Gender-Based Violence against Female Refugees in Refugee Camps

In Case of Mai Ayni Refugee Camp, Northern Ethiopia


Master's Thesis, 2013
116 Pages, Grade: Excellent

Excerpt

Table of Contents

DECLARATION

CERTIFICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ACRONYMS

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Introduction
1.2. Statement of the Problem
1.3. Objectives of the Study
1.3.1. General Objective
1.3.2. Specific Objectives
1.4. Research Questions
1.5. Significance of the Study
1.6. Scope of the Study
1.7. Organization of the Paper
1.8. Operational Definitions of Related Terms

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1. Conceptualizing Gender- Based Violence
2.1.1. Forms of Gender-Based Violence
2.2. Causes of Gender- Based Violence
2.3. Consequences of Gender- Based Violence
2.4. Gender-Based Violence and Female Refugees
2.5. Overview of Major International Human Rights Instruments on Gender-Based Violence and Refugees

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1. Description of the Study Area and Site Selection
3.1.1. Description of the Study Area
3.1.2. Rationales for Selecting the Study Area
3.2. Research Strategies
3.3. Data Source
3.4. Sampling Techniques and Procedures
3.4.1. Sample Size Determination
3.4.2. Selection of Research Participant
3.5. Methods and Tools of Data Collection
3.5.1. In-depth Interview
3.5.2. Focus Group Discussion
3.5.3. Key Informants Interview
3.5.4. Document Analysis
3.5.5. Personal Observation
3.6. Data Analysis
3.7. Ethical Consideration
3.8. Problems Encountered During the Research Process

CHAPTER FOUR: FINDING AND ANALYSIS
4.1. Prevalence of Gender-Based Violence
4.1.1. Physical Violence
4.1.2. Socio-Economic Violence
4.1.3. Sexual Violence
4.2. Causes and Risk Factors for Gender-Based Violence against Female Refugees
4.2.1. Forced Idleness
4.2.2. Physical Insecurity
4.2.3. Men’s ‘Loss of Power’
4.2.4. Economic Dependency
4.2.5. Collapse of Social and Family Support Structures
4.2.6. Lack of Awareness
4.2.7. Poor Reporting, Coordination and Legal Enforcement Mechanisms
4.3. Consequences of Gender-Based Violence

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1. Summary
5.2. Recommendation

REFERENCES

Appendix I: Interview Guideline

1. Interview Guideline for Female Refugees at Mai Ayni Refugee Camp

2. Interview Guideline for Male Refugees at Mai Ayni Refugee Camp

3. Interview Guideline for Key Informants

4. Focus Group Discussion Guideline

5. Guideline for Personal Observation

Appendix II List of Informants

1. List of Female Refugee

2. List of Male Refugee

3. List of FGD Participant

4 List of Key Informants

DECLARATION

I, Yonas Bayruau, declare that this thesis is the result of my own work and all sources or materials used for this thesis have been appropriately acknowledged. This thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of Masters of Art in Human Rights to the College of Law and Governance, Addis Ababa University through Center for Human Rights. I confidently declare that this thesis has not been submitted to any other institutions anywhere for the award of any academic degree, diploma, or certificate.

Addis Ababa University Name: Yonas Bayruau Gebreiyosus

Date of Submission: March, 2013 Signature:

CERTIFICATION

This is to certify that this thesis entitled “Gender-Based Violence against Female Refugees in Refugee Camps: in Case of Mai Ayni Refugee Camp, Northern Ethiopia” Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Award of Degree of Master of Arts in Human Rights to the College of Law and Governance, Addis Ababa University, through the Center for Human Rights, done by Mr. Yonas Bayruau Gebreiyosus I.D.NO GSR/0612/04 is submitted with my approval as a University advisor.

Advisor

Name: Elshaday Kifle

Signature

Date: February, 2013.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my sincere and wholehearted gratitude to my advisor Elshaday Kifle for her genuine professional and technical assistance. Without her, this study would not have been possible.

I am very grateful to all the study participants and particularly those female refugees who disclosed or let us to know their pain full violence experiences. I also thank all workers in the camp for their responsible support for data collection and I appreciate their contribution in carrying out this emotionally taxing interview.

I am also thankful to my family, for putting up with me through my testing moments in write up of this paper whereby I was completely engulfed in my work and poorly responded for their needs and care. Asme and Gech you deserve great respect. My appreciation also goes to Giday Meles who deserve great respect and due regard for the support he rendered. In addition, my gratitude goes to my best friends, Elsabeth Mulu, Yikealo Tarke, Biniam Debela, Mebrahtom Guesh, Tedros Solomon, Filimon, Shewit, Tekelay and Melak who contributed me ideas and necessary materials which are important for the robustness of the paper. I also thank to Habtamu Alebachew and Yemane Zeray.

Above all my deepest thanks go to Almighty God who is the source of my strength and every achievement in my life.

