Stats and Facts

GBV manifests in multiple forms and contexts.

Affirming the right of women and girls to live a life free from violence is a vital and necessary step toward advancing CARE’s vision of a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live in dignity and security.

GBV manifests in multiple forms and contexts

 

Intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence is the most common form of GBV. This is deeply intertwined with Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

GBV manifests in multiple forms and contexts

 

Intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence is the most common form of GBV. This is deeply intertwined with Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

 

Child, early and forced marriage and other harmful traditional practices

Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) and other harmful traditional practices are practiced in several parts of the world and, in times of conflict and economic stress, can become a coping strategy.

  • CEFM occurs around the world, and cuts across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities: 45% of girls under age 18 are married in South Asia; 39% in sub-Saharan Africa; 23% in Latin America and the Caribbean; 18% in the Middle East and North Africa; and in some communities in Europe and North America too.
    Reference: Girls Not Brides (2016). An Information Sheet: child marriage around the world.
  • In general, CEFM practices are concentrated in the poorest countries of the world, particularly affecting those in poor households. Girls who marry young also face greater threats of chronic poverty.
    Reference: Girls Not Brides (2016). An Information Sheet: child marriage around the world.
  • The global number of child brides is estimated at 650 million (Global distribution of girls and women married before age 18). Regional trends indicate that global progress has been driven by reductions in South Asia.
    References: UNICEF (2018). New Global Estimates of Child Marriage.
  • Globally, child marriage rates have continued to slowly decline. In the past decade, the number of young women who were married as children decreased by 15%, from 1 in 4 (25%) to approximately 1 in 5 (21%). However, unless efforts to to tackle child marriage are significantly increased, the international community will miss its target to end child marriage by 2030. 

    References: UNICEF (2018). Latest Trends and Future Prospects

  • Girls married before 18 are at greater risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
    Reference: Girls Not Brides (2016). An Information Sheet: child marriage around the world.
  • Female genital cutting (FGC/M) takes place in over 28 countries today – across Africa, Asia and the Middle East and in diaspora communities. It can create lifelong physical and psychological harms like complications in urination, menses, and birth, and sometimes death.
    Reference: International Planned Parenthood Federation (n.d.) Harmful Traditional Practices affecting women and girls
  • Dowry-related violence affects an estimated 25,000 newly married women each year.
    Reference: International Planned Parenthood Federation (n.d.) Harmful Traditional Practices affecting women and girls.
  • Violence related to son preference – such as sex-based abortion and infanticide – are evidence in skewed birth and population ratios. For example in Central, South and East Asia, as well as Europe. [1] For example in Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Armenia, China, India, Vietnam, Albania and Georgia over 110 males are born for every 100 females.[2]
    References: 1. International Planned Parenthood Federation (n.d.) Harmful Traditional Practices affecting women and girls; 2. Wikipedia (retrieved: March 2017). List of countries by sex ratio. 

 

Emergencies and violence

In times of war and in humanitarian emergencies, women often face amplified risks in terms of violence.

The situation in Syria and neighboring countries is a case in point.

 

Impacts of GBV

Across the globe, 60% of women face reproductive health issues related to GBV.
Reference: UNFPA (2013).The role of data in addressing violence against women and girls. New York.

Impacts of GBV

 

 

Social norms and GBV

Despite two decades of policies and plans to eradicate GBV, its general rates continue to grow at varying rates.
Reference: Amaya, C. E. G., Acharya, A. K., & Bonfiglio, J. M. I. (2016). Gender Based Violence and Reproductive Health of Indigenous Women in Mexico. Sociology Mind, 6, 107-113.

Social norms and GBV

Despite two decades of policies and plans to eradicate GBV, its general rates continue to grow at varying rates.
Reference: Amaya, C. E. G., Acharya, A. K., & Bonfiglio, J. M. I. (2016). Gender Based Violence and Reproductive Health of Indigenous Women in Mexico. Sociology Mind, 6, 107-113.

GBV is underpinned by social norms about women and men’s roles, and masculinity and femininity, as well as expectations and status related to class, caste, age, religion, tribe/ethnicity, etc. These norms shape individual attitudes and behaviors, and deviating from these norms can often bring shame and disapproval

For example, social and cultural norms that promote and perpetuate intimate partner violence include:[1]

  • A man has a right to physically discipline a woman over “incorrect” behavior
  • Intimate partner violence is a “taboo” subject to discuss publicly
  • Sex is a man’s right in marriage
  • Sexual activity (including rape) is a marker of masculinity
  • Women and girls are responsible for controlling men’s sexual urges

For child marriage, norms perpetuating the practice include parental pressure to control girls’ sexuality rather than support positive environments for exploring sexuality and choice:

 

Violence targeting marginalized and criminalized groups

Certain groups of women and girls – indigenous women, women with disabilities, refugee women and women who identify as lesbian, bisexual or transgender – are particularly vulnerable to violence.


