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What Is Gender-Based Violence? How can this be addressed?

Jan 5 2024 / Posted in Gender Violence

Gender-based violence The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life." UN Interagency working group on violence against women, found that worldwide, nearly 1 in 3, (30%), of women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or non-partner sexual violence or both. 

Table of Content 

What Is Gender-Based Violence? How can this be addressed?

Impact of Violence

Responding to Gender-based Violence: How can this be addressed?

The following actions can help you fight gender-based violence:


Over a quarter of women aged15-49 years who have been in a relationship have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner at least once in their lifetime (since age 15). The prevalence estimates of lifetime intimate partner violence range from 20% in the Western Pacific, 22% in high-income countries and Europe and 25% in the WHO Regions of the Americas to 33% in the WHO African region, 31% in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, and 33% in the WHO South-East Asia region.

Violence can include acts of physical violence such as slapping, chocking or burning, sexual violence including spousal rape, psychological violence such as fear by intimidation or forced isolation, and economic violence by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, and/or forbidding attendance at school or employment, among others.

(GBV) is a widespread problem that impacts millions of individuals globally. It describes any negative act committed against a person because of their gender, which frequently disproportionately affects women and girls. 

Violence can occur in several ways, such as economic, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. It is essential to comprehend gender-based violence and know how to react to build a society that is safer and more just.

Fundamentally, Gender-Based Violence is a result of unequal power relations between males and females which feeds negative stereotypes and reinforces cultural norms that condone violence. There are several ways that this violence might appear:

Physical violence: Physical violence refers to the application of force that results in bodily injury to a person. This can involve any kind of physical violence, such as striking, slapping, kicking, etc.

Sexual violence: Sexual violence refers to non-consensual sexual activities, including harassment, assault, and rape. An individual's autonomy and physical integrity are being grossly violated by this.

Psychological or emotional violence: This type of violence includes control, intimidation, and manipulation aimed at a person's emotional health. This type of abuse frequently leaves behind long-lasting, imperceptible scars.

Economic violence: Economic violence is the control of someone's finances, the restriction of their access to resources, or an obstacle to their becoming financially independent. This may lead to dependence and further trap victims of abuse.

Impact of Violence

Intimate partner (physical, sexual and psychological) and sexual violence cause serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for women. They also affect their children’s health and wellbeing. This violence leads to high social and economic costs for women, their families and societies. These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, and suicide attempts. Children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioural and emotional disturbances. These can also be associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.

Responding to Gender-based Violence: How can this be addressed?

It takes a multifaceted strategy encompassing individuals, communities, and organisations to address violence. 

The following actions can help you fight gender-based violence:

Educate Both Yourself and Others: It's important to comprehend the underlying causes and effects of gender-based violence. Learn about healthy relationships, consent, and how societal norms affect gender dynamics. To raise awareness, spread this information to your loved ones, friends, and neighbours.

Promote Gender Equality: Advocate for gender equality in all spheres of life. Face down prejudice and discriminatory behaviours that support injustice. Promote equitable opportunity for all individuals, irrespective of their gender.

Encourage Survivors: Be a listening, nonjudgmental ear to anybody who confides in you about having experienced violence. Accept and give credence to their experiences. Urge them to call for professional assistance and other resources, such as counselling.

Report Incidents: Notify the proper authorities if you observe or learn of instances of violence. Numerous nations have organisations and helplines devoted to assisting Gender Based Violence sufferers. By reporting occurrences, you may safeguard future victims and hold violators responsible.

Promote consent culture: Encourage a culture of consent by highlighting how crucial consent is to all relationships. Educate people on the need for mutual consent and setting limits in all types of relationships, including intimate ones.

Also Read:- Gender Matters: Intersecting Mental Health and Gender


The complicated problem of violence has its roots in power disparities and cultural norms. It takes a team effort to properly tackle it. We can help create a world free from Gender-Based Violence by educating ourselves, fighting for legislative changes, helping survivors, and promoting equality. To create a society that is safer and more just for everyone, it will take constant dedication and teamwork.