Yonas Bayruau Gebreiyosus

THIS THESIS IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ERITREAN FEMALE REFUGEES IN ETHIOPIA

ACRONYMS

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ABSTRACT

Gender-based violence prevents female’s enjoyment of fundamental human rights and it is also central social, economic and health problem. Similarly, gender-based violence is viewed as a significant problem in refugee camps throughout the world. However, in Ethiopia studies on gender based violence against female refugees are limited. Most researches in this area were conducted in line with other problems of refugees. Yet, in order to assess comprehensively it needs specific study. Thus, the main objective of the study was to examine the prevalence, cause and consequences of gender based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp. In order to achieve these objectives, qualitative methods of data collection have been employed. Hence, data were collected from in-depth interview with eighteen female refugees and five male refugees, focus group discussion with male and female refugees, key informant interviews with concerned bodies as well as document analysis and personal observation were used. The study has found that female refugees in the camp were exposed to sexual violence, physical violence and socio-economic violence including; attempt rape, physical injuries, rape, discrimination and stigmatization, gang rape, and denial of access to services. The study also disclosed that male refugees and intimate partners of female refugees were the prime gender based violence perpetrators of female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp. Moreover, the study revealed that forced idleness, economic dependency, physical insecurity, lack of awareness, collapse of social and family structure as well as poor reporting, coordination and legal enforcement mechanisms were identified as causes/risk factors for gender based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp. Moreover, men’s feeling of ‘loss of power’ in the camp, which challenges male’s identity as superior to female, led male refugees to anger and makes female refugees vulnerable to different forms of gender based violence. Consequently, because of gender based violence, female refugees in the camp have short and long lasting damaging consequence on their life in terms of health, physical and psycho-social.

Key words: Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Physical Violence, Socio-economic Violence, Victims, Perpetrator and Mai Ayni Refugee Camp.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1. Introduction

Recently, gender based violence has become a major concern and a serious problem throughout the world.[1] International human rights instruments recognized gender based violence as a violation of human rights. Accordingly, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women defines gender-based violence as, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.[2]

On the other hand, people have been forced to escape their home and seek protection since the ancient times. In medieval times, in some parts of the world, history recorded that whole population sometimes was forced to flee and seek protection.[3] Today, a number of people are displaced, refugees or seeking asylum. From an estimated 1 million refugees in 1951 when the convention[4] dealing with refugees was adopted, in 2011 the numbers of refugees reached over 15 million people within the concern of the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (Hereinafter, referred to as, UNHCR).[5] Thus, refugees are undoubtedly an issue of global concern.

Consequently, according to the report of UNHCR, Sub-Saharan Africa is hosting one quarter of all refugees and hence, the trend of refugee number had been increasing due to crisis in different parts of the world including in East Africa.[6] Indeed, Ethiopia is now hosting some 370,000 refugees.[7] There are 86,660 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia.[8] Mai Ayni is one of the refugee camps in Ethiopia with 15,354 Eritrean refugees, of which 5,014 are Female refugees and the ethnic composition also show 92.7% of the entire refugees are from Tigrigna.[9]

From the other dimension, gender based violence which constitutes violation of human rights, is a global concern crossing cultural and socio-economic lines. For instance, in Kenya 43% of 15-49 year old women reported having experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime.[10] Likewise, between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advancements, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at their workplace.[11] Moreover, between 15% of women in Japan and 71% of women in Ethiopia reported physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[12] Hence, these facts display that gender based violence is a worldwide problem with damaging effects and it takes place in all segments of society throughout the world.

Even worst, gender based violence is more problematic in displaced settings. Such settings have the highest victim numbers as women are often targeted for gender based violence and hence, they are the most vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and abuse simply by virtue of their gender and status in society.[13] For instance, more than 250 cases of rape in several camps were reported in the first 150 days after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.[14] Besides, a study shows that females are less likely than males to have access to even the most fundamental rights in refugee settings.[15] Likewise, camp situations expose female refugees to high levels of gender based violence and human rights abuse because of poor security within or around the camps.[16] The capacity to live free from fear is often especially violated for female refugees.[17]

Hence, taking in to account the above facts and seriousness of the issue, it is demanding and valuable to examine the prevalence of gender based violence, the causes linked with it and its consequences in Mai Ayni refugee camp.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Gender based violence is one of the most humiliating and damaging human rights violence outstretched over borders and cultures. It is the most common problem among females in refugee camps and it is a multifarious problem that cannot be ascribed to single cause but to a various set of dynamics.[18]

Thus, gender based violence in refugee camps is an acknowledged human rights abuse and is a violation of various international human rights instruments that place responsibility on host governments and other players to protect the human rights of female refugees. However, according to Mary Jennings and Sherry McLean, gender based violence is seen as a complex and sensitive issue to engage with, is covered in silence, and coupled with the almost certain knowledge of impunity, have all led to inaction.[19]

Besides, Ganeshpanchan argued that gender based violence in refugee camps deserves attention and research regardless of the context for the reason that when a refugee uproots her family to flee persecution, her entire frame of reference is changed and the social structure that she knew turns out to be only a thing of the past.[20] Changes in access to services, community support, resources, and security also diminish the capacity of female refugees to feel empowered.[21] These makes female refugee more susceptible to gender based violence.

Researches also display that female refugees are susceptible to gender based violence and they are more frequently at risk to be exposed to different types of gender based violence than other females. For instance, a research carried out by UNHCR indicates that a global analysis of 2004 camp data shows that only from 62 camps, 37900 cases of gender based violence has been reported to UNHCR.[22] Moreover, according to UN, gender based violence is worst in refugee camps since female refugees are usually raped and abused by military and immigration personnel, bandit groups, male refugees and rival ethnic groups and they are also forced into prostitution.[23] Thus, gender based violence against female refugee is one of the main problems in refugee camps.

