Implementing the USAID Strategic Framework for Africa to achieve the vision of "Healthy, Prosperous Africans Living in Peace and Freedom" requires a multidimensional strategy that draws wisely on past experiences while pursuing new approaches to build a better future for citizens of countries in various stages of development. To that effect, and in this strategic area, Africa's Health in 2010 puts a stronger multisectoral focus, drawing in new partners to build synergies with health and poverty alleviation, focusing on gender, youth, and urbanization issues. The project focuses for now on gender and gender-based violence (GBV).
Gender-based violence is defined by the United Nations as "any act of gender-related violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.", Gender-based violence is a pervasive public health and human rights problem throughout the world. At least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Gender-based violence can result in many negative consequences for women's health and well-being. It can also affect their children and undermine the economic well-being of societies.
Most violence against women takes place within families, and the perpetrators are almost exclusively men, usually partners, ex-partners or other men known to women. Forty population-based quantitative studies, conducted in 24 countries on four continents, revealed that between 20 and 50 percent of the women interviewed reported that they had suffered physical violence from their male partners.
Africa's Health in 2010 is addressing gender-based violence in Africa to raise awareness and lift the veil of silence over the magnitude of this problem in Africa and to build the capacity of African institutions to adequately address its consequences.
The project focuses its work on the following strategic priorities: