Photo: UNICEF/RWAA2011-00258/Noorani

Photo: UNICEF/RWAA2011-00258/Noorani

Putting an end to violence against women and girls

At least one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her life. UN Women works to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. We help strengthen efforts to prevent and respond to it, including by supporting the development of laws, and improving the availability and quality of services. In 2014, we supported 80 countries to end violence against women.

Education and awareness

In 2014, global rollout began of a unique curriculum designed by UN Women and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. "Voices against Violence" teaches young people how to prevent violence. By 2016, it is expected to reach 800,000 children and youth aged 5 to 25 in 12 countries. The first regional trainings took place for Asia, Europe and Africa, with workshops for the Americas and French-speaking African countries to follow. They equip national trainers and youth leaders to deliver the curriculum to Girl Guides and Scouts. Participants will learn about root causes, prevention and ways to access support, earning a "Voices against Violence" badge.

I want to see a world where girls and women are free from violence and are treated as equals to men and boys. One day, I will look back and say, 'I was part of this, and now the world is a better place for all of us'.

Edith Chukwu, a 29-year old Girl Guide from Ebonyi, Nigeria, trained on the non-formal curriculum "Voices against Violence"


When Mary arrived at one of Rwanda's Isange One Stop Centres with a broken arm, she was too traumatized to speak. At 32 years old, with four children, she had just left her 17-year marriage to an emotionally and physically abusive husband.

Infographic: violence against women


Recent studies have shown horrific levels of violence against women in several Pacific countries. But in 2014, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and one state in the Federated States of Micronesia took a huge leap forward by adopting new laws to stop it. The sea change is the culmination of several years of concerted advocacy, as UN Women helped mobilize supportive international partners and national women's groups, sponsored public consultations, provided data mapping the scope of the problem, assisted with legal drafting and drew on political commitments made at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women.

Photo: CTTN

“Women in the police are now more accepted and even celebrated as leaders. I am proud to be one who led the way.”

Wafa Khaleel Ayyad Muammar: Pioneering a high-ranking role for women police

Despite strife and societal pressure, Wafa Khaleel Ayyad Muammar joined the Palestinian Civil Police, among the first women to do so, and became its highest-ranking female officer. As head of the Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, she proves what women can achieve.

When Lieutenant Colonel Muammar began her career, during the turmoil of the Second Intifada, determination was her only weapon. She earned her Master's degree, while pregnant, walking through dangerous terrain to go to school until one week before the birth of her second child. Always knowing she wanted to be a police officer, she began her training right after.

Foremost among her goals has been to keep women and children safe from domestic violence-the mission of her job today. UN Women partners with the police and a new pool of specialized prosecutors in helping to bring justice to women survivors.