The United Nations defines violence against women and girls (VAWG) 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” (General Assembly Resolution 48/104 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993).
Violence against women and girls includes:
- Domestic violence and abuse,
- sexual violence,
- forced marriage,
- so called ‘honour based abuse”
- sexual exploitation
- female genital mutilation
Why is this a priority?
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is human rights violation, and is rooted in gendered social structures rather than individual and random acts.
VAWG impacts women and girls of all ages, from all walks of life, regardless of their level of education, income, where they live or their sexuality. It is a major obstacle to ending gender inequality and discrimination globally.
Men and Boys
Boys and men do experience gender-based violence; they can be
- in an abusive relationship,
- experience domestic violence,
- be sexually harassed,
- bullied because of their sexuality,
- forced to marry,
- be sexually exploited,
- raped or sexually abused,
- socialised to bully, or have negative notions of masculinity.
Regardless of gender, all victims still have to confront many obstacles that may stop them reporting a crime and supporting a prosecution.
Together, boys and girls, women and men must work in partnership to protect women’s and girl’s rights and prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls because in tackling violence against women and girls, we are also tackling similar violence against men and boys.