Gender-based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is any harm perpetrated against a person based on power inequalities resulting from gender roles. This includes, but is not limited to, violence against women and girls. Violence against women and girls is most often perpetrated by someone the woman knows. Child abuse, intimate partner violence, acquaintance and date rape, "honor" killings, femicide, child marriage, and human trafficking are all examples of GBV.

Men and boys are often victims of GBV as well. A common example occurs in cultures where homosexuality is seen as departing from accepted and expected male behavior. Men who have sex with men may experience violence from discrimination, verbal abuse, or physical abuse. Children of both sexes are the largest group of victims of GBV.

Gender-based violence can have severe negative health consequences for those who experience it. This can include the immediate physical consequences of a violent act but can also include long-term mental health consequences. Other examples of the effects of GBV include unintended pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and even death.


USAID’s Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally

This fact sheet unpacks the goals behind the USAID’s Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally.


Engaging Boys to Stop Violence. A Step by Step Guide for Initiating Social Change

Save the Children’s Step by Step Guide “Engaging boys to stop Violence, A Step by Step guide for initiating social changes” is a first of its kind in the field of engaging boys in ending gender-based violence. The Step by Step Guide is intended for girls and boys, women and men, and anyone interested in addressing the issue of gender-based violence prevention, and is particularly useful for practitioners, program staff, government representatives, politicians and any organized groups, as a practical tool, to engage with boys and mobilize communities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and discrimination (2011).


Violence Against Women and Girls Resource Guide

This guide by the World Bank, ICRW, and other partners provide sector-specific guides to practitioners and donors to tackle gender-based violence in already existing programs, including in disaster risk management, transport, health programs, and more (2014).


Challenging Gender-based Violence Worldwide: CARE’s Program Evidence

This report reviews CARE’s work to tackle GBV based on program evaluations carried from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2013. Some of CARE’s most successful programs were in sub-Saharan Africa, where staff worked in countries like Burundi and Uganda to address violence at home, to engage men and boys as champions of change and to mobilize community action against GBV. 


Facts and Figures on Ending Gender-Based Violence

This UN Women page provides statistics and details about programs aimed at preventing and ending violence against women (2016).


The Interrelationship Between Gender-based Violence and HIV/AIDS in South Africa

This paper focuses on how gender-based violence intersects with HIV/AIDS in ways too devastating to be ignored. Women’s subordinate position is linked to poverty, sexual abuse/rape, and the risk to women in long-term union. The country’s pioneering steps to establish legal and judicial frameworks for dealing with these problems are discussed (2004).


Beyond Access: Toolkit for Integrating Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response into Education Projects

This toolkit was developed to support implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. It provides guidance and resources for USAID technical and program officers working on education to increase understanding of GBV in the education context and strengthen integration of a gender-based violence (GBV) response into projects and activities. Because reducing school-related GBV is a high priority for USAID in all school systems globally, this toolkit includes school-related GBV, but the overall focus is GBV in the education context broadly (2015).


Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to Gender-based Violence in Emergencies

Gender-based violence is a life-threatening, global health and human rights issue that violates international human rights law and principles of gender equality. In emergencies, such as conflict or natural disasters, the risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse is heightened, particularly for women and girls. UNFPA’s “Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to GBV in Emergencies (GBViE)” promote the safety and well-being of women and girls in emergencies and provide practical guidance on how to mitigate and prevent gender-based violence in emergencies and facilitate access to multi-sector services for survivors (2015).


The Role of Data in Addressing Violence against Women and Girls

As the global spotlight has turned more sharply over the last decade on the persistence of violence against women and girls, the need for more and better data to inform evidence-based programming in order to address this human rights violation has escalated. As this brochure describes, advocates and defenders of women’s and girls’ safety and rights, as well as international agencies, national policymakers, and donors, need to  understand the nature and magnitude of the violence (2013).


Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India

ICRW conducted research, surveying a total of 9,205 men and 3,158 women, aged 18-49 in the following seven states across India. The study findings emphasize that in India, masculinity, i.e., men’s controlling behavior and gender inequitable attitudes, strongly determines men’s preference for sons over daughters as well as their proclivity for violence towards an intimate partner – both of which are manifestations of gender inequality (2014).


The Making of Sexual Violence: How Does a Boy Grow Up to Commit Rape?

Women and girls around the world experience staggering levels of rape and other forms of sexual violence. This violence devastates lives, unhinges communities, and hampers greater social and economic development. While the severity, frequency, and purpose of this violence can broaden during times of conflict or emergency, its foundations are laid during “peacetime,” as is underscored by the extreme levels of violence observed consistently across the globe. Yet it is only in recent decades that policymakers, researchers, and programmers have begun to pay closer attention to this urgent violation of human rights and barrier to sustainable development. This report presents an overview of five study sites of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), presents findings related to men’s self-reported perpetration of sexual violence, investigates seven domains of possible influences on men’s sexual violence perpetration, and provides actionable lessons and recommendations (2014). 


Bridges to Adulthood: Understanding the Lifelong Influence of Men's Childhood Experiences of Violence

Great numbers of men report experiencing violence as children and these experiences have significant lifelong effects, according to the new analysis of the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) dataset included in this report. Adult men who were victims or witnesses of domestic violence as children, for instance, likely come to accept violence as a conflict-resolving tactic not only in intimate partnerships but also in their wider lives. Using IMAGES data from six countries (Brazil, Chile, Croatia, India, Mexico, and Rwanda), this report explores the prevalence and nature of violence against children as well as its potential lifelong effects (2012). 


Partnering with Men to End Gender-Based Violence 

This report documents good practices in preventing and responding to gender-based violence. The five case studies featured within document initiatives in Armenia, Romania, Turkey and the Ukraine that were implemented by governments and other partners with the support of UNFPA. Although the reports focus on initiatives in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the practices and lessons learned can be applied throughout the globe (2009).