Cooperating organisation in Jordan

Due to unrest in Lebanon Arab Resource Collective suggested to move the pilot to Amman in Jordan.

Arab Resource Collective (ARC), established in 1988, is a Right based Regional NGO with a long track record in resources production in issues related to community development. In addition, ARC has been a partner of the NCMH in its "Mental Health program for a new Generation in the Arab Countries" since 2005 which included resources production and adaptation.  

GBV background in an Arab contect

In the Arab countries, GBV remains as the least of the gender issues that is acknowledged and recognized by the Arab states and the policy makers. In the male dominant, patriarchal society of the region, culture, traditions and misinterpretation of religions justify the continuous gender inequality that denies women from their rights in the private and public spheres. Arab states and societies fail to fulfill their commitment to reduce gender inequality, as stipulated in CEDAW and Beijing Platform of Action conventions. ARC's Mental Health Program has been (since its start in 2005 to date) concerned with all issues relevant to mental health & psychosocial wellbeing in the Arab countries. GBV is considered as one of the huge obstacles in the way of promoting mental health; it is prevalent in the Arab countries, it negatively influences individual's, family's as well as community's mental health and it has its causes deeply rooted in the patriarchal system. ARC has a long history of working on 'Arabizing' manuals and relevant resources in the fields of education, health, and rights. It has been either developing Arabic resources or working on translating, adapting and contextualizing resources throughout a collective process along with its partners in different Arab countries.

Many of the reasons behind GBV are deeply rooted in the culture. Although gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most grave human rights abuses in the world, and is considered as a public health problem, it remains one of the least recognized in many Arab countries. In Lebanon no official statistics exist on the problem of GBV except one exclusive study supported by UNFPA in 2002 which showed that out of 1415 interviewed women in Lebanon, 35% of them were victims of violence. GBV affects a significant percentage of female population in the Arab countries and often goes unreported3. The society has also endowed men, through the code of gender roles and norms, with the right to punish 'their' women; hence the belief that violence is a legitimate form of punishment and the importance, to men, of maintaining and exercising status and authority over women. An example is honor crimes (this is a part of the report that ARC wrote after the pilot).

Participants and outline of the  pilot training

ARC’s and HHRI to convene a training workshop on the manual “Mental Health and Gender Based Violence” developed by HHRI specialists. ARC invited 17 participants from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon, working in the psycho-social, human rights, health and GBV field, many directly with Syrian refugees. An expert trainer on GBV was also present to facilitate the training, along with HHRI experts and ARC team. The training took place in Jordan, on the 14 th, 15th and 16th of March.

Feedback from participants of the training

How the pilot in Jordan influensed the manual

We saw the need to emphasise that the story is a metaphor. It can be understood as a description of the course that a trauma takes. It shows what usually happens to a person after extreme stress. After describing her life before the event, it shows her survival reactions when the trauma happens, and her physical and mental reactions in the middle and longer term. These responses are described more formally in Part III of the manual. Underline that people may react in different ways: the story provides a description of frequent patterns of reactions following trauma. Similarly, the interventions described are examples of possible approaches and tools for helping survivors to recover control and hopefully, after a while, some sense of dignity.