Urgent action needed to end pandemic of femicide and violence against women, says UN expert

The COVID-19 pandemic is overshadowing the pandemic of femicides and gender-based violence against women and girls, Dubravka Šimonovic, special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, said today, calling for the establishment of national femicide watches or observatories around the world to prevent such killings.

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

As the world grapples with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on women, a pandemic of femicide and gender-based violence against womenis taking the livesof women and girls everywhere.
I call on all States and relevant stakeholders worldwide to take urgent steps to prevent the pandemic of femicide or gender related killings of women, and gender-based violence against women, through the establishment of national multidisciplinary prevention bodies or Femicide watches/observatories on violence against women. These bodies should be mandated to 1) collect comparable and disaggregated data on femicide or gender-related killings of women; 2) conduct an analysis of femicide cases to determine shortcomings, and recommend measures for the prevention of such cases, and 3) ensure that femicide victims are not forgotten by holding days of remembrance.

Data this mandate has collected since 2015 through my Femicide Watch initiative corroborates the data available from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and indicates that among the victims of all intentional killings involving intimate partners, more than 80% of victims are women. Many of these femicides are preventable.

Since 2015, a growing number of States have either established femicide watches or observatories, and in an increasing number of countries, it is the independent human rights institutions, civil society organizations, women’s groups and/or academic institutions that have established femicide watches or observatories.

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