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REVIEW AND UPDATE THE BOTSWANA PROTOCOLS AND SERVICE STANDARDS FOR PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF GBV FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Background Gender-based violence (GBV) and other harmful practices violate human rights because they cause irreversible physical and emotional harm to women and girls. UNFPA and other UN agencies, work with the government of Botswana, civil society and other development partners to strengthen the prevention and response to GBV. In particular, UNFPA focuses on the prevention of sexual violence, addressing the inadequacies of national legislation, policies and strategies; and supports developing culturally sensitive and rights-based policies on GBV prevention and response, with a strong focus on SRH. Through advocacy and partnerships UNFPA provides technical support to strengthen institutional capacity of government and civil society actors in GBV response, particularly health care providers. In line with national strategies to strengthen integrated service delivery for RMNCAH services, UNFPA provides catalytic support to the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the scale-up of high-quality, inclusive, gender-sensitive integrated SRH/HIV and SGBV services. This includes ensuring that all people irrespective of their gender, sexuality and sexual behaviours have access to information and services that include a comprehensive set of SRHR/HIV and SGBV services to ensure optimal health outcomes at each visit.

The Government of Botswana’s 11th National Development Plan (NDP11), Vision 2036, National Health Policies and their corresponding strategic frameworks articulate action towards the achievement of the country’s development goals including health and gender equality. The country subscribes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is signatory to a number of international and regional conventions that address GBV. The national legal framework for the response to GBV includes the Constitution of Botswana, the Penal Code and the Domestic Violence Act, the Marriage Act and the Abolition of Marital Power Act among others. The Botswana National Strategy Towards Ending GBV by 2020 serves as a policy document intended to guide a national multisectoral, decentralised and multilevel response to gender-based violence.

The Botswana National Relationship Study (2018), shows that GBV remains high in Botswana. Thirty-seven (37%) of the women interviewed reported experiencing GBV at least once in their lifetime (emotional, physical and sexual) including intimate partner and nonpartner violence. The study also reveals that a third (30%) of men reported perpetrating GBV in their lifetime. According to the study, women of reproductive age are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than older women. Domestic violence increased during the COVID-19 outbreak UNFPA,2020 . Botswana Gender Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre (BGBVC) and Women Against Rape (WAR) reported an exponential increase in the demand for counselling, consultations and safe spaces in April-May during the national lockdown. However, tnational Relationship study has also shown that most people do not report cases of GBV due to stigma or shame, but often present to health facilities with injuries, without explicitly indicating themselves as victims of GBV.

The increased risk for adverse SRH outcomes is heightened when sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors do not receive comprehensive survivor-centered services including clinical management of rape such as access to post exposure prophylaxis to prevent unintended pregnancies, STIs and HIV infection. Barriers to addressing GBV include limited national capacity for provision of client-centered quality assured and sustainable prevention of GBV and services for victims and survivors of SGBV. This highlights the key role the health sector plays as a critical entry-point for addressing GBV, not only as a means for treating victims, but also for prevention. It underscores the need to strengthen capacities of health care workers to effectively prevent and respond to GBV, and provide strong referrals to other essential services (police, justice and social services) as needed and requested by the victim/survivor.

In 2011, the Government of Botswana, through support from the UNFPA and WHO Botswana Offices, developed the Protocols and Service Standards for Prevention and Management of Gender Based Violence to guide the implementation of the male involvement in SRH, prevention and management of STI/HIV/AIDS and GBV. The main outcome of the protocol development was to improve the quality of care given by the health care providers and overall health services response to GBV in Botswana. The current protocol has been in implementation for a decade and therefore needs to be updated to align with new frameworks and global standards.

Purpose of the consultancy

The purpose of the consultancy is to review and update the current Protocol and Service Standards, to align it to the current national legal, policy, institutional and implementation frameworks; and adaptations to regional and global standards for strengthening violence against women (VAW) response and its integration in SRH and HIV services.

 

Application Process: Interested applicants are required to submit applications to mollentze@unfpa.org