Week 1

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Carr Center Conference Room (Rubenstein 219)

Study Group

The Global Movement to
End Violence Against Women


Topic: VAW in Africa: Men Engage in the Fight Against VAW in Africa

Presenter: Pascal Akimana, E.D. & Co-Founder, Umoja Now

About the Session:

A discussion of the good outcomes and the challenges as well as the obstacles international NGO's encounter in Africa when they fail to collaborate effectively with local NGOs.

Suggested Readings:

Follow-up Materials:

  •  Pascal Akimana's presentation slides (as PDF)

More about the presenter:

Pascal Akimana is a human rights activist with over ten years of experience specializing in the fields of gender justice and equality, peace and reconciliation, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Pascal’s personal and professional experiences have made him a leader in the field of gender-based violence prevention, and an expert at approaching violence prevention in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Born in Burundi, Pascal witnessed widespread gender-based and sexual violence in his community. Following the outbreak of civil war in Burundi, Pascal spent many years off and on in exile as a refugee, where he witnessed horrific violent attacks, particularly against women and girls. In 2001, unable to be a bystander to the violence, he began his human rights work in refugee camps, where he counseled perpetrators and victims of gender-based and sexual violence.

From 2002-2004, Pascal worked as a youth counselor in Kenya and South Africa, training and educating homeless youth on violence and HIV/AIDS prevention, and assisting them in finding jobs, education, and housing. From 2005-2008, Pascal worked as Senior Program Assistant and Assistant Project Manager for EngenderHealth in South Africa, where he played a leading role in implementing the Men As Partners program, and coordinated numerous successful campaigns against gender-based and sexual violence and HIV/AIDS. In 2009, Pascal served as the GBV Capacity Building Officer (Male Involvement Program) for the International Rescue Committee in Côte d’Ivoire, where he supervised all GBV fieldwork, and oversaw all sub-grantee programs operated by local organizations.

Pascal has also worked as a consultant to numerous organizations throughout Africa on issues of gender, peace and reconciliation, and HIV/AIDS prevention, including to the Amercian Refugee Committee International, the International Red Crescent and Red Cross, and the South African AIDS Trust, School Without Walls. In 2006, he worked for Sonke Gender Justice and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in refugee camps in South Africa and Kenya, where he was responsible for the initial rollout of the world renowned One Man Can campaign, and additionally worked in Uganda with former child-soldiers, facilitating their acceptance back into the community.

Pascal’s personal story and professional work have been the subject of numerous web, print, and radio interviews and articles, and he is a frequent local and international speaker on GBV, HIV/AIDS, and peace building and reconciliation