Likewise, in Ethiopia different reports show the vulnerability of female refugees to different forms of gender based violence. A report by Columbia University’s Program on Forced Migration and International Rescue Committee ( Hereinafter referred to as, IRC) in two Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia indicated that only in 18 months 40% of female refugees had experienced one act of physical violence and 20% of female refugees had been raped.[24]

Moreover, a report by International Medical Crop ascertained that female refugees in Ethiopia are victims of different forms of gender based violence. According to this report, female Somali refugees were victims of sexual, physical and intimate partner violence.[25] Besides, the report also proved that rape cases are commonly addressed by traditional clan leaders who negotiate compensation between the perpetrator’s and survivor’s family without consideration for the survivor’s wishes.[26]

Apart from the above reports of NGOs and other reports, the existing literatures in Ethiopia mainly describes the prevalence and characteristics of violence against Ethiopian women; primarily gender based violence against female students, domestic workers, child and domestic violence with limited emphasis given to females in refugee camps.[27] On the other hand, some existing study by various concerned bodies show that refugees in Ethiopia face different problems including lack of adequate clean water, food, shelter, and freedom of movement.[28] Yet, these researches mainly focused on general problems of refugees not specifically on gender based violence against female refugees.

Moreover, an academic research attempt was observed mainly touching the issue of women’s situation in refugee settings.[29] Nonetheless, the emphasis is still not particularly on gender based violence against female refugees, but rather on the general conditions of women under refugee settings in general with no particular reference to camps. In line with this, the research approaches focused largely on assessing the problem of female refugees and hence, it lacks an approach of examining gender based violence in line with international human rights instruments.

Hence, though female refugees are among the most vulnerable groups to be exposed to diverse forms of gender based violence, the nature and dynamics of gender based violence against female refugees in Ethiopia appeared to be least understood. Similarly, at present, there is no clear information about gender based violence in the study area.

Thus, in order to fill the research gaps discussed above, the study examined the prevalence of gender based violence, causes associated with it and the consequences of gender based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

1.3.1. General Objective

The general objective of this study is to examine gender-based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp.

1.3.2. Specific Objectives

More specifically, the objectives of the research are:

1. To examine the prevalence of gender-based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp.
2. To identify the causes/risk factors for gender based-violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp.
3. To scrutinize the consequences of gender-based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp.

1.4. Research Questions

Therefore, based on gaps stated on the statement of the problem, the researcher attempts to address the following questions:

1. What does the prevalence of gender-based violence against female refugees like in Mai Ayni refugee camp?
2.
3. What are the consequences of gender-based violence against female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp?

1.5. Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will serve for the following major practical significances:

- The findings acquired from the analysis provide an insight on gender based violence against female refugees, the enforcement of human rights in the camp and the general situation of female refugees in the camp. And, this could be used as an input by different concerned bodies including, but not limited to, Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (Hereinafter referred to as, ARRA) UNHCR, IRC, NGOs and the local government in the area so as to undertake a further comprehensive and in-depth study. Also, it can be used for designing appropriate mechanisms and monitoring systems to address gender based violence and for the protection of human rights of refugees in the camp.
- The study selected female refugees as a main target group to share their experience of gender based violence in the camp, which in turn provides useful information about prevalence and causes/risk factors of gender based violence against female refugees. This fills a gap in research regarding gender based violence against female refugees, which is not satisfactorily assessed unlike gender based violence against Ethiopian women who are out refugee settings. Thus, it will broaden understanding and provide better information about gender based violence against female refugees.
- The study revealed that female refugees in Mai Ayni refugee camp encountered double problems. Firstly, they are refugees who faced different problems and challenges during journey to Ethiopia. Secondly, they are victims of gender based violence within the camp. Accordingly, it will elucidate the seriousness of the problem to all stakeholders particularly ARRA, UNHCR, and IRC in order to take all appropriate measures to alleviate the stated problem.
- Finally, it may stimulate prospective researchers to conduct further research on this area and to address those areas that remain untouched or inadequately treat.

1.6. Scope of the Study

Even though assessing gender based violence against female refugees in all refugee camps found in Ethiopia could have been significant, the scope of this study is geographically limited to Mai Ayni refugee camp so as to make the study manageable. On the other hand, the paper examined only sexual, physical and socio-economic violence though there are two additional forms, namely; Psychological violence and Harmful traditional practices.[30]

In addition, female refugees may become victim of gender based violence in different stages; prior to flight, during flight, in the country of asylum (camp), during reparation and during reintegration.[31] However, in order to make the study manageable and consistent with the responsibility of concerned bodies, the study examined gender based violence which only occurred in Mai Ayni refugee camp i.e. in the country of asylum.

1.7. Organization of the Paper

The study contains a total of five chapters. Chapter one present; the introduction part, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research question, significances of the study, scope of the study and operational definition of related terms. Chapter two present review of related literature, which served as a basis for understanding the subject matter. Chapter three presents methodological part that helps to guide the study. Chapter four deals with findings and analysis of the data obtained from the selected respondents and second hand materials. The last chapter provides concise conclusion along with possible recommendation. Finally, list of reference materials used for conducting the study, sample of interview guide, interview guide for FGD and list of informants are annexed at the end of the paper.

1.8. Operational Definitions of Related Terms

- Gender-based violence: is any harm that is perpetrated against females’ will; that has a negative impact on the physical, psychological, health, development, and identity of the female; and that is the result of gendered power inequities that exploit distinctions between males and females.[32]
- Sexual violence: is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against female using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes but not limited to: rape, anal rape, attempted rape, inappropriate touching, forced prostitution, gang rape and sexual harassment.[33]
- Physical Violence: includes but not limited to: beating, punching, kicking, biting, burning, maiming or killing, with or without weapons; often used in combination with other forms of gender-based violence.[34]
- Scio-economic Violence: is characterized by discriminatory access to basic health caress and education, inadequate shelter food, economic deprivation, social exclusion, obstructive legal practices, such as denial of the exercise and enjoyment of civil, social, economic, cultural and political rights to female, and acts that involve denial of opportunities or services on the basis of gender.[35]
- Perpetrator: is a person, group, or institution that directly inflicts, supports and condones violence or other abuse against female refugees.
- Victims: refers to female refugees who have suffered gender-based violence.
- Mai Ayni Refugee Camp: this refugee camp found in the North-West of the Tigray Regional State with more than fifteen thousand Eritrean refugees.

