Gender-based violence and abuse has always existed in human history, but during the last decade this problem has grown dangerously and gained visibility: soon it could become oneof the most important issues of the modern society and will need to be ad dressed, accordingly. Unfortunately, with the development of the new technologies and social and demographic changes, this problem is also evolving towards new forms that has rarely or never been seen before. These facts push our Strategic Partnership to look for new ways and options to respond to them, appropriately.
The gender-related abuse is not to be accepted nor tolerated in none of the forms it may appear. Whether it is physical, emotional, financial, discriminatory, sexual, psychological, domestic or any other type of personal or interpersonal violence, it needs to be counteracted with all the strength that can be gathered. The available data on European gender violence is disturbing; a survey among women across all EU countries reveals that 1 in 10 have experienced some form of sexual violence,
though data gaps mask the true scale. According to the European Parliament ́s study on the Violence against Women in the EU, the gender-related power abuse is especially visible among women from disadvantaged backgrounds, because of such aggravating factors as: their economic and emotional dependency, poverty and unemployment, patriarchal structure of the society or the fact that women ́s inferiority is often seen as a socially accepted norm.
Most Member States have implemented national action plans regarding this issue, nevertheless precise statistics and, therefore, victim assistance and prevention system is often insufficient because of the difficulty to detect (gender abuse is one of the least reported crimes). Moreover, Europe is facing a growing economic uncertainty which in turn provokes an environment far from inviting for women collectives, especially those vulnerable to power abuse, such as: immigrants, disabled people, women of different religions or ethnicity, etc. The European Parliament observed that women with fewer opportunities’ participation rate, in the labour market is considerably lower than that of the rest of population and, as a result, they are rather isolated.
As a Strategic Partnership, we do feel that it is our obligation not only to provide direct attention and social inclusion service to the gender-related abuse victims, but also to raise awareness in our communities, and especially its adult feminine members, about the importance of protecting those who are the most vulnerable, and defending their human rights. The priority of AMC is, therefore, to fight gender violence not only in Portugal but in Europe, in general. We want to understand different ways and manners of addressing this problem, used by other entities.
This is the reason why we decided to form the Strategic Partnership, so that every organisation involved could gain new tools, exchange best practices and views on how to confront gender violence and abuse, and raise the consciousness level, in their communities.
1. To exchange best practices to counteract gender violence and abuse, among adult women.
Each entity has their unique set of tools and knowledge developed to end gender abuse and stereotypes, in their countries. We are looking to create a space for exchanging ways to understand and resolve abuse-related conflicts. We seek a deeper understanding of gender violence victims and their situation, on all levels, as this knowledge is essential for creating new ways and procedures for supporting them. We also want to share our insights and knowledge for those interested in the subject.
2. To obtain new tools and methodologies to counteract gender violence.
Our Partnership will acquire the tools and methods to work on identifying and breaking the cycle of oppression offered by OSO; CARDET’s measures to address illegal activities online, including online violence targeting women, and their dissemination channels; identification methods of everyday-sexist behaviours towards women and adults of non-binary gender based on ORIEL’s experience; the emotional management tools offered by Permacultura Cantabria, to support victims; and AMC’s best practices and tools to ensure equal opportunities, participation and pay, in the labour market.
3. To increase the awareness level regarding the abuse of power experienced by adult women.
We want to raise the awareness level, among adult victims of gender violence, such as: the Roma women, disabled, LGTBQ, immigrants, refugees, elderly, unskilled, etc.
4. To strengthen alliances at the regional, national and European level with entities that fight to counteract gender violence and abuse.
Our project’s goals and actions also go in line with the “Gender Equality Strategy” (2020-2025), proposed by the European Commission.
1. Preparatory phase:
All the partners will be notified when the project is approved. This will set the preparatory phase in motion. We will begin with preparing an internal agreement to be signed, by all partners. This document will contain a detailed plan of work, along with obligations, responsibilities and tasks of each part of the agreement, as well as deadlines, evaluation measures for each outcome and other relevant documentation.
Then the dissemination campaign and other activities planned for this phase of the project will start (for more information please consult “Project Management” and “Dissemination” sections). After ensuring the proper project visibility, we will run the participants selection process, fully described in the “Participants” section. The project assumes a series of transnational activities.
Tasks to be conducted, during each transnational activity, are to be undertaken by all entities and their project coordinators, and consist of the following:
Flight and/or other means of transport ticket booking will be the responsibility of each organisation’s project coordinator.
2. Linguistic preparation:
Participants will be asked to issue their Europass Language Passport, in order to ensure a sufficient English level, for an effective execution of the course, and for us to recognize each participant’s individual needs. Should any of them need an assistance with issuing the Europass Language Passport, they will be supported by each organisation’s project coordinator. If needed, additional English support will be conducted, by each entity, to ensure a proper communication level, among participants and trainers, before, during and after the course.
3. Pedagogical preparation:
Participants will receive an Information Pack containing information such as: the activity’s structure and venue, goals, context, timetable, basic transport and safety tips, etc. This is to be thoroughly assimilated, by each participant. Also, at least one information meeting will be organized, by each entity’s project coordinator, to explain all the project details, prepare topics or materials, answer the participants’
questions and resolve doubts, should any arise.
When hosting an activity, each organisation will have the following obligations:
-Creating a specific and detailed Infopack with information about the activity: goals, programme, transportation options, venue, etc., so that the participants can have all the information, before traveling.
-Providing accommodation and course venue for the participants; both should be equipped with the necessary tools for the effective execution of the activity, as well as prepared for reception of participants with special needs, including mobility needs.
-Kitchen service; there will be three meals provided: breakfast, lunch and dinner. All should be adequate to the participants’ special needs, which information are to be collected and stored by the hosting organisation.
