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International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations in our world today. It is largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, violence against women and girls manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms that include intimate partner violence, sexual violence and harassment, and human trafficking.

Did you know*?

Since the pandemic began:

  • 45% of women reported that they or a woman they know has experienced a form of violence against women and girls
  • 7 in 10 women said they think that verbal or physical abuse by a partner has become more common
  • 6 in 10 felt that sexual harassment in public spaces has worsened


  • 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence
  • almost 3 in 5 women killed were killed by their partners or family, in 2017
  • 72% of all trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls

Although gender-based violence can happen to anyone, certain demographics of women and girls are at a higher risk. These include young girls; older women; women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex; migrants and refugees; indigenous women and ethnic minorities; women or girls living with HIV, disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

This year, the UN Secretary-General and UN Women are leading the UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls campaign. The campaign runs from November 25th to December 10th (the International Human Rights Day). The goal of the campaign is to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world. The UN seeks to increase awareness, promote advocacy, and create opportunities for discussion on both the challenges and solutions around violence against women and girls.

You can learn more about the 16-day campaign, violence against women and girls, and ways to advocate, by checking out the 2021 Femicide Advocacy Guide.