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1. Conceptualizing Gender- Based Violence

There is no one commonly agreed universal definition of gender-based violence; understandings differ according to country, community and legal context.[36] Violence against women is a term often used synonymously with gender-based violence. Nevertheless, the term does not make it clear whether or not the violence is derived from unequal power relationships between female and male in society.[37] Hence, the adjective “gender-based” is repeatedly used to highlight the role that females’ subordinate status in society plays in increasing the risk that they will be impacted by violence. Thus, the intention of the term is in order to stress that violence against female is a phenomenon that is connected to the gender of both victim and perpetrator.[38]

Moreover, there is a tendency of extending this definition to all kinds of violence that are linked to social expectations and social positions based on gender.[39] Accordingly, research in the area provides compelling evidence that violence against women is caused by gender inequities and is both accepted and sometimes even tolerated by laws, institutions and community norms that discriminate the female.[40] Thus, gender-based violence is a term that gradually encompasses all acts of violence rooted in some form of gender inequalities, and with the purpose of preserving social power.[41]

Legally, gender-based violence was defined by the U.N. Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1992) as:

a violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or violence that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty.[42]

Moreover, the 1993 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (Hereinafter referred to as, DEVAW) defined gender based violence as:

any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life[43]

Furthermore, Article 2 of DEVAW further specifies that violence against women should include different types of violence.[44] Hence, it was referred as “gender-based” to focus the links between violence against women and women’s subordinate status. Besides, the definition was expanded in 1995 by the Fourth World Conference on Women in its Beijing Platform for Action, which added that such violence includes forced sterilization and forced abortion, coercive or forced contraceptive use, female infanticide and prenatal sex selection and women’s human rights violations in situations of armed conflict particularly murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery and forced pregnancy.[45] Also, another form of gender-based violence i.e. economic exploitation was recognized by the Commission on Human Rights in its Resolution 2003/45 on “Elimination of Violence against Women”.[46]

2.1.1. Forms of Gender-Based Violence

Based on different international human rights instruments, UNHCR developed five forms of gender based violence; Sexual violence, Physical violence, Emotional and Psychological violence, Harmful traditional practices and Socio-economic violence.[47] In line with this, based on the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, countries which ratified the convention, including Ethiopia, have the duty to collaborate with UNHCR which is the responsible organ of UN for refugee protection.[48]

Sexual violence is one of the forms of gender based violence with a devastating impact on victims. It is also a human rights and public health issue that exceeds borders and incurs a devastating global human cost.[49] According to WHO, sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using force by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting.[50]

Moreover, the UNHCR guideline on sexual and gender based violence against refugees explored various forms of sexual violence; included are rape, marital rape, child sexual abuse, defilement and incest, sexual abuse (inappropriate touching), sexual exploitation, forced prostitution, sexual harassment and sexual violence as a weapon of war.[51]

The other form of gender based violence is socio-economic violence which includes firstly, discrimination and/or denial of opportunities, services; secondly, social exclusion/ ostracism based on sexual orientation; and thirdly, obstructive legislative practice.[52] Accordingly, this type of gender based violence is a fundamental cause for other forms of gender based violence.[53]

The third form of gender based violence is physical violence which can be manifested through beating, punching, kicking, biting, burning, maiming or killing, with or without weapons; often used in combination with other forms of gender-based violence.[54] Moreover, there are worst forms of physical violence such as trafficking, slavery.[55] This form of gender based violence greatly affects females’ health and psychology. According to the 2005 WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women in 10 mainly developing countries, in rural Tanzania 47% of ever-partnered women have ever experienced physical violence by an intimate partner, while 31% have ever experienced sexual violence.[56]

To sum up, gender based violence comprises much more than sexual violence. Although it may occur in public contexts, it is also rooted in individual attitudes that condone violence within the family, the community and the state.[57] Needless to say, the root causes of gender-based violence must be identified before appropriate programmes to prevent and respond to this violence are planned. Thus, the next section explores the causes of gender based violence.

2.2. Causes of Gender- Based Violence

Gender based violence is a global issue, which spans all social classes and age groups. One of the fundamental causes is the power gap between male and female and the way females are underprivileged in main areas.[58] In this regard, while gender-based violence may be aggravated by particular social structures, value systems and traditions, it is rooted primarily in unequal power relations.[59]

Thus, females’ lack of social and economic power, accepted gender roles and the low value put on female’s work are the reasons to perpetuate and reinforce their subordinate position.[60] In this regard, Jewkes argued that gender-based violence has its roots in gender inequality. “Gender-based violence is the violence involving men and women, in which the female is usually the survivor and which arises from the unequal power relationships between male and female.”[61]

A study conducted in different African countries show that violence, exploitation and abuse prevail when the inequality of power is misused to the disadvantage of those people who cannot negotiate or make decisions.[62] Thus, the abuses of power and gender inequality are the underlying causes for different types of gender based violence. Consequently, power inequality is primarily manifested by:

economic inequalities, at all levels (individual, household, community and society); they are evident in levels of utilization of household resources; and in access to and control over productive resources, personal property, employment, wages and credits etc. inequalities in economic sphere not only diminish women’s economic independence and condense their capacity to act and take decisions, but also increase their vulnerability to gender-based violence.[63]

