16 Facts about Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence serves to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse.

  1. Around the world, as many as 1 in every 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way - most often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member.
  2. Women are more susceptible to violence during times of emergences or crisis due to increased insecurity.
  3. 1 in 5 women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
  4. About 1 in 4 women are abused during pregnancy, which puts both mother and child at risk.
  5. Laws that promote gender equality are often not applied.
  6. At least 130 million women have been forced to undergo female genital mutilation/cutting.
  7. “Honour” Killings take the lives of 1000s of young women every year, mainly in Western Asia, North Africa and parts of South Asia.
  8. At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be expected to be alive are 'missing' from various populations as a result of sex-selective abortions or neglect.
  9. More often than not, perpetrators of gender-based violence go unpunished.
  10. Worldwide, women are twice as likely as men to be illiterate, limiting their ability to demand their rights and protection.
  11. Early marriage can have serious harmful consequences including, denial of education, health problems, include premature pregnancies, which cause higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. The power imbalance also means that young brides are unable to negotiate condom use or protest when their husbands engage in extra-marital sexual relations.
  12. Violence against women represents a drain on the economically productive workforce.
  13. Each year, an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across borders – 80 per cent of them women and girls. Most of them end up trapped in the commercial sex trade.
  14. Gender-based violence also serves – by intention or effect – to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by a culture of silence and denial of the seriousness of the health consequences of abuse.