues.” The program’s goal is “to activate our greatest creative resource—students—to catalyze powerful change. Working together, we identify the need, create the challenge, and forge strong partnerships. Then, we provide the tools and support to ensure our collective efforts are sustainable—now and into the future.”

Students Rebuild has joined the One Million Bones project in a global effort to cover the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 2013 with 1,000,000 handmade bones as a visible petition against humanitarian crises. Students Rebuild is challenging students worldwide to make bones, as a symbol of solidarity with victims and survivors of ongoing conflict. Each bone made generates $1 from the Bezos Family Foundation for CARE's work in conflict-affected regions, up to $500,000! CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

Students can speak out against the violence in Sierra Leone, Burma, Syria or other struggling regions by joining Students Rebuild and bringing the One Million Bones project to their community. Students can learn more about CARE’s work in the DRC and in Somalia.

Students can connect directly with fellow students across the world to learn more about the causes and of the ongoing conflict and the challenges youth are currently experiencing by joining Interactive Videoconferences where they will see and speak to the students of ETN, a CARE supported vocational school in eastern DRC. Or they can participate in webcasts to connect directly with students and aid workers in the DRC. Learn more and sign up for IVCs and webcasts.

Activity 6. Further Discussion: Hillary Clinton draws a parallel between the attitudes toward and treatment of women around the world today and the experience of African American slaves during the height of the slave trade explaining that both communities were not seen as “fully human” they were both “some other kind of being.” Have students view the entire Gender-Based Violence segment from Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and discuss the following:

  • What do you think she means by this statement?
  • Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • What similarities do you think she sees in both communities’ experiences?
  • Is this an accurate parallel to draw? Why or why not?

Additional Resources

Books

Kristof, N., and S. WuDunn. 2009. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Films

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide: Filmed in 10 countries, this film follows Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe, oppression is being confronted, and real, meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world, women are seizing this opportunity. Visit the website at halftheskymovement.org

Women and Girls Lead film series: Women and Girls Lead offers a collection of films by prominent independent filmmakers. These films focus on women who are working to transform their lives, their communities, and the world. Visit the website to learn more about the films and explore our diverse catalogue of educator resources, lesson plans, and film modules. See womenandgirlslead.org for more details.

Websites

halftheskymovement.org: The official website for the Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide film, book and movement.

womenandgirlslead.org: Women and Girls Lead is an innovative public media campaign designed to celebrate, educate, and activate women, girls, and their allies across the globe to address the challenges of the 21st century.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC): responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.

CARE International: an organization fighting poverty and injustice in more than 70 countries around the world and helping 65 million people each year to find routes out of poverty.

The Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA): works through local partnerships to give women tools to improve their lives, families, and communities. CEDPA’s programs increase educational opportunities for girls, ensure access to lifesaving reproductive health and HIV/AIDS information and services, and strengthen good governance and women’s leadership in their nations.

UNiTE to End Violence against Women: was launched in 2009 by UN Women to engage people from all walks of life to end gender-based violence in all its forms.

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS): the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking and their work has put them on the forefront of the national movement to end the sexual slavery of women.

Futures Without Violence: works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE).

Man Up Campaign: a global campaign to activate young women and men to stop violence against women and girls.

Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE): “a national initiative, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which takes a public health approach to preventing youth violence before it starts.”

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): a social change organization dedicated to creating a social, political, and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists.

The National Organization for Women (NOW): the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States and works to bring about equality for all women.

Amnesty International: a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.

Médecins Sans Frontières: “an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters.”

Save the Children: an organization that works to save and improve children’s lives in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man, and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.

  • Film module:
    Gender-Based Violence in Sierra Leone

    http://cdn.itvs.org/half_the_sky-edu-sierra-leone.jpghalf_the_sky-edu-sierra-leone.mov
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