Business case for a Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) project

This provides detailed business case for a proposed project on Sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV). Among others, It explores current realities, incidents, frequency, types, location, actors/stakeholders, gaps. Likewise, it provides a draft project and a work plan; a theory of change and result chains for the proposed project.


The purpose of this document is to:

  1. Provide comprehensive information on the increasing necessity for clear guidance on effectively mitigating sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
  2. Suggest ways to take stock of SGBV in general and provide targeted propositions on how to track SGBV incidents in Nigeria. 
  3. Develop a changing normative framework for institutional practices and behaviours regarding to violence against women and girls at individual and micro-community levels.
  4. Serve as a guide to ensure the effective implementation of the project


The Project seeks to accomplish the following objectives, to:

  1. Improve access to lifesaving and well-coordinated SGBV response services for survivors and individuals at risk.
  2. Engage with relevant stakeholders – police, media civil rights groups etc. – on coordinating information and actors in SGBV incidents.
  3. Influence policy and actions of State and Federal government in Nigeria.
  4. Improve the delivery of quality SGBV services by providing access to verifiable data
  5. Promote male participation in the prevention and redress of all forms of SGBV.
  6. Design and implement projects to enable males adopt safe and responsible sexual and reproductive behaviour.
  7. Support and accelerate, via education, a change in socio-cultural attitude towards gender equality.
  8. Promote awareness on the socio-economic and health implications of rape and sexual assault.
  9. To enhance gender equality and the protection of vulnerable groups using prevention-based approach to reduce the incidence of SGBV.

This document provides detailed business case for a proposed project on Sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV). Among others, It explores current realities, incidents, frequency, types, location, actors/stakeholders, gaps. Likewise, it provides a draft project and a work plan; a theory of change and result chains for the proposed project.

Given the overarching goal of this work is to launch a SGBV project and subsequently secure partner funds for its implementation, a list of potential donor partners is suggested.

Problem Context

The World Health Organisation (2002) defines sexual violence as “any sexual act or an attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments, or advances, acts to traffic or otherwise directed against a person regardless of their relationship to the victim in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.” Sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) exists in different grades. It can be determined by the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim (intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-IPV), or by form of gender-based violence (GBV) act, such as sexual, physical or emotional violence. GBV is a global public health issue, with a higher prevalence in developing countries. The causes of violence against women and girls are complex, including factors at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels (World Bank, 2019). GBV not only plays a grave role in women’s morbidity and mortality, but this type of violence disproportionately affects the health status of women and children.

Gender-based violence infringes against human rights regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status or religion, and with varying occurrence, form and extent from nation to nation. Since GBV is a complex and multifaceted problem, it cannot be effectively addressed by standalone interventions. Rather, a wholesale strategy is needed (Mulunehet al., 2020). At the global level, WHO states that over one-third i.e. 35 percent of women have faced physical and /or sexual violence at some point in their lives (Figure 1). As in other parts of the world, SGBV is a prevalent social issue in Nigeria that significantly hinders [women’s] opportunities and independence. Though the data shows that at least 28% of women in Nigeria between ages 15 and 49 have experienced physical or sexual violence, it’s an issue that also affects boys and men. Sexual and gender-based violence includes a host of harmful behaviours that include early and child/forced early marriage, female infanticide, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, trafficking, psychological violence and adverse cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, and vindictive widowhood practices (George, 2015; Onyemelukwe, 2016).

The predicament of female victims of sexual violence ought to be a major concern of governments and society at large, as an intrinsic human rights issue and for its undesirable influence on economic development and poverty (World Bank 2019).

1 in 3 women experience SGBV

Figure 1. The Global Prevalence of SGBV among Women

Source: WHO (2013)

Global context: Historical, Political, Cultural, and Current

Sexual and gender-based violence is a worldwide phenomenon that knows no boundaries, whether geographical, cultural, social, economic, or ethnic. Historically, black bodies were exploited, but sexual exploitation of the black woman’s sexuality was significant in differentiating the experience of slavery for males and females. The colonial systems operated on a network of binary oppositions such as female-male, black-white, infidel-believer or barbarity-civilization. In the wake of colonialism, Africa was left with monotheistic and patriarchal religious systems, which led to the imposition of rigid gender divisions and a subversion of traditional constructions of family and partnerships.

African historical records show that societies were not all patriarchal or necessarily gendered. There are examples of matriarchal rules like the rule of Ashanti in North Ghana and Nubian queens. Heike Becker, in her studies on gender-based violence, has shown that colonization, capitalism and apartheid in Southern Africa caused and exacerbated gender differences and gender-based violence in the African communities like the Khoisan in Southern Africa .

In the past three decades, violence against women as a policy and research field in sub-Saharan Africa has been classified under “gender-based violence” (GBV). Used initially to described wartime violence and genital mutilation, GBV has come to now include other forms, such as domestic violence. In 1993, the United Nations General assembly defined violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.” “Gender-based” in the definition highlights the relationship between violence against women and women’s subordinate status in society.

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