The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. ESCAP, with 53 member States and nine associate members, covers a region that is home to 4.1 billion people, constituting two-thirds of the world’s population. ESCAP provides a forum for its member States to engage in policy dialogues, regional cooperation and collective action and assists countries in building and sustaining shared economic growth and social equity across the following core areas of work: disaster risk reduction; environment and sustainable development; information and communications technology; macroeconomic policy and development; social development; statistics; trade and investment; and transport.
The outcome of the 20-year regional review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action underpins ESCAP’s work on preventing and ending violence against women and girls. ESCAP actively supports the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence Against Women Campaign, in its capacity as Co-Chair of the Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
ESCAP promotes regional dialogue and the sharing of good practices to facilitate policy formulation and implementation of global and regional commitments; conducts advocacy and outreach; builds and strengthens partnerships between governments, civil society and other stakeholders; and undertakes capacity-building activities to strengthen political will and multi-sectoral actions towards ending violence against women and girls.
At the third session of UNESCAP’s Committee on Emerging Social Issues, 12 to 14 December 2006, the Executive Secretary called attention to the Secretary-General’s in-depth study on all forms of violence against women. Copies of the study were circulated to all Member States and Observers. The Committee considered the document entitled “Emerging issues and challenges related to gender and development” (E/ESCAP/CESI (3)/3) which covered the key findings of and recommendations of the Secretary-General’s study.Hide
ESCAP disseminates information about prevention of violence against women and trafficking, and encourages stakeholder participation in such efforts. It organizes panel discussions, film festivals and screenings to increase awareness among different stakeholders. For example, ESCAP has facilitated the production and screening of a short film, called Young Men Speak Out.Hide
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2007, the United Nations system celebrated with a panel presentation and discussion, exhibition, and film screening on the global theme of ‘Ending impunity for violence against women’. The Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Executive Director of UNAIDS called for universal respect for women’s human rights and an end to all forms of violence against women and impunity. Copies of the Secretary-General’s study were widely distributed.Hide
In commemoration of International Women’s Day, ESCAP and UN Women organized an event on “Ending Violence against Women - Our Shared Responsibility” during which new research findings on men’s use of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific were presented. The ILO Director General along government, workers' and employers' representatives participated in a panel debate with the theme “STOP Violence at work” (http://www.ilo.org/gender/Events/international-women-day/lang--en/index.htm). ESCWA hosted a roundtable discussion on GBV, during which the ESCWA Regional Appeal on GBV -- signed by 58 prominent Arab figures– was launched stressing the need for the active engagement of several segments of society in ending VAW.Hide
ESCAP and UN Women organized an advocacy event on “Ending Violence against Women and Girls” at the Sixth Asian and Pacific Population Conference on 18 September 2013 which focused on coordinated and multi-sectoral actions to prevent and end violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.Hide
ESCAP convened a High-level Intergovernmental Meeting to Review Regional Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and Its Regional and Global Outcomes (November 2009), during which, a panel discussion entitled “Regional campaign to end violence against women” was held. The experiences of various countries in measuring and addressing violence against women, including through engaging with men and boys and with faith-based organizations, were shared. A regional consultation for the Secretary-General’s campaign to end violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region was also organized.Hide
ESCAP held an expert group meeting on “Gender statistics and the use of violence against women indicators in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA)”, in October 2008. It aimed at building partnerships between national statistical offices (NSOs) and national women’s machineries (NWMs) in the development and use of statistics in policymaking, implementation and monitoring.Hide
In follow-up to an expert group meeting of April 2007 on regional strategies for implementing the recommendations from the Secretary-General’s in-depth study on all forms of violence against women, ESCAP posted on its website a sub-regional study documenting harmful traditional and cultural practices as forms of violence against women in South Asia. The study covers Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.Hide
The Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (RCM TWGGEEW) (co-chaired by ESCAP and UN Women) established a Working Group on Gender Statistics, which includes a focus on VAW statistics.Hide
In April 2007, the Gender and Development Section of the Emerging Social Issues Division organized an expert group meeting at ESCAP addressing “Regional Strategies for Implementing the Recommendations from the Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Women with Particular Emphasis on Harmful Traditional and Cultural Practices and the Role of National Machineries”.Hide