Human rights of women

Violence is among the most severe human rights violations, and women are often attacked for sexual reasons or even on account of their gender. The phenomenon of femicide is on the rise and reports estimate that of all women killed in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members. Women human rights defenders are also often the deliberate targets of violence. According to a 2012 Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women [Page 14], women community leaders in Colombia, and women fighting for their rights, are the main targets of gender-related killings.

Under international treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, governments have a legal obligation to protect women from violence, to promote the human rights of all women and to ensure their economic, legal, social and political empowerment. This requires acting to prevent all forms of violence, reforming discriminatory laws and policies and ensuring that survivors of violence have access to justice.

UN Women advocates and provides technical assistance to ensure that States create and implement laws, policies and plans to protect women against multiple forms of violence. We work with other UN partners to train and educate law enforcement and justice officials

In Palestine, specialized prosecutors to enhance women survivors’ access to justice

Palestine Mehwar Centre

UN Women is training a pool of 15 specialized public prosecutors to handle domestic and gender-based violence cases. We are also supporting the development of Standard Operating Procedures and helping improve coordination with service providers to ensure access to justice for survivors of violence in Palestine.


Ending impunity for femicide across Latin America

Of the 25 countries with the highest femicide rates, more than half are in the Americas. With increasing rates of violence against women reported due to organized crime, and human, drug and arms trafficking, UN Women and the UN Human Rights Office have developed a Model Protocol to guide investigations of gender-based murders. Several Latin American countries are working to implement the Protocol, the goal of which is to improve treatment of victims and end impunity for the tens of thousands of women and girls murdered in Latin America each year.

What the Beijing Declaration says about Human rights of women

Go back to UN Women's In Focus compilation on Ending Violence against Women 2014

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