This paper is a summary of the full comparative study report produced by Abu Hwaij Assurance & Consulting Services in 2022. It is meant to inform the programming and policy work of Oxfam internally and the international community externally, including the UN, INGOs and members of the donor community who are involved in the struggle to eradicate gender-based violence (GBV) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The comparative study was conducted as part of the ‘Naseej: Connecting Voices and Actions to End Violence Against Women and Girls in the MENA Region’ programme, which aims to contribute to more gender-equitable societies, in which women and girls live free from violence across all spheres of life. The study particularly focused on understanding the different forms and expressions of GBV in conflict areas. The participants included a total of 1,430 women and men in three countries: the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Iraq and Yemen. The context in the three countries is characterized by armed conflict, political instability, prolonged occupation and structural oppression. Consequently, affected communities suffer from protracted humanitarian crises and displacement which produce poverty and hunger, loss of security and stability, unemployment and inability to support family, thus creating a cycle of violence and continuous humanitarian needs. All these factors increase the magnitude of GBV and in its many forms.