Increasing Knowledge and Awareness

Violence against women is rooted in discrimination and inequality, making it challenging to address.  Men and women who have not had opportunities to question gender roles, attitudes and beliefs, cannot change them. Women who are unaware of their rights cannot claim them. Governments and organizations without access to standards, guidelines and tools cannot adequately address these issues. Once evidence accumulates and awareness grows, the potential for stopping all forms of violence does too.

Our Solutions

Since we work around the world, UN Women has a unique vantage point in bringing together the expertise and understanding of what works to prevent violence and assist survivors. We have collected an extensive body of knowledge, from developing comprehensive national laws to executing successful awareness campaigns. There are a growing number of countries taking action to end violence drawing on our information resources that aid in identifying the most effective strategies.

UN Women hosts several resources to improve the supply and exchange of knowledge. The Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls features detailed guidance on how to implement laws, policies and programmes with access to promising practice, case studies and recommended programming tools from around the world.

The UN Secretary-General’s Database on Violence against Women tracks Government measures on violence against women. It is the only central repository housing information on national efforts with respect to legal frameworks, policies and programmes, services, preventive measures and training, research and statistical data, and engagement in international and/or regional initiatives.

UN Women also works closely with our UN sister agencies, such as through convening meetings of high-level experts to build on and maintain a cutting-edge evidence-base. The Inventory of United Nations system activities to prevent and eliminate violence against women additionally details specific initiatives by various UN agencies.

Raising awareness to end violence is about changing people’s hearts and minds—in Governments, civil society organizations and in the general public. At a country level, we support research on various aspects of violence against women in order to increase the available evidence. We support studies to determine the levels of violence experienced by women and girls (prevalence studies); collect data on the causes and consequences of violence; study peoples’ attitudes and perceptions towards violence against women; collect data on men’s and boys’ behaviours and conduct violence-costing studies.

The UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, managed by UN Women, rallies governments, individuals and civil society organizations to raise public awareness, increase political will and resources as well as strengthen partnerships. The Say NO–UNiTE to End Violence against Women social mobilization network is part of the campaign and aims to engage individuals and civil society groups in fighting this global pandemic. Having gathered and showcased more than 5 million actions in the course of four years, Say NO–UNiTE is now mobilizing action and awareness through social media. Follow@SayNO_UNiTE on Twitter and join the Facebook page,