Supporting National Plan on Gender-based violence in Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Institute for Gender Equality and Equity (ICIEG) project supported by the NSF aimed at implement the National Plan for Eradicating GBV from 2009 till 2013. The project  approach  was to  through decentralised activity execution, with multisectoral partnerships established between the ICIEG and municipalities, other NGOs, the National Police, the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Attorney General.

The following are successful outcomes of the intervention:

  • At the legislative level:

Adoption of the Law on Gender-Based Violence (GBV): Undoubtedly, one of the key factors of success was the promulgation in March 2011 of the Law on GBV which brought about a new thinking in the internal legal order in Cape Verde. Prior to its approval by Parliament, lobbying and advocacy was done as the basis for the law before the vote. This phase included the establishment of important partnerships/contacts with the Network of Women Parliamentarians, partners involved in the provision of care to GBV victims, activists and international organisations, including the Embassy of the USA.

  • At the level of Protection and Support of Victims of gender-based violence:

The creation and putting into operation of a network for protection and care of victims played a crucial role in project implementation. This network provides all round quality care and protection to victims of domestic violence and is currently present in seven islands, namely: Santiago, São Vicente, Fogo, Sal, Santo Antão, São Nicolau e Maio. Almost 5,000 women victims of GVB were assisted and supported.

  • Establishing a Center to Support Victims:

The first responder to cases of domestic violence is mainly in police stations where the victims can report crimes, receive psycho-social care, legal assistance and referral to hospitals across the country.

  • Capacity building within the National Police Force on GBV and Techniques for the Support of the Victims:

Over 200 police personnel were trained. Fernanda Fernandes, a policewoman at Assumada police remarked: “Since the training, my understanding of the cause of, and possible solutions to tackling Gender-based violence has improved immensely. As a result, my interaction with the victims and perpetrators of violence has helped in fostering reconciliation and harmony. I see more people having confidence in our services in helping resolve domestic violence. For example before the training at my police station we usually recorded only 1 to 5 cases a day, but now we receive between 15 to 20 cases a day. This shows that people are now more conscious about GBV issues and that they trust the police to help in resolving these matters.”

  • At society level:

 The ICIEG helped to launch the White Ribbon Network in Cabo Verde and capacitated 22 network members. 25 youth leaders were trained in the promotion of gender equality and the prevention of GBV. 33 IEC sessions on GBV reached 418 participants and 439 students. The ICIEG carried out a wide-ranging national women’s rights and GBV information campaign that included TV spots and the distribution of promotion materials such as T-shirts and flyers. Furthermore, the ICIEG developed actions for the promotion of women’s rights in the workplace by holding 59 information and sensitisation sessions reaching 915 women.