Moreover, according to Fleishman, a self-perpetuating cycle of poverty makes females in the conditions of economic dependency to enter into risky and exploitative relationships in order to ensure access to basic necessities.[64] Thus, while absence of economic dependency does not necessarily defend female from violence, access to economic resources can enhance women’s capacity to make meaningful choices, including evading from violent situations and having alternative mechanisms to protect from any form of gender based violence.[65]

Furthermore, another cause of gender based violence is discriminatory cultural norms. While some cultural norms and practices do empower and protect females’ rights, in contrary to this, some traditions, customs and religious values are often used to justify or even encourage gender-based violence against female. Moreover, traditional gender norms that support male superiority and entitlement, social norms that tolerate or justify violence against women, and weak community sanctions against perpetrators identified as risk factors for gender based violence.[66]

Additionally, patriarchal ideology sometimes intertwined with other systems of subordination and exclusion and its expressions influenced by factors such as economic status, ethnicity, class, age, and religion is the cause of gender based violence.[67] Hence, gender-based violence is more likely to occur in societies with rigid and traditional gender roles. “In societies where the ideology of male superiority is strong emphasizing dominance, physical strength and male honor gender based violence is more common” .[68]

Besides, study conducted in different countries show that lack of access to education, information and services increases the vulnerability of females to various forms of violence.[69] Thus, illiterate people are less likely to have information about gender based violence, about available social benefits, and their rights, including procedures to access the social, health and legal services in times of gender based violence incidents.[70] However, having a good educational status by itself is not always an assurance to evade gender based violence. For instance, a South African and Zimbabwean study illustrated that correlation between higher level of female education and increased vulnerability to sexual violence.[71] This is because female empowerment is accompanied by a resistance to any kind of gender based violence, which in turn aggravates men to violence in an attempt to regain control. Yet, female empowerment converses high risk of gender based violence only up to a certain level, after which it confers safeguard.[72]

In summary then, some community and societal-level risk factors are associated with higher or more severe rates of gender based violence. The WHO identifies the following as causes and risk factors of gender based violence; traditional gender norms that support male superiority and entitlement, social norms that tolerate or justify violence against women, weak community sanctions against perpetrators, harmful use of alcohol, weak legal sanctions, drug, poverty, and high levels of crime and conflict in society.[73]

2.3. Consequences of Gender- Based Violence

Gender-based violence has devastating consequences for victims, their families and the broader community. The consequences of different forms of gender based violence include; health consequences, psychological consequences, and socio-economic consequences.

Gender based violence impairs the health of females and its effects are numerous and severe ranging from fatal outcomes such as homicide, suicide and AIDS-related deaths to non-fatal outcomes such as chronic pain syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders and sexually transmitted infections.[74] Particularly, victims of sexual violence are exposed to infections of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (hereinafter referred as, STD) including HIV/AIDS.[75] Thus, the experience of sexual violence affects the possibility of infection by HIV and other STD when it hinders female’s ability to negotiate condom use.[76]

Therefore, gender-based violence has serious effects that put the health of victims under risk. In addition, the physical effects of gender based violence contain malnutrition, gynecological problems and unwanted pregnancies.[77] Attempts at abortion following an unwanted pregnancy from rape also have severe medical complications.[78]

Apart from the health consequences, gender based violence has serious psychological consequences. The psychological consequences of gender based violence include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, shock, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction.[79] According to one study one-third of all cases of suicide among women and 60 per cent of all female murder victims are linked to gender based violence.[80] Different forms of gender based violence also left deep emotional scars on many of surviving females.[81]

Moreover, a research conducted by Advocate for Human Rights revealed that hopelessness, loss of control, anger, suicide, behavior disorders, and eating disorders are some consequences of gender based violence especially when different forms of gender based violence go undiagnosed and untreated.[82] Furthermore, fear of additional gender based violence also keeps women from going about their normal activities such as attending school, engaging in the market, or participating in politics.[83]

Furthermore, gender based violence have negative consequences not only on the health and psychology of victims but also on the social and economic activities of victims, the community and the state in general. From social impact perspective, in some societies it is difficult for a female who has been subjected to gender based violence to find a partner for marriage.[84] Most societies tend to blame the victim and hence, this social rejection results in further emotional damage like shame, self-hate and depression.[85] Additionally, unwanted pregnancies from rape also lead to further stigmatization by the community, as well as economic and emotional effects for mothers.[86]

Thus, gender based violence causes immeasurable social and psychological damage. Similarly, the costs to society are extensive. Gender based violence poses notable costs for the economies of countries including lower worker output and incomes, lower rates of accumulation of human and social capital, and the generation of other forms of violence.[87] For instance, the cost of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceeds $5.8 billion per year; $4.1 billion is for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.[88] Besides, studies in individual countries show a high correlation between preventing gender based violence and achieving sustainable poverty reduction:

Gender-based violence produces direct costs to individuals, families and to society. In particular, it is important to recognize the high cost of providing medical and legal care to victims, as well as the negative impact of violence on labour productivity. In addition, society also has to spend significant resources on prosecuting offenders.[89]

Likewise, one study displayed that, in New Zealand, the national spending on measures in connection with different forms gender based violence against women (protective measures, loss of income medical care, criminal justice, courts, prisons, etc.) is high and it is equivalent to the income grossed from the country’s single most important export product i.e. wool.[90] Similarly, in Canada, a nationwide study demonstrated that 30% of abused women give up work completely and 50% are temporarily unfit for work and hence, the costs amount to 1.6 billion dollars a year including medical care and productivity loss.[91]

