United Nations University
BackgroundUnited Nations University’s (UNU) mission is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its peoples and Member States. The UNU acts as an international community of scholars; a bridge between the United Nations and the international academic community; a think-tank for the United Nations system; and a builder of capacities, particularly in developing countries.
Areas of Focus
Violence against women is addressed within the research projects and activities of the United Nations University. The issue of violence against women falls across two of the University’s thematic work programmes: Peace and governance; and Global development and inclusion.
On International Women’s Day, 8 March, the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), in collaboration with the UN Country Team through its Gender Theme Group and the European Commission, organised a forum on the theme “Towards Women’s Health and Rights: Leaving No One Behind” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Amongst other issues, the forum addressed gender-based violence and the different forms of violence faced by girls and women across their lifespan. This included the drafting and dissemination of a policy brief on VAW with a focus on Malaysia and South East Asia.
Several of the research institutes of the United Nations University (UNU) have conducted research projects on EVAW. The UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) has explored the effects of conflict-induced displacement on gender norms in Turkey, finding an increased tolerance towards domestic violence among women who were forced to migrate. Another research project discovered that underlying the preferences of a population effected the impact of legal bans against harmful practices, such as female genital cutting and domestic violence. These papers, among others, will appear in the book “Towards Gender Equity in Development” to be published in October 2018. The UNU Computing and Society (UNU-CS) has undertaken research to understand the potential of ICT on efforts to end VAW, including forced labor and sexual exploitation in the context of migration, and cyber harassment. The research develops practical and policy tools to support victims and survivors, and to assist advocacy and policymaking institutions. The UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) has conducted research on states’ leniency and accountability measures toward individuals accused of association with jihadist groups. The project considers, inter alia: the roles women and girls play in association with jihadist groups; the sometimes coercive conditions under which they may develop associations; and the extent to which female relatives of men connected with jihadist groups are penalised for their indirect association.