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Course E054: Gender-based Violence

29 October-9 December 2014 (E05414-2) | Register for this course (page opens in new window)
Instructor: Dr. Aisling Swaine

The issue of gender-based violence (GBV) has gained increasing prominence in the work of human rights, humanitarian and development organisations internationally. GBV is now recognised as a violation of basic human rights with detrimental impacts on the health and social status of survivors of GBV, as well as on society as a whole. International humanitarian and development agencies are increasingly engaging on this issue both through specific programmes that address GBV, as well as through mainstreaming GBV within wider sectoral approaches. GBV requires prevention and response by a range of multi-sectoral actors working in coordinated ways to address the fundamental causes of GBV as well as its consequences.

This e-learning course introduces participants to general definitions, concepts and normative and legal frameworks related to concepts of gender-based violence. The course will cover forms, causes and consequences of GBV in conflict contexts, as well as on an endemic basis. Prevention and response programming, as well as models underpinning mainstreaming and targeted actions on GBV, and the need for coordinated approaches will be covered. The course will provide basic knowledge and skills on GBV to staff of international humanitarian and development organisations aiming to deepen their understanding and engagement on GBV responsive programming.

After this course, participants will:
 be able to define and describe definitions and forms of GBV, and its causes and consequences;
 gain a generic understanding of different approaches to preventing and responding to GBV, including mainstreaming and specific actions on GBV;
 enhance knowledge on the key models that underpin programming approaches, including key elements of promoting coordinated action on GBV.

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, discussion, webinars, a written assignment and quizzes, and is offered over a six-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will do the required readings, prepare interim and final assignments and participate in group discussions. Case studies will be used to enable interactive learning and activities.

Course outline

Week 1. Exploring Gender-based Violence
Week 2. Understanding Gender-based Violence Causes, Contributing Factors and Impacts
Week 3. Conflict-related Gender-based Violence
Week 4. Approaches to Addressing GBV
Week 5. Gender-based Violence Programming - Prevention and Response
Week 6. Mainstreaming Approaches to Addressing Gender-based Violence

About the instructor

Aisling Swaine is Associate Professor of Practice of International Affairs (Women, Security & Development) at George Washington University and a Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Fellow at HREA. Dr. Swaine is a technical specialist on women's rights, gender equality and gender-based violence related to international humanitarian and development programming. Aisling worked for almost a decade at field levels for international NGOs and the United Nations in Kosovo, Burundi, Timor-Leste and Darfur (Sudan). She spent a further five years as a consultant to international donors, the UN and international NGOs advancing international and institutional policy on women's rights, gender-based violence, gender mainstreaming and the women, peace and security resolutions. Aisling's research and teaching interests include conflict-related violence against women, feminist legal theory, gender, conflict and transition, and gender and humanitarian action. Aisling also teaches the HREA e-learning courses and workshops Gender and Human Rights (Foundation Course), Gender and Humanitarian Action and Gender and Transitional Justice.

Who should apply

The course is intended for staff of inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, humanitarian practitioners and gender focal points interested in gender-based violence in humanitarian and development contexts. Participants should have a good written command of English -- the working language of the course -- and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants. The maximum number of course participants is 25. A Certificate of Participation will be awarded upon successful completion of the course. It also possible to audit the course.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575; tuition for auditors: US$ 215. There are no scholarships or discounted tuition rates available for this course.

Payments can be made online by major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer, and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available.


Register for this course (page opens in new window). Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. There is no registration deadline, but please be aware that courses generally fill up quickly!

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