Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that is a human rights and public health issue as well as a major cause of death and disability. The prevalence of violence transcends boundaries of race, class, culture, social status and religion. UNIFEM estimates that six out of every ten women will experience some form of physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. Violations can occur at home, in the workplace or in public. Of rising concern is the systematic use of rape and sexual assault as weapons of armed conflict, terror and intimidation. One of the most common forms of violence against women is intimate partner violence. There are also variations in the types of violence against women which include but are not limited to: human trafficking, dating violence, sexual assault, emotional and verbal abuse, and customary practices such as female genital mutilation and so-called “honor killings” and other forms of femicide. Re:Gender and its network members are working along with international partners to raise awareness about efforts to reduce and eliminate the scourge of violence.

Critical Issue: Violence Against Women

Gender-based violence is pervasive throughout the world, as both a public health and human rights issue. It “reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims,” according to the UN Population Fund. Ending gender based violence must be a priority on the international human rights agenda. Violence against women and girls was a central theme of our annual conference 2010 (June 11-12 at Hunter College) Strategic Imperatives for Ending Violence against Women: Linkages to Education, Economic Security and Health, co-presented with the U.S. National Committee for UNIFEM. Click here for details. Get the latest facts, figures, and policy perspectives on our Big Five program page.

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  • November 7, 2010

     UN: A United Nations investigation is taking place, following up on reports of countless numbers of rapes when people were expelled from Angola and forced to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

  • November 5, 2010

    New York Times: Over 600 women were raped in September and October along the Congo/Angola border.  United Nations officials mistakenly gave an earlier count of 30 women.  The women were raped during an expulsion of immigrants from Angola....

  • October 28, 2010

    Colorlines: This month, President Obama launched a new set of initiatives for domestic violence survivors, while Colorlines editors remind us that the economy and intimate partner violence are intrinsically related, as domestic violence cases have...

  • October 21, 2010

    WeNews: Human rights groups in India have called for the end of the so-called "two-finger" rape test, citing that the test is physically invasive and uses a victim's previous sexual experience against her.

  • October 20, 2010

    WeNews: Rape in the Congo is increasingly being used as a weapon of war. In response, the U.N. is launching a new sexual violence training program for peacekeepers in order to prevent future attacks.