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Advancing Gender Equality

Case Studies from Across the Commonwealth

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The Commonwealth Secretariat has been a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and gender equality since the 1976–85 UN Decade for Women, and of gender mainstreaming since the UN 4th World Conference on Women, to which our 1995 Plan of Action on Gender and Development was a Commonwealth contribution.

This publication brings together case studies prepared in connection with the end-of-term review of the 2005–15 Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality. The case studies are based on submissions and interviews with government representatives, gender specialists and other stakeholders, including civil society organisations, from 20 countries representing all regions of the Commonwealth.

The examples were selected to demonstrate a range of strategies that can be employed to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Together they help to show what perpetuates gender inequality and offer approaches that can be adopted to help end unjust discrimination.

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Integrated Approach to Combating Gender-Based Violence, Botswana

Botswana has the second highest HIV prevalence in the world, at 25.4 per cent of its population aged between 15 and 49 years (2012 data) (PEPFAR 2014). The 2013 BAIS IV AIDS indicator study (Government of Botswana Central Statistics Office 2013) showed a strong gender disparity in HIV prevalence, with women at 21 per cent compared with men at 4 per cent (Botswana US Embassy 2014). According to the 2012 Gender-Based Violence Indicator Study, women in Botswana who experience GBV are 50 per cent more likely to be infected with HIV than women in non-violent relationships. More than two-thirds of females in Botswana have experienced some form of GBV in their lifetime, and 62 per cent reported being victims of intimate partner violence.

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