International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2020

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. 

Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner and as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. Yet to date, only two out of three countries have outlawed domestic violence, while 37 countries worldwide still exempt rape perpetrators from prosecution if they are married to or eventually marry the victim. Furthermore, 49 countries currently have no laws protecting women from domestic violence.

Women's rights activists have observed November 25th as a day against gender-based violence since 1981. This date was selected to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961). November 25th also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence which end on December 10th, Human Rights Day. This annual campaign is used by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

To mark this event, Elsevier presents a curated, open access collection of 52 journal articles and book chapters to highlight the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.





Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 82, September–October 2020, 102402

To better understand how gender impacts parliamentary representation, the authors analysed representative claims made by parliamentarians in India, the world's largest democracy. Applying critical frame analysis to plenary debates in the Indian Rajya Sabha, the paper examined four parliamentary bills addressing violence against women and children under four successive governments between 1999 and 2019, contributing to SDGs 5 and 16.

Social Science & Medicine, Volume 260, September 2020, 113191

International advocacy and evidence have been critical for shifting the pervasive issue of violence against women onto the health agenda. Guidelines and training packages, however, can be underpinned by Western principles of responding to individual survivors of violence and availability of specialist referral services, which may not be available in many countries. As Timor-Leste and other nations begin to build their health system response to violence against women, it is important to understand the current practices of health providers and the broader sociocultural context of providing care to survivors of violence. This article contributes to SDGs 3 and 5.

Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 64, September 2017, Pages 51-58

Contributing to SDG 5, this article seeks to explore the role of self-defense programmes as a response to addressing violence against women and girls. It draws on the authors' experience of post-earthquake Nepal in 2015.

Social Science & Medicine, Volume 157, May 2016, Pages 27-30

Nordic countries are the most gender equal countries in the world, but at the same time they have disproportionally high prevalence rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. This paper explores a number of theoretical and methodological issues that may help to understand this paradox, contributing to SDGs 3 and 5.

Social Science & Medicine, Volume 146, December 2015, Pages 249-256

Men are more likely than women to perpetrate nearly all types of interpersonal violence (e.g. intimate partner violence, murder, assault, rape). Drawing upon theories that explain the drivers of violence, this paper contributes to SDGs 3 and 5 by examining how gender norms, including norms and social constructions of masculinity, are at the root of most physical violence perpetration by men against women and against other men.

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 7, Issue 8, August 2020, Pages 682-691

This article addresses SDGs 3 and 5 by highlighting the risk of self-harm among female prisoners; risk factors included a history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, family history of self-harm or suicide, as well as physical or sexual violence or threats of violence in prison.

The Lancet Global Health, Volume 8, Issue 7, July 2020, Pages e954-e964

This article addresses SDGs 3, 4, and 5 by highlighting trends in marriage and fertility in girls and women aged 15-24 years in urban and rural China, and the protective effect of education in this regard. The study recommends scaling up provision of reproductive health services and improving access to education for girls, as early marriage and childbearing are associated with increased risks of intimate partner violence, complications in pregnancy, and reduced opportunities for education and employment.

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 7, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 173-190

This article addresses SDGs 3 and 5 by analysing the effectiveness of psychological interventions in treating anxiety, PTSD, depression, and psychological distress in women who have recently experienced or are currently experiencing intimate partner violence.

The Lancet Public Health, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2019, Pages e301-e310

This article addresses SDGs 3 and 5 by assessing the effectiveness of an online intervention tool for women experiencing intimate partner violence in Australia. The study found no meaningful improvement in self-efficacy or depressive symptoms overall, but some women reported benefits with the intervention, highlighting the need to further develop and refine online decision aids for this purpose.

The Lancet Global Health, Volume 7, Issue 7, July 2019, Pages e872-e882

This article addresses SDGs 3, 5, and 8 by highlighting that many female migrant domestic workers and live-in carers experience physical, verbal, and sexual abuse and assaults, most often perpetrated by their employers.