Gender violence: UN Women holds open discussion

Civil Society Organizations and experts will come together online from July 23 to August 3 to discuss issues related with gender violence, sharing thoughts and experiences on best practices, challenges and gaps in the field. The statistics, shown below, are shocking.

The statistics are shocking - between 15 to 75% of women in every community suffer from some sort of violence. Up to 70% of these violent acts are perpetrated by intimate partners. Two women are murdered every day in Guatemala, on average; in India, there are many thousands of dowry-related deaths every year; in so-called developed nations such as the USA, Canada and Israel, 40 to 70% of women were murdered by intimate partners; on a worldwide basis, 50% of sexual assaults are committed against children under 16; up to 150 million women and girls suffer some kind of violence yearly; 30% of first sexual experiences are rapes or attempted rapes.

Three million girls a year in Africa are submitted to female genital mutilation; 100 to 140 million women and girls live with the scars of this practice; 60 million children a year are forced to make commitments in marriage ceremonies; 80% of human trafficking is committed against women and girls; 79% of these, or 632,000 women and girls a year, are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. 379,200 women and girls are subjected to conditions of sexual slavery every year.

In parts of Europe, between 40 and 50% of women are subjected to unwanted sexual advances; in Asia, up to half the women suffer sexual harassment at work.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



An invitation: Join the discussion at CSW 57


Between 23 July - 3 August 2012, a dynamic online discussion will bring together Civil Society Organisations and experts who work on violence against women around the world. By checking in online during the two weeks, they will answer questions and share thoughts on best practices, gaps and challenges in this field.

Findings from these inputs will be used by UN Women to inform two UN Secretary-General's reports for the 57th Commission on the Status of Women and guide the discussion of CSW members. They will also be published online in a report on the key themes of the discussion.

UN Women encourages and welcomes all those who work in this field to take part in the consultation, contribute your views and experiences, and help to enrich the discussion that will feed into CSW 57.

About the Online Discussion

In March 2013, CSW will meet for its fifty-seventh session.

To involve key stakeholders in its preparation - particularly civil society and women's groups, policy makers and other experts - UN Women will use a two-week online discussion (23 July - 3 August) on the critical gaps and challenges facing women and girls in the priority area: the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

Within this, the two key areas of focus are primary prevention (stopping violence before it starts) and multisectoral services and responses to victims/survivors.

Through these discussions, CSOs and other experts from the field of gender-based violence can answer questions, and share experiences and best practices.

Why Join?

CSW is an opportunity for Member States to discuss areas of concern for women and girls, and agree on approaches to address these issues.  UN Women needs input from CSOs and practitioners on the ground to ensure that the discussions will be informed by high quality materials and reports, which:

-Highlight the most effective responses, with strong evidence;

- Identify the gaps and challenges in achieving the most effective responses;

- Demonstrate the need to prevent violence before it starts.

The discussion outcomes will be used to inform the findings and recommendations in the Secretary-General's two reports, provided to CSW members to guide them in their discussions.

They will also be included in a report for the general public on the official CSW 57 website; and will feed into an Expert Group Meeting on prevention (Bangkok, 17-20 September 2012) which will also present its outcomes to CSW.

How to join?

When: The online discussion will be held from 23 July -3 August 2012.

The first week's discussion (23 - 27 July) will focus on primary prevention.
The second week (30 July - 3 August) will be on support services and responses, across sectors.

Who: All CSOs, policy makers and other experts working in the field of gender-based violence are encouraged to contribute.

How:  Only participants who register will be able to see and participate in  the discussion.

To register, please send an email to [email protected] with your name, position, the name of your organization, and the country.
As Subject, please write: Registering for online discussion. Within one or two days you will receive an email with login and registration instructions.**

We will also send a reminder email, with questions to start the discussion, on the Friday before each session.

More information:  For more information about CSW and the upcoming session, visit its official website.  The online discussion will be in English, but a survey is also being sent through some UN Women offices to civil society groups that may be offline, or wish to contribute inputs in another language.

Examples of the questions to be discussed:

In your area/region, what measures have been introduced to prevent violence against women and girls?

How have you promoted the safety of women and girls in public places, and what results have you seen?

In your area/region, what services can survivors of gender-based violence access? How much access to women have, who are subjected to multiple forms of discrimination (for example, women with disabilities, indigenous women, migrant workers, women living with HIV/AIDS?)

What protocols, systems or networks ensure that these services are delivered in a coordinated way?


** Log in tips: This is a quick 3 step process. Each step, an email will come to your account from [email protected] with a link.  Please log in as an External User. When choosing your password, please choose one with 1 capital letter, 1 number or symbol, 8 characters long.  When you register, we hope you can include some information about you/your organization's main work.


UN Women

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey