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
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
The initiative by UNFPA Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office (LACRO) on sexual violence in select Central American countries included communication and advocacy strategies at country and sub regional level, in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders.Hide
In November 2009, UNFPA hosted a consultation in Dakar, Senegal, on engaging men and boys in gender equality and preventing HIV, aimed at sharing promising practices among UNFPA staff and partners, while identifying ways of strengthening and institutionalizing this work, particularly at the policy level.Hide
UNFPA carried out advocacy activities that link up with the Secretary-General’s campaign, such as hosting an exhibition on “Congo Women” and “Women in the Frontline” in October 2009, at the UN Secretariat in New York, in which the Secretary-General’s Campaign featured; supported the launch of the Secretary-General’s network of men leaders to combat violence against women and a photo-exhibition on the theme of men and boys in this event; it was a key partner in the launch of the Secretary-General’s campaign in Latin America and Africa; and initiated country-level efforts on the campaign in Africa and Latin America.Hide
As part of UN Women’s collaboration with Phase II of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C, to strengthen the inter-linkages between VAWG and harmful practices such as FGM/C, and address the root causes of such form of violence, UN Women View More
As part of UN Women’s collaboration with Phase II of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM/C, to strengthen the inter-linkages between VAWG and harmful practices such as FGM/C, and address the root causes of such form of violence, UN Women has finalized and published the policy paper titled “Female genital mutilation/cutting and violence against women and girls: Strengthening the policy linkages between different forms of violence”, with the support of a technical advisory group in February 2017. The paper – which is accompanied by an also published background paper - explores policy and programming interlinkages and considers entry points in the areas of (i) national legislation, (ii) prevention strategies, (iii) response for survivors, and (iv) data and evidence, for increased coordination and collaboration to advance the objectives of ending FGM/C and other forms of VAWG, in particular intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. It is intended for multiple audiences, including those directly involved in policy development, planning and implementing initiatives, those providing technical support, and advocates for ending all forms of VAWG, including FGM/C. A training module on gender and FGM/C, to accompany the UNFPA-UNICEF Manual on Social Norms and Change will be finished in March 2017.Hide
In December 2007, UNFPA published A Holistic Approach to the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. This document describes the holistic approach utilized by UNFPA - such legal and policy reform, national capacity building and working at the community level – in its FGM/C abandonment programmes, and gives a brief sampling of the organization's country level experiences.Hide
In 2007, UNFPA, in collaboration with the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), developed a model for costing violence against women, to be used for Bangladesh, Uganda, and Morocco. Data collection has commenced.Hide