Overview Integrate survivor support and assistance into reproductive health programmes
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Health services for survivors are a basic human right

Last edited: January 06, 2011

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  • A growing body of policy commitments and international and regional agreements hold governments accountable for addressing violence against women as a human right. It is critical that health care providers know and understand these commitments and agreements as the basis for applying a human rights-based approach to their work and meeting the obligations that human rights instruments outline. 
  • Health care providers must also understand the ways in which the cultures and communities in which they live do not uphold these rights, as well as the structural and cultural factors that contribute to violence against women and girls.  Without this understanding, they cannot provide care that is compassionate, comprehensive, and effective.         
  • Because discriminatory beliefs regarding gender and sexuality are so pervasive in most cultures, the task of integrating attention to violence against women and girls into health services is long-term.  Addressing gender inequality demands investment in cultural transformation among all those working in the health system.