United Nations Population Fund


605 Third Avenue. New York, New York 10158 USA



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.

Policy framework

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.

Areas of Focus

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