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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Violence Against Women

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Gender Based Violence/Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in Africa. The 1993 UN Declaration on Violence Against Women (DVAW) UN resolution 48/104 is the first international instrument that defines violence against women. DVAW defines Violence Against Women as follows:
"Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life"
The common forms of violence against women that are recognized by the international community as outlined in the UNDVAW include: physical, sexual, and psychological violence occurring in the family and in the community, including battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry-related violence, marital rape; female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women; non spousal violence; violence related to exploitation, sexual harassment, and intimidation at work and in educational institutions; forced pregnancy, forced abortion, and forced sterilization; trafficking in women and forced prostitution; and violence perpetrated or condoned by the state. (UN declaration in 1993)
The most recent report of the Secretary General on Violence against women confirms that despite the increasing attention given to women’s rights “Violence against women has yet to receive the priority attention and resources needed at all levels…”. A key recommendation of the report includes the need for regular data collection and dissemination. As a result of sustained advocacy by NGOs awareness about particularly through the activities of NGOs, awareness about some forms of violence against women has relatively increased in Africa over the past 10 years. However, research and documentation is still quite weak. ( )
Violence logoWith the view to systematically retrieve, compile and analyze data on selected areas, the AWRO will be focusing on the three forms of violence for which data is relatively available. These are partner physical violence, sexual violence and FGM. The indicators measure the prevalence and political commitments of governments (existence of specific legislation or provision in the criminal code) in this regard. In addition, some good country experiences on the eradication of VAW/GBV and studies and reports regarding VAW will be available in this website.
This  section provides information on violence against women in Africa organized in  two sections. The first section deals with monitoring that holds  quantitative information for each African country regarding VAW, which are gathered and collated from various  reports using defined/ specific indicators. The second section of the page  focuses on each country’s experiences on dealing with VAW, including international commitments and  instruments adopted, policies formulated laws enacted, plan of actions  developed, institutional mechanisms established and efforts exerted on  monitoring and evaluation of the indicated endeavors. 

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