Violence against women is a multi-dimensional issue, requiring multi-dimensional, contextually appropriate responses for different settings. Priority setting helps advance the field in a more systematic way and ensure that research efforts make the best use of limited resources, and overtime can serve as a monitoring tool for the field, continuously mapping progress. The SVRI has been working with the Equality Institute and the field to identify a Global Shared Research Agenda (GSRA) using a crowdsourcing approach to ensure research priorities include diverse voices and perspectives.
As an extension to the GSRA, and to ensure the relevance, appropriateness, and applicability of research priorities to different regional contexts, the SVRI is building on the results of the global initiative to support various regional priority setting (RPS) processes. These RPS processes will discuss the findings of the GSRA in different regional contexts and identify specific research priorities related to the prevention of and response to VAW. The first RPS is being conducted in 2021 in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
As part of this process, the SVRI undertook a scoping review to help ground the LAC regional priority setting activities in current evidence.
LAC Research Gaps: Summary of findings from the scoping review
There is a geographical concentration of studies in upper-middle income countries, particularly Brazil and Mexico, with few studies in lower-middle income or low-income countries.
- Thematic gaps
Thematically, the most common types of studies are those exploring prevalence of and risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV). There are few prevalence studies examining other types of VAW and VAC. Most intervention studies are based on response interventions, particularly healthcare response. There are very few violence prevention interventions evaluated in the literature and, no studies on scaling up existing interventions. The scoping review found a large gap in studies on social norms that drive VAW, drawing from appropriate qualitative measurement. There are few studies on the perpetration of violence. VAW related to sexual and reproductive health or political violence are, thematically, important forms of violence in the region. However, there is a large gap in measuring these forms of violence through primary research methods.
- Methodological gaps
Overall, there are few targeted studies examining or testing VAWG research methodologies or tools. Methodological gaps across studies include few mixed-methods studies or systematic reviews. There are also large gaps in primary population-based studies, and in longitudinal research to better understand the causality, directionality and temporality of trends, including risk factors for VAWG.
- Gaps in measuring VAW
The large majority of VAW studies measure IPV; however, many studies continue to collapse different types of IPV (i.e., physical, sexual, emotional and economic) into a single IPV variable without sufficiently analysing the differences between types of IPV. Further, few studies measure emotional and economic IPV, or measure and/or report on frequency, severity, and recency of IPV.
- Population gaps
There are large gaps in research on under-served or marginalized populations, particularly indigenous or mestizo populations, women and girls with disabilities, and LGBTQI populations.
Project approach and steps
- Undertake a scoping review
- Select a regional team to facilitate the LAC regional priority setting processes for contracting.
- Regional team to develop a set of draft themes and priorities
- Crowd source priorities from practitioners and researchers (e.g., online survey, consultations)
- Two-three webinars on themes and priorities
- Publish and disseminate themes and priorities.
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Equipo FREE (Feminist for Rights, Equality and Empowerment) is an international multidisciplinary team of consultants specialised in gender equality. Ana Landa Ugarte (Spain), Carmen Porras Gómez (Spain), Ivonne Argueta Vásquez (El Salvador) and Beiby Vaca Parada (Bolivia) are committed, dynamic and creative consultants in their approach to tackling the most pressing challenges related to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
They have twenty years of collective experience in the design, implementation, management and evaluation of gender equality programs and initiatives related to advancing gender equality and fighting violence against women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their professional and personal commitment to women’s rights stems from the firm conviction that ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a human right and act of justice, but it is crucial to accelerate sustainable development and the fight against growing totalitarianism. Equipo FREE works using an intersectional perspective to identify the shared spaces between gender and other structural dimensions that reinforce discrimination and exclusion.