2.4. Gender-Based Violence and Female Refugees

The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to the convention are the contemporary legal embodiment of the ancient and universal tradition of providing legal protection to those at risk and in danger. Both instruments reflect a fundamental human values on which global consensus exists and are the first instruments at the global level which specifically regulate the treatment of those who are compelled to leave their home.[92] Subsequently, according to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is someone:

who has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her Race, Religion, Nationality, Membership in a particular social group, or Political opinion; is outside his/her country of origin; and is unable or unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.[93]

Moreover, the Organization of African Unity (Hereinafter referred to as, OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, a regional treaty adopted in 1969, added to the definition of the 1951 Convention to include a more objectively based consideration:

every person who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country, or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.[94]

Hence, the existence of the class of refugees in international and regional law not only entails legal consequences for state, but also the entitlement and responsibility to exercise protection on behalf of refugees. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees is the agency presently entrusted with this function as the representative of the international community.[95]

Concerning female refugees, though all refugees are vulnerable who need protection from a host state, female refugees are more vulnerable group and hence, the Beijing Platform for Action identified female refugees as particularly vulnerable to gender based violence:

Those belonging to minority groups, indigenous women, refugee women, women migrants including women migrant workers, women in poverty living in rural or remote communities, destitute women, women in institutions or in detention, female children, women with disabilities, elderly women, displaced women, repatriated women, women living in poverty and women in situations of armed conflict, foreign occupation, wars of aggression, civil wars, [and] terrorism including hostage taking.[96]

Thus, due to different reasons, female refugees are the most vulnerable group in any community. The discriminations and challenges that female refugees encounter start in refugee determination status systems. Refugee status determinations tend to emphasize public and political activities which are traditionally associated with men.[97] Furthermore, despite the fact that female refugees are the majority, often they have more difficulties than males to obtain their entitlements in camp settings.[98] Hence, vulnerability increases when female refugees are forced to live in camp settings. According to UNHCR, the vulnerability of women and children in these settings is particularly acute as they comprise 80 percent of refugees and displaced populations worldwide.[99]

On the other hand, States have the legal duty for protecting female refugees. Those states which excessively host refugees depend upon the support of other states. UNHCR and NGOs are also dependent on donors.[100] Accordingly, such uncertainties and limitations may force female refugees to resort to coping strategies that reduce their vulnerability to gender based violence.[101] Thus, due to the absence of material and social resources, female refugees are often severely restricted in their opportunities to develop sustainable livelihoods as well as social and individual integrity:

They sometimes become marginalized when remaining confined to refugee camps, lacking fundamental rights, such as freedom of movement, and the right to work. In many cases, camp situations expose refugees to high levels of violence and human rights abuse because of poor security within or around the camps. The capacity to live free from fear is often especially violated for women refugees.[102]

[...]


[1] Heise, L. Ellsberg, M, Gottmoller. 2002. A Global Overview of Gender Based Violence: International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 78 Suppl. 1, S5–S14, pp.1-10.

[2] See, Article 1 of UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/ RES/48/104) New York, 20 December, 1993.

[3] Richard Pirre, et al. 2006. Human Rights in the World Community Issues and Action: Third edition, University of Pennsylvania, p.137.

[4] See, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, 189 UNTS 137 (Herein after referred to as, CSR)

[5] UNHCR. 2012. Global Trends, a Year of Crisis: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, Switzerland, p.2.

[6] Ibid, p.2.

[7] UNHCR. 2013 . UNHCR Country Operations Profile: Ethiopia: Accessed from: http://www.unhcr.org, on January, 29, 2013.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs. 2012. Eritrean Refugees, Mai Ayni Camp Population Update: Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs, p.3.

[10] Population Council. 2008. Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Africa: Literature Review: Population Council, Nairobi, Kenya p.7.

[11] UNIFEM. 2007. Fact Sheet Violence against Women Worldwide: United Nations Development Fund for Women, New York, USA, p.2.

[12] WHO. 2012. Violence against Women: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence against Women: Accessed from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/, January 12, 2013.

[13] Katrina Roth. 2005. Gender-Based Violence Legal Aid: A participatory toolkit ARC International GBV in Conflict-Affected Settings: United States of America, pp.6-10.

[14] Amnesty International. 2011. After shocks: Women Speak out against Sexual Violence in Haiti’s Camps: Amnesty International: Accessed from: http://www.amnesty.org, January 13, 2013.

[15] Bart de Bruijn. 2009. Living Conditions and Well-being of Refugee: United Nations Development Programme Human Development Research paper, p.14.

[16] Ibid, p.11.

[17] Ibid, p.11.

[18] Rashida Manjoo, Calleigh McRaith. 2010. Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Area: Cornell Law School and the Cornell International Law Journal, pp.14-18.

[19] Mary Jennings, Sherry Mc.Lean. 2005. Gender Based Violence Study: Consortium of Irish Human Rights, Humanitarian and Development Agencies & Development Cooperation Ireland, pp.6-9.

[20] Ganeshpanchan, Zinthiya. 2005. Domestic and Gender Based Violence among Refugees and Internally Displaced Women: Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, p.4.

[21] Ibid, p.4.

[22] See, Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Program. 2005. Report on the High Commissioner’s Five Commitments to Refugee Women. EC/55/SC/CRP.17, p.5

[23] See, United Nations Department of Public Information United: Women and Violence: Violence against Refugee and Displaced Women: Accessed from: http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1772e.htm, January, 2013.

