UN Report on Indicators on Violence against Women and State Response
Monday, February 25, 2008 12:43 PM

United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Ertürk, has released a report regarding indicators on violence against women and state responses to them. In her report, she contends that in order to monitor state compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women and to address violence against women, data from each country needs to be gathered systematically, categorized and published. However, there is a remarkable lack of information relating to women and girls, and there are no universally agreed international benchmarks or indicators for this. The Special Rapporteur has used this report to make proposals, guided by human rights standards, for indicators to measure violence against women and girls.

Ms. Yakin Ertürk also suggested that there was a need to move to immediate and health-based measures to cover how violence narrows women’s and girls’ enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms in public and private life, including with respect to social inclusion and livelihoods.

A new sub-category was proposed by Ms. Ertürk grave violence against women, which would include any incident of rape/serious sexual assault/sexual coercion in childhood or adulthood, female genital mutilation, child/forced marriage, trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Ms. Ertürk recommended that, just as shelters are provided for women escaping a violent partner, so too should they exist for girls and young women escaping, for example, sexual abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and sexual exploitation, and for trafficking victims across or within borders.

Published in: Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” Catherine Weston, Reports from the 7th Session of the Human Rights Council, Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), 25 February 2008.