Gender Relations, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and the Effects of Conflict on Women and Men in North Kivu, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Results from the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES): Final Report 2014
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The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) was conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2012 by Promundo and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). It is a comprehensive study on men’s practices and attitudes as they relate to gender equality - with a focus on the impact of conflict on the construction of masculinities and gender relations. Men in Eastern DRC report the highest rates of having used physical and sexual violence against a partner compared to other settings where IMAGE surveys have been carried out.
This report presents the data from a survey carried out among 708 men and 754 women. 47 percent of men report having perpetrated physical violence against a female partner and 45 percent of women report having experienced it. Most men surveyed resist gender equality. Report recommendations include: More intense promotion of gender equality in the education sector and at all levels of civil society and the state; Large-scale rollout of psychosocial and secondary prevention that enables boys and girls to overcome violence they have experienced and witnessed; Long-term rebuilding from conflict that takes into consideration men’s and women’s sense of loss of status and identity. The authors of the study argue that Goma and areas nearby are among the worst places in the world for women, men and children. The devastating impact of war affects nearly all those living in the area and is manifested, among other ways, in highly inequitable and violent partner relations. The creation of peace and stability in the household will only be possible by transforming gender relations.