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
"UNFPA's Strategic Guidance for Engaging Men and Boys" has been developed and carefully drafted to guide UNFPA's work with men and boys, to serve as strategic guidance for the Fund’s actions at the Global, Regional and Country levels.Hide
In October 2012, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN WOMEN –co-hosted a high-level event in New York to address the issue of child marriage and called for renewed global action to end the practice.Hide
In 2012, through the advocacy efforts of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C, 1,775 new communities publically declared their intention to abandon FGM/C, with Guinea Bissau becoming the 15th country where communities have announced their commitment to abandon. Since the establishment of the joint programme (2008), nearly 10,000 communities in 15 countries, representing about 8 million people have renounced the practice.Hide
UNICEF and UNMIL collaborated with Ministry of Gender and Development in Liberia to convene a retreat on Child rape in October 2012. Also in Liberia, UNFPA supported the Ministry of Gender and Development to collaborate with civil society groups to launch and build capacity of the GBV observatory to help raise awareness of the referral pathway and issues rlated to teenage pregnancy, early marriage and rape. Several advocacy initiatives were undertaken by THINK and CEP (UNFPA funded partners) to address the issue of SGBV, including strengthening of six networks and four community outreach sessions. Dialogue was initiated with traditional leaders and men’s and women’s groups to address harmful Traditional Practices, resulting in the Ministry of Internal Affair’s announcement that FGM is prohibited and prosecutable. UN Women continues to expand the Peace Huts, emphasizing the role of women as peace builders and recognizes their key role in engaging with local authorities for prevention, increasing women’s voice and supporting them in engaging with authorities to improve access to justice, and provide active accompaniment of women and girls who are survivors of violence.Hide
In March 2014, during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, OHCHR partnered with UNFPA, UNICEF and others to bring the award winning exhibition, “Too Young to Wed” to the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the issue of child View More
In March 2014, during the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, OHCHR partnered with UNFPA, UNICEF and others to bring the award winning exhibition, “Too Young to Wed” to the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the issue of child marriage.Hide
UN Women, in collaboration with UNFPA and the Turkish Government, held a Global Meeting on “Ending Violence against Women: Building on Progress to Accelerate Change” in December 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey, at which over 150 high-level View More
UN Women, in collaboration with UNFPA and the Turkish Government, held a Global Meeting on “Ending Violence against Women: Building on Progress to Accelerate Change” in December 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey, at which over 150 high-level representatives from over 40 Member States, the Council of Europe, civil society and United Nations entities attended. At the meeting, participants exchanged experiences and renewed their committment to ending violence against women, such as strengthening Government mechanisms for the prevention of and responses to VAW; implementing comprehensive national programmes and involving men and boys as part of the solution.Hide
UNFPA participated in the March 2009 Rio Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality; developed a toolkit on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality and sexual and reproductive health (with Instituto Promundo); developed case studies of Engaging Men and Boys in Gender, Sexuality and reproductive health in Asia and Africa (with ICOMP); and, documented good practices on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality and HIV and AIDS. UNFPA represented the UN Team in the drafting committee of the Rio Call to Action and continues the collaboration with the “Men Engage Alliance” as well as respective partners. UNFPA continued its advocacy work on elimination of violence, abuse and discrimination against women and girls, with a special focus on vulnerable and marginalized groups of women and girls. It collaborated with Help Age International, the Global Action on Aging and the NGO Committee on Ageing in advocating for the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, and contributed to UNAIDS’s guidance note on HIV and sex work. Other instances of work with such groups includes the new UNFPA-AECID Latin America initiative - “Strengthening Indigenous Women’s Organizations and Health Systems to Promote Maternal Health, with an Intercultural and Human Rights-Based Approach”. In Jamaica, in partnership with the government, UNFPA support the launching of the campaign “Sister to Sister”, using popular icons and messages. During the Commission on the Status of Women, UNFPA hosted various events on the inter-sectionality of HIV/AIDS and violence against women.Hide
UNFPA sent a high-level delegation participate in the March 2009 international colloquium that was held in Liberia on “Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security”. UNFPA made a presentation on “Developing Linkages for Collaboration on the SG Campaign on VAW” at the UNDP global annual gender meeting that was held in Caracas, Venezuela, in April 2009.Hide
In December 2007, UNFPA co-hosted the Africa Regional Forum on strengthening partnerships with faith-based organizations (FBOs) for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and violence against women, with the World Conference of the Religions for Peace, in Durban, South Africa.Hide