-Security and safety measures. They will be established by the hosting entity, including not allowing the use of perception altering substances, designing an open smoking area, providing a first aid kit and first aid trained staff, on site, as well as a 24 hours available transportation for the duration of the activity, pointing potentially dangerous elements, if applicable, and providing the participants with a clear evacuation plan, in case of an emergency. However, each entity will follow general basic health safety tips. The hosting organisation will also be responsible for collecting and storing emergency contact numbers of each participant.
-General support, if needed. As explained earlier, all the participants will be provided with an Information Pack, which will contain all the basic data regarding the activity. Also, the project coordinator will be assigned to respond any question regarding the travel, accommodation, transportation or health and safety issues that the participants may have.
The hosting organisation in each transnational activity are:
-1st Transnational Meeting (Kick Off): Permacultura Cantabria (in Spain)
-2nd Transnational Meeting (Final Evaluation): AMC (in Portugal)
-1st Participatory Visit: ORIEL (in Italy)
-2nd Participatory Visit: AMC (in Portugal)
-3rd Participatory Visit: CARDET (in Cyprus)
-Course for mastering adult nonviolence through emotional management tools: Permacultura Cantabria (in Spain).
1st Transnational Meeting (Kick Off): in Spain
Its objectives will be: to review the work plan, distribute tasks and deadlines among partners, debate on the Participants Selection Process and application of adjustments, if necessary. This meeting will also serve to, officially, inaugurate the project, meet personally with the representatives of each entity, visit the future course venue and begin the preparatory phase.
2nd Transnational Meeting (Final Evaluation): in Portugal
This meeting will take place 2 months before the project ends. Its objective is to carry out the final evaluation, having in mind a correct project closure.
The following topics will be reviewed: the development of each phase of the project, its impact and indicators, achieved objectives and expected results, encountered problems and their solutions, satisfaction and knowledge level achieved by the participants (as reflected by their individual evaluations), etc. Finally, we will identify and assess specific opportunities for future collaborations.
After the course in Spain, the 2 coordinators of each entity (Project and Dissemination coordinator) will have an intermediate evaluation meeting, in Skype.
The objective of this meeting is to review the first part of the project (dissemination, participants preparation and support, organisation and implementation of learning activities, etc.) and to adjust the second part (intensive dissemination phase, internal workshops, report writing, etc).
As a summary, a SWOT analysis will be generated, detailing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which we may encounter, at this stage of the project. The SWOT analysis will be particularly useful to adjust the dissemination strategy. The information obtained during the meeting will also be used to determine the preliminary results of the project. Likewise, the results will be presented in the internal workshops that will be organized by each entity.
The learning activities planned to achieve the goals are:
- 3 study visits (in Italy, Portugal and Cyprus), attended by 2 participants from each entity (The Project and Dissemination Coordinators).
- A course in Spain, attended by the Project and Dissemination Coordinators, 1 adult trainer from each entity and 2 adult participants (3 per entity).
These activities will allow us to better understand the reality of the adult gender abuse victims, which will further allow us to raise awareness of this problem.
By visiting participating organisations ́ local communities and other institutions with whom they cooperate, we will be able to directly, get to know their best practices and specific tools, to fight for a more just, discrimination and violence-free society (including new ways of violence like cyber-abuse).
The Project is expected to generate the following results (these results respond to the analysis of the specific needs of each organisation):
AMC: Expanding tools, initiatives, actions and knowledge about gender abuse and violence, how it affects adult women and better supporting authorities, to counteract abuse conflict
situations, in our region, which is socially and economically challenged. The exchange with other organisations will help us expand and internationalise our networks.
PERMACULTURA wants to enrich the methodological tools they already use: this will give them an opportunity to offer better services to local adult women, many of whom live in very modest economic and social conditions. Participating in the project will also refine their social awareness campaigns preparation skills.
OSO wants to participate actively in this project because the proposal reflects one of their main social concerns. Also, the entity is currently undergoing a renewal process that involves reviving the knowledge and skills of its staff and attracting more adult learners and members. Participating in the project will give them an opportunity to deepen the process of specialisation of the entity and promoting its process of internationalisation.
CARDET will acquire new tools and knowledge to address an issue of utmost importance in Cyprus, with well-documented shortcomings, by the state. It will further expand its multifaceted work and will be able to make a concrete contribution to a societal change and the wellbeing of the local community. It is important for them to obtain more tools for empowering women from the most vulnerable groups, who require urgent actions.
ORIEL wants to exploit any possibility of improving their knowledge and skills to help their service users, especially adult trainers, adult learners and underprivileged women, and make sure that their approach to work with adult learners is as inclusive as possible. They wish to analyse what they do and benchmark it against partner organisations, especially as they see numerous examples of women who are victims of controlling and coercive behaviours, and any tools or insights they can discover will be valuable.
Adult trainers directly participating in the project, will broaden their capacities and gain new abilities, for their daily work, creating a direct effect on the gender-abuse vulnerable collectives they work with, advancing the benefits of their educational activities.
Adult learners who participate in the course in Spain will acquire relevant best practices to face and counteract abuse and discrimination, in different contexts, becoming more active and empowered Europeans.
The multicultural environment will raise both groups’ consciousness level and improve their linguistic, task-management and communication skills.
Entities involved will deepen their expertise on gender discrimination and violence, improving the scope of their activities and their staff’s qualifications. They will broaden their international networks for future initiatives and help to make Erasmus+ program more known. More gender-related violence and discrimination victims will be reached and empowered, directly and indirectly, through a wide dissemination campaign and adult trainers’ work.
Finally, Europeans, in general, will be better informed and equipped, to provoke a social shift, so that women are no longer underprivileged and gender-based violence and harassment is less widespread across society.