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How giving women in developing countries sustainable livelihoods can reduce domestic violence

By Opportunity International Australia

Sydney, 22 November 2017 - Opportunity International Australia says the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November and the United Nation’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, put the spotlight on the millions of women in developing countries who remain trapped in a cycle of poverty because of domestic violence.  

Robert Dunn, Opportunity International Global Executive Director and Opportunity International Australia CEO, says: “We need to look at domestic violence as an aspect of poverty, although it occurs in all social classes and goes beyond poverty.

‘A world free of poverty will not be realised until we have a world free of violence. Domestic violence in developing countries is an issue we need to urgently solve.

‘One of the main reasons women in India are excluded from the workforce and continue to live in poverty is domestic violence, with 1 in 2 women impacted by it.

Opportunity International Australia provides small loans to women in India, so they can build businesses, earn livelihoods, lift themselves out of poverty. This empowers them, gives them dignity, builds their self-confidence. They gain rights, become valued by their family and community, are seen as economic assets rather than burdens, which helps to reduce domestic violence.

‘Opportunity partners with a domestic violence organisation in India, My Choices Foundation, which trains women to be PeaceMakers. PeaceMakers work with women, girls and families in India to give them choices to live lives free from violence, abuse and exploitation.

PeaceMakers educate women about their rights, empower them to change the dynamics of power and control in their lives. They also work with men, because men are part of the solution, are key to breaking the cycle of gender-based violence.  

‘Opportunity also partners with Healing Fields Foundation in India, which trains women to be health leaders in their communities. The health leader program teaches women about how to prevent domestic violence, how to support women who are experiencing it.

‘Gender-based violence is a human rights issue we must urgently solve. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and during the 16 days of activism, let’s join together as a global community and eliminate it,’ he added.

If you would like to help Opportunity reduce domestic violence in India, click here.   

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