[24] Angela Parcesepe, et al. 2008. Using the Neighborhood Method to Measure Violence and Rape in Ethiopia: Columbia University’s Program on Forced Migration and Health, Columbia University, Mialman School of Public Health, p.3.

[25] International Medical Corps. 2011. Gender-Based Violence Assessment in Somali Refugee Camps-Dolo Ado, Ethiopia, International Medical Corps, pp.2-4.

[26] Ibid, p.2.

[27] 1. Melak Mengistab. 2012. Gender Based Violence against Female Students in Higher Institutions of Ethiopia: MA Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa. 2. Selamawit Tesfaye. 2007. Denial of rights, Human Rights Abuses and Violence against Domestic Workers in Some Selected Areas of Addis Ababa: MA Thesis, Addis Ababa University. 3. Elizabeth Amade. 2008. Sexual Abuse of Visually Impaired Female Students in Sebeta School for the Blind, Oromia Region: MA Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa. 4 Yilma Hirpa. 2007. Sexual Abuse among Female Street Children, the Case of Lideta Sub City, Addis Ababa: MA Thesis, Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa University.

[28] Women’s Refugee Commission. 2012 . In Search of Safety and Solutions: Somali Refugee Adolescent Girls at Sheder and Aw Barre Camps, Ethiopia: Women’s Refugee Commission, pp.1-9.

[29] Seble Daniel. 2008. Being a Refugee, Case Studies of Somali Refugee Women in Addis Ababa: MA Thesis, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa.

[30] UNHCR. 2003. Guidelines for Prevention and Response: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , p.18 .

[31] Ibid. p.19.

[32] Jeanne Ward. 2002. If Not Now, When? : Addressing Gender-based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced, and Post-conflict Settings a Global Overview: The Reproductive Health for Refugees Consortium, p.8.

[33] UNHCR. Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees …, supra, footnote 27, p.16.

[34] Ibid, p.17 .

[35] Johnson, Tina. 2006. Gender Based Violence: Journal of Common Wealth and Judge Association, Vol.15, No.3, pp. 22-30.

[36] Baker, L. 2007. Gender-based Violence Case Definitions: Towards Clarity in Incident Classification: International Research Committee, circulated paper, p.1.

[37] Heise, Lori, Mary Ellsberg et al. 1999. Ending Violence against Women: Population Reports, Volume XXVII, Number 4, Series L, No.11, the Population Information Program, Center for Communication Programs the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Maryland, USA, p.2.

[38] Dennis.V, Karolina. et al. (ed.). 2007. Gender Matters: Manual on Gender-Based Violence Affecting Young People: Council of Europe, Budapest, Hungary, p.43.

[39] Ibid, p. 43.

[40] Ellsberg, Mary et al. 1999. Domestic Violence and Emotional Distress among Nicaraguan Women: Results from a Population-Based Study: American Psychologist, pp.30-36.

[41] Dennis.V, Karolina. V et al. Gender Matters: …, supra, footnote 38, p.43.

[42] See, U.N. Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1992) (General Recommendation No. 19), paragraph 6.

[43] See, Art.1 of UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

[44] See, Art.2 of Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following: ( a ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation; ( b ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution; ( c ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.

[45] See, Paragraph 114-116 of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Fourth World Conference on Women Beijing, China 4-15 September 1995.

[46] See, paragraph 4 of the Commission on Human Rights Resolution 2003/45 on Elimination of Violence against Women, in which it added that ‘Economic Exploitation’ as one form of gender based violence.

[47] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra, footnote 30, p.17.

[48] See, Art. 35 (1) of CSR which stated that “Cooperation of the national authorities with the United Nations” reads: “The Contracting States undertake to co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or any other agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, in the exercise of its functions, and shall in particular facilitate its duty of supervising the application of the provisions of this Convention.”

[49] National Sexual Violence Resource Center. 2004. Global Perspectives on Sexual Violence: Findings from the World Report on Violence and Health: National Sexual Violence Resource Center, p.15.

[50] WHO. 2012. Fact sheets: Violence against Women Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence against Women: Accessed: from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/, December, 2012.WHO, Fact sheet N°23.

[51] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra, footnote 30, p.17.

[52] Ibid, p.18.

[53] Dennis V. Gender Matters, a Manual on…, supra, footnote 38, p.57.

[54] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra, footnote 30, p.17.

[55] Ibid, p.17.

[56] WHO. 2005. Multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women: Executive Summary of Initial Results on Prevalence, Health Outcomes and Women’s Responses: WHO, Geneva, p.14.

[57] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra, footnote 30, p.19.

[58] Technische Zusammenarbiet. 2003. Ending Violence against Women and Girls Reduction and prevention of gender-based violence as a contribution to the protection of human rights and to development: GTZ, Germany, p.15.

[59] Kimberly Gibbons, Tina Johnson. 2003. Integrated Approaches to Eliminating Gender-based Violence: Gender Management System Series, Commonwealth Secretariat Marlborough House Pall Mall, London, United Kingdom, p.6.

[60] Ibid, p.6 .

[61] Jewkes R. 2002. Violence against Women III: Intimate Partner Violence, Causes and Prevention: Gender and Health Group, Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa, p. 359.

[62] FAO. 2010. Gender-Based Violence and Livelihood Interventions: Focus on populations of Humanitarian Concern in the Context of HIV and AIDS Guidance note, FAO field studies in Kenya and Uganda: FAO, Rome, p.13.

[63] Ibid, p.14.

