Women and VAW
'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.'
Virtually every culture in the world contains forms of violence against women that are nearly invisible because they are seen as 'normal'.
Even in countries where laws criminalise violence against women, tolerance of violence may be found at all levels of society.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur:
'The greatest challenge to women's rights and the elimination of discriminatory laws and harmful practices comes from the doctrine of cultural relativism' and can only be addressed with the active involvement of the people most affected. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms... "
This violence against women includes, but is not limited, to:
Violence in the family
Violence in the community
Gender-based violence perpetrated or condoned by the state
In any of these categories, violence may be physical, psychological, and sexual and can involve deprivation, acts of violence or harassment - or a combination of either.
Which Human Rights violations occur in your country and your region?
Does your country have legislation (law) that protects the rights of women? Is it enforceable and effective?
What resources are available to your country?
What are your priorities?
What new legislation or regional agreements are possible?
The global situation
Country data - The primary source of information for the database is the responses received from Member States to the questionnaire on violence against women, of September 2008, and subsequent updates
Why is combating gender-based violence important?