1 in 3 women worldwide will be raped, assaulted, or physically or sexually abused in her lifetime.
Of all the abuses of rights affecting women around the world, violence against women is one of the most widespread and accepted.
ActionAid has recently written a Theory of Change for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls for the UK Government on half of the Gender and Development Network. It shows that there are four ingredients to eradicating gender-based violence against women and girls:
- Empowering women and girls
- Changing the social norms that condone violence against women and girls
- Building political will and legal and government capacity to prevent and respond to such violence
- Providing comprehensive support services to survivors of such violence
Violence and women's rights
- Violence against women is a key barrier to women realising their rights, and to the achievement of social justice.
- Many women and girls living in poverty face violence everyday – within the home, the community, at school and in the workplace.
- For these women it can be almost impossible to defend themselves against violence because their voices are unheard and they have very little support available to them.
Violence keeps poor women poor
- Violence robs women of choices and control over their own lives.
- It impacts on every aspect of their lives, causing injury and death, but also preventing girls from going to school, women from earning money.
- It stops women from participating in their communities and wider society, and forces them to live in fear.
Violence spreads HIV
- Violence against women and girls is both a cause and a consequence of HIV.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, women now account for 75% of under-25 yr olds living with HIV.
- ActionAid believes that violence against women and girls is at the heart of these statistics.
ActionAid campaigns against violence
ActionAid is working with partners worldwide to tackle the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls. Together, we campaign for changes in the law and demand access to justice. We provide services for survivors of violence and support programmes for women’s empowerment.
Questions and answers
The Gender and Development Network has produced a useful resource, answering some of the big questions surrounding violence against women and girls.
photo : ©Sven Torfinn/ActionAid