[64] Fleishman, J. 2003. Fatal Vulnerabilities: Reducing the Acute Risk of HIV/Aids among Women and Girls: Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C, USA, p.14.

[65] UNGA. 2006. In-depth study on all forms of violence against women: Report of the Secretary-General, UN doc., A/61/122/Add, p.32.

[66] Krug EG et al. (ed.). 2002. World report on violence and health: World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, pp.31-34.

[67] UNGA. In-depth Study on All Forms of …, supra footnote 65, p.28.

[68] Krug EG et al. World Report on Violence and Health …, supra, footnote 66, p.156.

[69] WHO. Multi-Country Study …, supra, footnote 56, p.9.

[70] Ibid, p.9.

[71] Krug EG (ed.). World Report on Violence and Health …, supra footnote 66.

[72] Jewkes, R. Violence against Women III …, supra footnote 61, pp.1423-1429.

[73] Krug EG. World Report on Violence and Health …, supra footnote 66.

[74] Heise, Lori, Mary Ellsberg, et al. Ending Violence against Women..., supra footnote 37, pp.13-36.

[75] Reynolds, M.W., Peipert, J.F., Collins, B. 2000. Epidemiologic Issues of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Sexual Assault Victims: Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, pp.54-57.

[76] Alessandra Guedes. 2004. Addressing gender Based Violence from the Reproductive Health Sector: A Literature Review and Analysis: USAID, Washington Dc., USA, p.1.

[77] United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Integrated Regional Information Networks. 2005. Broken Bodies, Broken Dreams: Violence against Women Exposed: OCHA, IRIN, p.186.

[78] Ibid p.186.

[79] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra footnote 30, p.23.

[80] GTZ. Ending Violence against Women and Girls..., supra footnote 58, p.15.

[81] Donovan, Paula. 2002. Rape and HIV/AIDS in Rwanda: the Lancet Supplement Vol. 360, pp.17-18.

[82] The Advocates for Human Rights. 2009. A House with Two Rooms: Final Report of the Liberian Truth &

Reconciliation Commission Diaspora Project: The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, USA, p.18.

[83] Rashida Manjoo. Gender-Based Violence and Justice in …, supra footnote 18, pp.14-18.

[84] Ibid, p.17.

[85] UNHCR. Guidelines for Prevention and Response …, supra footnote 30, p.24.

[86] Rashida Manjoo. Gender-Based Violence and Justice …, supra footnote 18, p.15.

[87] Andrew Morrison, Mary Ellsberg, et al. 2005. Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Latin American and Caribbean Region: A Critical Review of Interventions: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3438, p.11.

[88] See, United Nations Secretary General Campaign to End Violence against Women. 2009. Violence against women: UN Department of Public Information, DPI/2546A, p.2.

[89] Susan Ramsay (ed.). 2005. Strengthening Women’s Rights: Ending Violence against Women and Girls–Protecting Human Rights: GTZ, Germany, p.26. According to this study victim of gender-based violence also spend less time working or tend to have been less productive and hence, these women are often unable to support their families economically. For instance, a study in Managua (Nicaragua) concluded that abused women earn over 40% less than women who have no experience of violence. The study also found that 16% of a representative survey on domestic violence in Cambodia reported they had lost income as a result of domestic violence.

[90] GTZ. Ending Violence against Women and Girls..., supra footnote 58, p.16.

[91] Ibid, p.16.

[92] Erika Feler, Frances Nicholas. 2003. Refugee Protection in International Law: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, p. 3.

[93] See, Art.1 of CSR.

[94] See, Art.1 (1) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (Adopted on 10 September 1969 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. CAB/LEG/24.3. It entered into force on 20 June 1974.). Moreover, Art.1 (2) of the convention stated that the term “refugee” shall also apply to : “ any person compelled to leave his/her country owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order in either part or the whole of his country of origin or nationality”.

[95] See, Art. 35 (1), of CSR.

[96] See, Paragraph 116 of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China 4-15 September 1995.

[97] Marie Vlachoud, Lea Biason (ed.) 2005. Women in an Insecure World: Violence against Women Fact, Figure and Analysis: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, Geneva, Switzerland, p.16.

[98] UNHCR. 2002. Sexual Violence and Exploitation: The Experience of Refugee Children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone: UNHCR, Note for Implementing and Operational Partners by UNHCR and Save the Children United Kingdom, pp.3-19.

[99] Ibid, pp.18.

[100] Marie Vlachoud, Lea Biason. Women in an Insecure World..., supra footnote 97, pp.4-21.

[101] Ibid, pp.4-21.

[102] Bart de Bruijn. Living Conditions and Well-being of Refugee …, supra footnote 15, p.16.

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Details

Title
Gender-Based Violence against Female Refugees in Refugee Camps
Subtitle
In Case of Mai Ayni Refugee Camp, Northern Ethiopia
College
Addis Ababa University  (Center For Human Rights)
Course
Human Rights
Grade
Excellent
Author
Year
2013
Pages
116
Catalog Number
V212288
ISBN (eBook)
9783656400400
ISBN (Book)
9783656401117
File size
1118 KB
Language
English
Notes
I am working at Mekelle University in College of Law and Governance as a Lecturer, teaching courses like human rights, development theories, gender and human rights etc. Academic: Master of Arts in Human Rights from Addis Ababa University College of Law and Governance.
Tags
gender-based, violence, female, refugees, refugee, camps, case, ayni, camp, northern, ethiopia, Thema Flüchtlinge
Quote paper
Yonas Gebreiyosus (Author), 2013, Gender-Based Violence against Female Refugees in Refugee Camps, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/212288

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