UN agencies combine efforts to tackle gender-based violence on this year’s International Women’s Day
The renewed effort focuses on what drives men to become violent and asks what can be done to stop it
Bangkok, Thailand - Today on International Women’s Day, women and men around the globe come together to rally, discuss and take action to stop violence against women and girls. The United Nations observes this year’s International Women’s Day with the theme: 'A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence against Women!' And the time is right: violence against women and girls is a rampant problem worldwide.
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic, with up to seven in ten women facing physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime. The Asia Pacific Region is no exception. What is increasingly becoming important in violence prevention interventions is the understanding of the root causes of violence against women and girls, and the right ways to address them in the specific national and regional contexts because violence against women and girls is preventable, not inevitable.
In Asia and the Pacific four United Nations agencies – UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Fund for Populations Affairs (UNFPA), UN Women and UN Volunteers – have joined forces through a joint programme, Partners for Prevention. In addition to working with national partners on engaging men and boys in programmes that address gender-based violence, Partners for Prevention seeks to understand the underlying drivers of violence and point to more effective ways to prevent violence from happening in the future.
In July this year, Partners for Prevention will release a regional study that includes survey results from more than 10,000 men in six countries in Asia and the Pacific. The UN Multi-country Study on Men and Violence will provide new insights on why men use violence and it will suggest concrete recommendations on how to address and prevent violence against women and girls.
The study’s preliminary findings reinforce the need to address gender inequality as an underlying cause of violence. Overall, rates of violence tend to be higher in places where gender inequality is high, where there has been recent or ongoing violent conflict and where families are vulnerable to hunger and other forms of poverty.
These larger issues – gender equality, conflict prevention and poverty reduction – are the cornerstones of much of the region’s development assistance and central to the work of the United Nations. Together with partners from civil society and governments, the United Nations will continue to work on prevention programmes, providing survivors with access to justice, improving legal frameworks and the implementation of laws as well as addressing underlying causes such as poverty, gender inequalities and notions of masculinity that foster violence against women and girls.
The study is another step to inform policies and design better programmes.
Partners for Prevention: Working to Prevent Gender-based Violence
UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women & UNV Regional Joint Programme for Asia and the Pacific
3rd Floor, UN Service Building
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Phone: +66 2 304 9100 x 2706
Mobile: +66 84 700 7769