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
The UN Women Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), hosted the meeting View More
The UN Women Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), hosted the meeting “Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls in Latin-America and the Caribbean: Lessons learned across the globe”, which was held in Panama City from December 5 to 7 of 2016. This event provided a unique space, bringing together several UN agencies, government officials, diplomats, civil society organizations, global researchers and other experts in the field of preventing and responding to violence against women and girls to exchange experiences and explore ways to implement effective and promising practices to address violence against women. This approach sought to drive change in the region, which has been characterized by the lack of evidence-based interventions and rigorous evaluations. A total of 25 countries were represented in this meeting and UN women key guidance documents such as the UN prevention Framework to End Violence against Women and Girls as well as the Essential services guidelines were disseminated.Hide
The UNiTE Group for the Americas and the Caribbean, including 9 agencies -PAHO, UNDP, OHCHR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, ECLAC, WFP and UN Women- and the IDB and the OAS, developed 12 Key Messages to Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls in Latin View More
The UNiTE Group for the Americas and the Caribbean, including 9 agencies -PAHO, UNDP, OHCHR, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, ECLAC, WFP and UN Women- and the IDB and the OAS, developed 12 Key Messages to Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean. This unprecedented effort led by UN Women, systematized the lessons learned from all the publications and knowledge produced in the context of the UNiTE Campaign in the last 7 years. These messages were launched in the framework of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in Montevideo in October of 2016. Thereafter, the messages were the basis for the celebrations of November 25th at regional and country level.Hide
Through the joint project, Partners for Prevention: Working with Boys and Men to Prevent Gender-Based Violence in Asia-Pacific, UNV and UNFPA, together with their partners, are mobilizing boys and men as allies for ending violence and discrimination against women and girls as well as advancing gender equality. Women’s advocates and women empowerment groups are further strengthened in their participatory capacities and leadership skills to enhance the effectiveness of their efforts.Hide
In 2004, UNFPA supported a campaign on honour killings in Turkey. 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).Hide
In Asia Pacific, the Partners for Prevention (P4P) - an inter-agency initiative of UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, and UNVs- which works with men and boys to prevent gender-based violence– has developed a comprehensive set of research tools on gender-based violence, including questionnaires, research protocols, and training manuals for the “Gender-based Violence Prevention and Masculinities” Collaborative Research Project for Asia and the Pacific. These tools have been shared with partners in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In Cambodia, the research findings on GBV and masculinities are informing a public awareness campaign. P4P is also developing the capacity of national partners in China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea to conduct research in this area, in order to develop evidence-based programs and policy initiatives to address GBV across the region. Networks of practitioners have been established in South Asia and Southeast & East Asia to support the civil society and UN advocates to implement initiatives on GBV prevention through work with men and boys.Hide
During the World Soccer Cup in South Africa, UNFPA released globally the video-game that uses football as the medium to address violence against women, to be found at http://www.breakawaygame.com. Country-level efforts, under the umbrella of the Secretary General’s campaign, are being initiated by UNFPA country offices in Africa and Latin America, being related to the five key outcomes of the campaign’s Framework for Action.Hide
Applying Social Media Tools for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence: Lessons learned from social media communication campaigns to prevent gender-based violence in India, China and Viet Nam’; was launched and disseminated by P4P in 2013. This resource consolidates learning from the P4P initiative ‘Engaging Young Men through Social Media for the Prevention of Violence against Women’. “Let’s Talk Men 2.0” film series7 launched in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka with accompanying tools for discussion facilitators.Hide
Progress has been made in recent years in relation to the widespread grassroots abandonment of the practice of FGM/C. Several individuals have been gradually been arrested and convicted in 2013, while since the inception of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme and Trust Fund on Female Genital Mutilation in 2008, more than 10,000 communities in 15 countries, representing more than 8 million people have denounced the practice. UNFPA and UNICEF published the 2012 annual report and concluded phase one of their Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in 15 countries of Africa and the Middle East and conducted a joint final evaluation of the five years of work. UNFPA and UNICEF organized an international conference in Rome in October 2013, attended by over 30 governments, UN agencies and civil society to consolidate lessons learned from phase one and build political and technical consensus for phase two. Phase two will run from 2014-2017 and will cover 17 countries in Africa and the Middle East and will pursue a holistic approach in line with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 67/146. UNHCR carried out activities to raise awareness on VAW, including on FGM in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.Hide
In Asia-Pacific, the work of the inter-agency initiative “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) was ongoing. Engagingmen.net (www.engagingmen.net) is a website where practitioners can share resources and learn about training opportunities. “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) organized several training sessions to support national social media campaigns in China, India, and Indonesia. Demand Media, a leading online media company and expert in developing social media platforms, provides pro bono support for the national campaigns. In December 2010, P4P organized a meeting with various stakeholders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Fiji, the Philippines and Vietnam, who work to engage boys and men for ending violence against women. The participants agreed to work together to develop regional curricula and a collective approach for knowledge creation and sharing across the region. In December 2010, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) “Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children” met in Port Macquarie, Australia, where male parliamentarians from 13 countries signed a pledge to take action in their own countries and to stand together as a collective group to advocate for more actions for violence prevention among their peers. “Partners for Prevention” is supporting the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians as a collaborative partner with AFPPD and UNFPA. “Partners for Prevention” and AFPPD are conducting research on the challenges that parliamentarians face in moving prevention policy forward, and on ways to support them in their role in preventing violence.Hide
A short film that showcases the Inter-agency joint programming initiative on Violence Against Women in the 10 pilot countries was developed and released during the global consultation on “Delivering as One on Addressing Violence Against Women: From Intent to Action”, organised by UNFPA. The movie “Senegal: Beyond Tradition” that focuses on FGM/C prevention has been developed by UNFPA for broadcast on television networks around the world (including CNN, BBC Arabic, France 24, Denmark 4 and 55 other international networks). Moreover, almost all of the 142 country offices of UNFPA that has a country programme on addressing gender-based violence or on violence against girls have an awareness and advocacy component in-built in the programmatic interventions.Hide