IMA World Health is committed to preventing, mitigating, and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) globally alongside the Corus International family of organizations.  

GBV refers to any harmful act against an individual or group based on their sexual or gender identity. Disproportionately affecting women and girls, GBV can include sexual, physical, mental and economic harm carried out in public or in private. Although GBV can occur at any point in a person’s life, the risk increases considerably during humanitarian crises and in fragile and conflict-affected settings.   

GBV is a violation of human rights that not only undermines the safety and dignity of individuals but also destabilizes the economic stability and security of communities and nations.

IMA World Health addresses GBV across the globe.
Our Approach

At IMA World Health, we address GBV through a three-pronged approach:


IMA World Health's approach to addressing GBV involves prevention, mitigation and response.

Prevention: We challenge harmful practices through social and behavior change strategies, while adopting Do No Harm (DNH) policies to mitigate GBV risks. We work to reduce community tolerance to violence and decrease the vulnerability of households and individuals, especially women and girls. 

Mitigation: We integrate GBV risk mitigation systematically in the design, implementation, and evaluation of multisectoral programming. We analyze GBV risk in fragile settings and throughout humanitarian crises, and strengthen both informal and formal social protection systems available in the community or region. 

Response: We strengthen the capacity of health service providers to respond to GBV survivors. We identify existing response mechanisms and build up their capacity to deliver safe, respectful, and confidential services. We also develop survivor referral pathways and complaint mechanisms, and disseminate information about available services for GBV survivors in community groups and through healthcare networks.


Learn more

In eastern DRC, members of a youth club work to change harmful practices and beliefs in their community and raise awareness about gender equality.

We believe that strengthening local capacity, mobilizing communities, sensitizing health service providers, and embedding strong response mechanisms into communities and health systems can lead to resilient, healthy environments that are free from violence.

Read more about our GBV efforts in our InUnison digital newsletter.


Project Highlights
MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience – Global

IMA World Health leads the five-year, USAID-funded MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience project, which is part of a suite of innovative MOMENTUM awards designed to holistically strengthen quality voluntary family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) in host countries around the world. Working alongside local organizations, governments, and humanitarian and development partners in fragile settings, the project helps accelerate reductions in maternal, newborn, and child illness and death by increasing the capacity of host country institutions and local organizations—including new and underutilized partners—to introduce, deliver, scale up, and sustain the use of evidence-based, quality MNCH/FP/RH care. While addressing GBV through community-based, gender-responsive approaches, the project’s focus on health resilience reduces chronic vulnerabilities and promotes more inclusive health development by addressing risks and responses to shocks and stresses.

Counter-Gender Based Violence Program (Tushinde Ujeuri) – Democratic Republic of Congo

Funded by USAID and implemented by IMA World Health, the Counter-Gender Based Violence Program (known locally as Tushinde Ujeuri) is implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where years of insecurity and conflict alongside deeply rooted gender inequities have contributed to high rates of GBV. Tushinde builds on the highly successful USAID Ushindi Project (2010-2017), through which IMA World Health provided GBV prevention and response activities in highest risk areas of eastern DRC. Our holistic approach to addressing GBV incorporates social and financial recovery, in addition to medical care and psychosocial support. The Tushinde project has also developed a unique expertise in advocating for protection through a human rights-based approach for marginalized groups including LGBTQI+ individuals. To date, 1.5 million community members have been reached with GBV prevention messages.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Kit Procurement – Democratic Republic of Congo

Funded by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, IMA World Health has procured and distributed PEP Kits in the DRC since 2017, improving the supply chain in 10 target provinces with a high prevalence of GBV. PEP Kits reduce a survivor’s risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The project employs a multipronged supply and distribution strategy which increases access, reduces stock-out, and reduces cost per PEP Kit through local sourcing. Through this holistic approach, IMA World Health has cumulatively purchased, kitted and distributed over 95,000 PEP Kits. In addition to increasing access to PEP Kits, the project works to close the training gap of health care providers in GBV survivor care.

We Will Speak Out – United States

IMA World Health served as the founding organization and secretariat of We Will Speak Out U.S. a coalition of faith-based organizations working together to empower faith communities to speak out against GBV. In 2014, IMA World Health, on behalf of the coalition, partnered with Sojourners to release Broken Silence, a report based on a Lifeway Research survey of 1,000 U.S.-based Protestant pastors on their understanding of and response to GBV in their congregations and communities. The report found that pastors often underestimate the prevalence of GBV, speak infrequently about it and have even responded to disclosures of violence in ways that may inadvertently do more harm than good. IMA World Health deepened this research through a partnership with the Science, Religion, and Culture Program at Harvard Divinity School and released the “Interrogating the Silence” report in 2015. This study found that, while religious leaders are a powerful resource for victims and survivors of GBV, they need more training on the available tools, gender relations and social mechanisms that contribute to violence.