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What will it take to end gender-based violence? Rethinking pathways to preventing violence at scale.

Monday 6 – Wednesday 8 November 2023 | WP3221

Training event for women

In association with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, Ford Foundation and the Government of South Africa


The field of preventing gender-based violence (GBV) is at a critical point. Over the past decade there has been a significant expansion in rigorous, policy-relevant evidence which shows that violence is preventable, and a growth in new initiatives and stakeholders mobilised around GBV prevention and use of evidence. There is also growing alignment around a common research and advocacy agenda, and a greater understanding of the role of women’s rights organisations (WROs) and feminist movements in prevention of violence. 

Yet despite decades of mobilisation and robust evidence that GBV is preventable, the issue of violence is still not on the agenda at the highest political levels. Globally, we face concerted efforts to roll back progress on women’s rights, with WROs and activists operating under a chronic level of political threat. Meanwhile the funding gap continues to hamper efforts to address violence on a scale that is commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. At this point in the GBV prevention field’s development there are also challenges in taking the next step from small to large scale impact, including a current lack of research on how to do this effectively with weak infrastructure and capacity. Driving down rates of GBV on a national scale will require further innovation and learning; new partnerships, including with unusual suspects; investment in building the infrastructure for scale up and supporting a well-resourced and resilient women’s movement; and fostering a network of political champions to raise this issue at the highest levels. 

Purpose of the meeting

  1. In 2019, the former UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund co-hosted a Wilton Park meeting to build a shared agenda on prevention of violence against women and girls. This was acknowledged as an important moment in the evolution of the GBV prevention field. The report for the previous meeting is available here.
  2. Four years later, this conference, co-hosted by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Government of South Africa, Ford Foundation and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, took stock of progress and remaining challenges and discussed concrete opportunities and strategies to drive a step change in ending GBV. It sought to build consensus around what is needed to move the GBV prevention field forwards and concrete actions that we can take together to accelerate progress in the 12 months ahead, as well as laying the foundations for a longer-term collaborative agenda. 

Conference objectives:

  • To identify effective strategies for scaling-up violence prevention;
  • To build consensus around priorities for mobilising future investment and increasing the impact of existing resources to strengthen GBV prevention;
  • To build consensus around priorities for political and policy action and how to progress these priorities.

Pathways to scale

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