Reference: WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and South African Medical Research Council (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.

Violence targeting marginalized and criminalized groups

Certain groups of women and girls – indigenous women, women with disabilities, refugee women and women who identify as lesbian, bisexual or transgender – are particularly vulnerable to violence.

Reference: WHO, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and South African Medical Research Council (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence.

 

Violence against LGBTQI+ people

LGBTQI+ people are particularly targeted by GBV. 76 countries criminalize homosexuality (notably in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, the Caribbean and Oceania), exposing individuals to criminalization and state violence, as well as militia/individual hate violence.
Reference: United Nations Free and Equal Campaign (n.d.) Fact Sheet: Criminalization.

 

Violence against indigenous women and girls

Race and ethnic discrimination, colonialism, age, gender, and dispossession of lands put indigenous women in positions that expose them to higher rates of GBV.

  • Studies have found that indigenous and ethnic minority groups in Nepal, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Bolivia, Thailand and Uganda disproportionately face hazardous economic and sexual exploitation.
    Reference: Inter-agency support group on indigenous people's issues (June 2014). Elimination and responses to violence, exploitation and abuse of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women. Thematic paper towards the preparation of the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. United Nations.
  • In the context of colonialism, forced sterilization of indigenous women have been documented in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Peru and Mexico.
    Reference: Stote, K. (2015). An act of genocide: Colonialism and the sterilization of aboriginal women; Johansen, B. (2000). Stolen wombs: indigenous women most at risk. Native Americas, pp. 38-42.
  • Higher rates of GBV targeting indigenous women have also been documented in the context of forced displacement and political conflict in Central and South America, the Asia-Pacific as well as Eastern and Central Africa.
    Reference: Inter-agency support group on indigenous people's issues (June 2014). Elimination and responses to violence, exploitation and abuse of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women. Thematic paper towards the preparation of the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. United Nations.
  • Bolivia, India and the Philippines report higher rates of partner violence faced by indigenous/scheduled tribal women.
    Reference: Inter-agency support group on indigenous people's issues (June 2014). Elimination and responses to violence, exploitation and abuse of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women. Thematic paper towards the preparation of the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. United Nations.
  • The Australian National Research Organization for Women's Safety has published: Innovative models in addressing violence against Indigenous women, which focuses on a paradigm shift from a criminal justice model towards a collective process of community healing grounded in Indigenous knowledge. This approach builds on the work of Indigenous women's groups in Australia who work to address individual and community experiences of violence, given the oppression indigenous women face in the context of settler colonialism and patriarchy.
    Reference: Australia's National Research Organization for Women's Safety (January 2018). Innovative models in addressing violence against Indigenous women.  

Violence against women and girls with disabilities

 

Levers of Change

Evidence also points to levers of change

Levers of Change

Evidence also points to levers of change

 

Links

WHO Violence Prevention Information System

A knowledge platform of research and findings on forms of interpersonal violence, the prevalence, risk factors, consequences and strategies for prevention.
2017 WHO

More Information

GBV: Global Commitments
Laraba, a GBV survivor, told her story to the CARE team at Rann in Northern Nigeria. Her face has been covered and her name changed to protect her identity.
GBV: Global Commitments
Policy commitments, goals and priorities through the United Nations and other intergovernmental agencies that are geared toward ending gender-based violence.
CARE's Strategy to End GBV
CARE Denmark met with CARE beneficiaries from South Sudan such as GBV-survivors, PSN-beneficiaries provided with semi-permanent houses, community based facilitators on GBV awareness, and refugee welfare council representatives.
CARE's Strategy to End GBV
How CARE defines its role and work toward ending gender-based violence, with a focus on collaborating with local partners to prevent it in the first place.
Promising Practices to Prevent GBV
“I have overcome my fear of men and walking by myself and have also joined a youth group in the community that creates awareness on GBV and other issues affecting my community," says Mary, a refugee from South Sudan living in Uganda.
Promising Practices to Prevent GBV
This section showcases programmatic approaches and models across development and emergency contexts, toward ending gender-based violence.