Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment
Women face unique biological and social vulnerabilities place them at greater risk from contracting and dying from disease and violence. The risks start early, with young girls at much greater risk of suffering child abuse as compared to boys. Adolescent girls and young women ages 15-24 are two times as likely to contract HIV as compared to their male counterparts.
IMA is part of the increasing global movement toward addressing issues of gender in health, promoting women’s empowerment and gender equity in its programs. By design, IMA’s programs promote a comprehensive reproductive health and rights approach and involve women in leadership and planning of its programs. Within IMA’s USAID-funded Ushindi Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Treatment and Prevention Project, IMA assists survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Eastern DRC to access holistic support services (legal, medical, psychosocial, and economic support).
IMA engages male partners as positive change agents and supporters. IMA also works with communities and village leaders to overcome negative social attitudes toward women.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Ushindi Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Treatment and Prevention Project
IMA ensures female survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence – which has reached epidemic proportions in Eastern Congo – access holistic prevention and support services. As part of the project’s holistic approach, IMA links SGBV survivors to medical, legal, economic, and psychosocial counseling and support services. During 2013, the USAID-funded Ushindi project counseled more than 15,000 survivors, providing economic support via Village Savings and Loans Associations to nearly 13,000 people.