UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
UNFPA is working to further gender equality and women’s empowerment and to address the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls, especially the effects on women’s sexual and reproductive health.
UNFPA is guided by and promotes the principles of the groundbreaking Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (1994), which includes the commitment that advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the elimination of all kinds of violence against women, and ensuring women’s ability to control their own fertility are cornerstones of population and development-related programmes.
It remains a strategic priority for UNFPA to prevent and respond to VAW in both development and humanitarian settings, as well as eliminating harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage. UNFPA works to address VAW in 135 countries, 43 of these countries are affected by conflict and/or natural disaster, and invested in 2015 alone more than $ 93 million in its work to eliminate GBV and harmful practices in development and humanitarian settings in its six programme regions.
UNFPA’s work on GBV:
Advocacy/Policy: UNFPA works with national and international stakeholders on a concerted basis to address the inadequacies of national legislation and law enforcement on GBV and harmful practices and develop culturally sensitive and rights-based policies and plans on GBV prevention and response, with a strong focus on the health sector.
Capacity Development: In its work to prevent GBV and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage, UNFPA partners with a number of key stakeholder groups to address gender discriminatory social norms in society and seek to transform gender roles and promote more equitable relationships between men and women. UNFPA also develops the capacity of governments and civil society actors in GBV response, including service providers. UNFPA has a particularly important role to play in developing the capacity of health care providers in GBV response, with a main emphasis on sexual and reproductive health services.
Knowledge Management: UNFPA partners with national statistics offices and relevant government ministries to bolster national efforts to collect and manage GBV data. UNFPA also supports academic research and evidence gathering on GBV in its programme countries. In humanitarian contexts, the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) has been created to harmonize data collection on GBV. GBVIMS is an inter-agency partnership between UNFPA, the International Rescue Committee, UNHCR,UNICEF and WHO, under the auspices of the UNFPA co-lead GBV Area of Responsibility. Implemented in 25 humanitarian contexts, the GBVIMS is a first attempt to systematize management of GBV-related data across the humanitarian community.
Service Delivery: UNFPA is uniquely positioned to promote an integrated approach to the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and GBV prevention, protection and response in both development and humanitarian settings. UNFPA also works with partners to strengthen survivors’ access to quality police and justice services and social services, as well as reinforcing the coordination and governance of VAW services – including through the United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, a partnership between UNFPA, UN Women, WHO, UNDP and UNODC.
The Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO, UNDP and UNODC, 2015
Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, UNFPA, 2015
Demographic Perspectives on Female Genital Mutilation, UNFPA, 2015
Girlhood, not Motherhood. Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy, UNFPA, 2015
In 2007, UNFPA developed a draft corporate strategy on gender-based violence to identify priority areas of focus for investing its resources strategically at country, regional and global levels, based on its comparative advantages and experience. The draft strategy also lays out the organization’s capacity development initiatives, resources and partnerships for an effective approach to addressing gender-based violence.Hide
UNFPA’s partnership with UNICEF globally and in 12 country offices in co-chairing and implementing activities under the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme and Trust Fund on Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) and activities under the Trust Fund are ongoing.Hide
UNFPA developed and pilot-tested the Gender Marker system over 2011 in the country offices of Azerbaijan, Burundi, Indonesia and Turkey. The Gender Marker system will allow the Fund to track its investments on gender and will be mandatorily used by all UNFPA country offices from 2013. UNFPA continued to lead the Gender-based Violence cluster coordination efforts to address gender-based violence/violence against women in Haiti, and now in the Philippines and Pakistan in the aftermath of natural disasters.Hide
The UN Gender Theme Group for the Pacific, co-chaired by UN Women and UNFPA, revised its Terms of Reference to include responses to gender-based violence in emergencies, including the development of Surge Capacity for immediate response in humanitarian emergencies, as well as the development of government-NGO Communities of Practice on gender-based to facilitate capacity-building and prepraredness.Hide
VAWG has been recognized as an integral area of UNFPA’s work and its Strategic Plan (2014-2017). UNFPA has also elaborated a GBV strategy in Africa which was launched during the GBV Regional Forum held in Rabat, Morocco, in November 2013 and resulted in the Rabat Declaration on Violence.Hide
UNFPA and WHO jointly hosted a meeting on “Prenatal Sex Selection for Non-Health Reasons” in June 2009 in order to build a common understanding that will lead to the issuance of a joint UN inter-agency statement on the subject.Hide
Together with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States launched the “Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence” in October 2016 in the United Arab Emirates. The View More
Together with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States launched the “Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence” in October 2016 in the United Arab Emirates. The package of services was introduced to the Arab States for the first time as the launch took place on the side of the second “Investing in the Future” conference organized in the UAE by UN Women and the UAE’s “The Big Heart Foundation” under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. The launch was an opportunity to emphasize the importance of coordination among various multi-sectoral responses for women and girls subject to violence and offered the space for over 100 participants from civil society, academia and governmental institutions to exchange experiences about violence against women in the region.Hide
In Kenya, UNFPA advocates for and provides counselling services for rescued girls who escaped from FGM/C or forced marriages to help them to return home without risking their health and well-being. UNFPA is working jointly with UNICEF on the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). UNFPA promotes availability of services to victims of violence, including counselling for affected groups such as young people, pregnant women, the displaced and refugees. This entails strengthening referral networks, infrastructure and local capacity, including shelters, safe houses and legal and psychological services.Hide
In Azerbaijan, IOM is working with Azerbaijan Lawyers Confederation (ALC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs (SCFWCA) to provide staff members of the Domestic Violence View More
In Azerbaijan, IOM is working with Azerbaijan Lawyers Confederation (ALC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affairs (SCFWCA) to provide staff members of the Domestic Violence Support Centre with thorough knowledge, skills and competencies to better assist victims. IOM also sought to empower beneficiaries of the centre by providing direct support, including medical, legal and psychological assistance, temporary housing, when needed, access to childcare and social benefits, as well as skills-building and training in business development. Small grants were awarded to help the participating women initiate businesses of their own. The economic empowerment of women was a key aspect of this project, as helping individuals become economically self-sufficient is one of the most effective ways to address domestic violence, and improve self-esteem and self-confidence of victims. IOM also raised public awareness of the existing problems by producing and disseminating information materials on gender equality, the rights of women and men in families, domestic violence, as well as on services available at the Domestic Violence Support Centre.Hide