Ending gender-based violence essential to achieving sustainable development

Mar 2, 2016

Magdy Martinez-Soliman, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Director and Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP, addresses workshop on reducing gender-based violence. (Photo: USPC)

Seoul – Ending violence against women requires the development of integrated approaches and new forms of collaboration, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today, calling it “one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world”.

The Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015 include a target to end gender-based violence by 2030. They also include targets on violence against women; trafficking, violence and torture against children; sexual violence in conflict and other harmful practices.

“Finding solutions to reduce and respond to gender-based violence is not only vital to the lives and well-being of women, girls and societies throughout the world, but to the successful implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator Magdy Martínez-Solimán in his opening remarks.

“In Korea, we deeply understand the importance of addressing gender-based violence, out of our own challenges and experiences in fighting this challenge,” said Mr. Lee Yong-Soo, Director General of Development Cooperation, Republic of Korea. “From the Korean Government’s perspective, fighting gender-based violence also holds relevance to the “’Better Life for Girls Initiative’ that we have recently launched under the leadership of our President Park Geun-hye. Addressing the nexus between gender-based violence and education will be pivotal for providing safe learning environment for girls,” he further added.

In his remarks, Martínez-Solimán highlighted UNDP’s programmatic engagements with formal and informal justice systems to promote women’s human rights, raise awareness and support the reform of legal frameworks and institutions to tackle gender-based violence in partnership with national counterparts, including in crisis and fragile countries.

The meeting brought participants from governments, United Nations agencies, multilateral agencies, academia and civil society. 

Dr. Mijeong Lee from Korean Women’s Development Institute stated, “The issue of violence against women was not recognized as a serious problem and the victims were forced to remain silent about the crimes because of inadequate systems to protect and support the victims. Protecting the victims is no less important than punishing their assailants.”

The Republic of Korea has funded UNDP’s US$ 2 million Global Programme to accelerate efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence at country level.  For example, in Kenya, UNDP works with the Government to support women refugees from neighboring countries who are survivors of gender-based violence and affected by HIV/AIDS. In Bangladesh, UNDP is supporting improved access to health and legal services for survivors of gender-based violence.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately one third of all women worldwide have experienced violence in their lifetime. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence. Reducing gender-based violence is fundamental for the achievement of peace, economic productivity, rights, justice and social cohesion.

About Project: ‘Accelerating Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual and Gender-based Violence’

The Accelerating Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Sexual and Gender-based Violence Project (budget: $ 2, 000 000, timeframe: 2014-2016) is funded by the Korean UNDP MDG Trust Fund and is based upon the Memorandum of Understanding (2013) between UNDP (Gender Team) and Republic of Korea to promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

Contact information

Programme: Diego Antoni, Policy Specialist, Gender, Governance and Crisis Prevention and Recovery, email: diego.antoni@undp.org Tel: +1-646-781-4078

Seoul: Ms. Hye-Jin Park, Communications Analyst email: hyejin.park@undp.org  Tel: +82 (2) 3290 5199+82 (2) 3290 5199.

New York: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, email: sangita.khadka@undp.org Tel: +1 212 906 5043