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Gender Based Violence Risk Assessment for Irbid and Ramtha - June 2021

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1. Executive summary

This report highlights the findings and recommendations of the GBV risk assessment for Irbid Governorate including Irbid and Ar-Ramtha cities. The overall aim of the assessment was to better understand risks of GBV faced by vulnerable groups and to provide recommendations on areas where GBV response and overall humanitarian response need to be enhanced. It was found that GBV disproportionately affects women and girls, subjecting them to risk and unsafety within their own homes as well as outside, where they face all types of GBV mostly at the hands of partners, family members and other men in the community. Women and girls and other vulnerable segments of the population are also at heightened risk due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its overall detrimental effects on lives and livelihoods across Jordan.

The risk assessment was coordinated by IOM and conducted by the members of the GBV sub-working group in Irbid and Ramtha, in the North of Jordan. It followed a qualitative methodology using community consultations through key informant interviews and focused group discussions. The present report highlights the main findings and recommendations, through seven main parts: an introduction and context overview; a review of the methodology, and the identified GBV Risks in Irbid and Ramtha. This is then followed by an overview of GBV services, community proposed potential solutions for reducing risks and improving safety, and finally recommendations for the way forward.

The risk assessment found that GBV is rife in both refugee and host communities. Specifically, a high prevalence of intimate partner violence and family violence (physical, emotional, economic violence and abuse in the context of family or intimate partner relationships) was noticed, in addition to other GBV risks such as early marriage and sexual harassment. Refugees were found to be a heightened risk of GBV, due to war-related trauma, deteriorating socio-economic status and increasingly difficult living conditions.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women and girls – especially domestic violence – has intensified, due to economic and social stresses combined with movement restrictions and cramped homes, with many women and girls trapped at home with their abusers. COVID-19 has also intensified pre-existing barriers for women, girls and survivors in general to seek services and support.

The findings from this assessment confirm what we already know: GBV in Jordan, including in Irbid and in Ramtha remains normalized, justified and unchallenged, with women and girls and other segments of the population facing the challenges of entrenched gender inequality and discrimination. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Intimate partner violence and family violence including physical abuse; psychological and emotional abuse; denial of access to resources, opportunities and services.

  • Forced Marriage including early / child marriage

  • Sexual harassment and sexual abuse including: Verbal and sexual harassment outside the home; Sexual assault and rape; and sexual exploitation and abuse.