Sexual and gender-based violence
Sexual and gender-based violence is a violation of fundamental human rights. It also hinders women’s economic and political empowerment. Eliminating sexual and gender-based violence is an important step toward protecting women, girls and boys and accelerating progress for families, communities and nations.
Although both women and men can be affected by violence, evidence confirms that women suffer overwhelmingly from domestic violence. On average 29 percent of women suffer from sexual or/and intimate partner violence. In Serbia, over 54 percent of women have experienced family violence in their lifetime. In Turkey, 39 percent of married women have experienced physical violence. In Albania, gender-based violence has increased from 56 percent in 2007 to 59.4 percent in 2013.
Only one in ten women who experience violence seeks help or reports acts of violence to respective state institutions. Child marriage, which is another form of violence, affects an average of 5.8 percent of girls in the region.
In response to these challenges, guided by the global Gender Equality Strategy, UNDP works with national partners to:
- Develop legal frameworks and policies, which will provide survivors of violence with multi-sector support and services.
- Work to curtail sexual and gender-based violence by increasing women’s political participation and leadership in sectors such as justice and security, conflict prevention and peacebuilding; providing services for survivors, including medical, psycho-social, family, legal and economic assistance, such as through one-stop clinics; tackling impunity for sexual and gender-based violence; and organizing awareness-raising and prevention campaigns.
- Invest in research, public awareness and community mobilization campaigns on the prevention of and response to sexual and domestic violence to address gender stereotypes and engage with men and boys.
Some of our recent results:
- During the regional 16 Days of Activism campaign in 2015, as part of the Secretary-General UNITE to End Violence Against Women campaign, UNDP organized a range of advocacy campaigns and undertook innovative initiatives, including flashmob in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and an awareness raising campaign on the public transport in Tajikistan. UNDP called on political and religious leaders, athletes, celebrities, youth, activists, women and men to act together to end violence against women and girls.
- In Croatia, UNDP supported the Government with evidence and legal analysis to draft and adopt the 2015 law on the rights of victims of sexual violence during the conflict of the 1990s entered into force in June 2015. This is the first law in the region to provide civilian victims of sexual violence in armed conflict with a comprehensive set of reparation measures.
- In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UNDP supported the formulation of the first law on the prevention and protection of domestic violence which came into force in January 2015.
- In Serbia, UNDP supported development of the Multi-sector Cooperation – Institutional Response to Violence against Women Protocol 2013. The protocol strengthens the coordination of state institutions to prevent and eliminate violence against women and promote policies to combat gender-based violence.
- In Albania, UNDP helped to introduce an online tracking system for domestic violence to help monitor and ensure pertinent legislation implementation.
* The references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).