To End Poverty You Have to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls

November 25, 2015

The statistics are shocking…

  • One-third of women worldwide -- or nearly 1 billion women – have or will experience intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.  This is equivalent to the population of Africa. 
  • Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner. 
  • Recent global estimates indicate that 60 million girls age 20-24 were married before age 18. 
  • Globally, 125 million women have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting.

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) – also referred to as violence against women, gender-based violence, or sexual and gender-based violence – is a global pandemic, a widespread and pervasive infringement on human rights and well-being that has no social or economic boundaries.

Terms like “domestic violence” mask the fact that men commit most of this violence, and violence against women is present in all countries rich and poor and affects those in all socioeconomic groups.

The World Bank’s involvement in this issue is relatively recent, but it has a unique role.  As a financier of development projects, the Bank now supports millions of dollars in development projects aimed at addressing VAWG across many different sectors, from health and education to infrastructure and public services. Just as important, the Bank tests new ideas in these projects and those approaches that show a serious impact are then shared with other countries that may want to apply them.

#16Days of Activism

This year, the World Bank is joining the #16Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, starting November 25 through December 10 –from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to International Human Rights Day. Over the next two weeks, our #16Days of Activism blog will run one new post every day to explore findings and approaches geared toward the elimination of gender-based violence. Also included in this campaign is an event and discussion (Violence against Women and Girls: It’s Everybody’s Business) on Dec. 7 that will be live streamed and offer an online discussion (more details soon.)