Up to half of the female population of the world become the victims of domestic abuse, suggests Unicef’s report, “Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls,” released today. The study defines “abuse” broadly, from the abortion of female fetuses to the infanticide of girl-children, to “the deliberate under-feeding” of girls and their lack of access to medical care, to sexual abuse and incest, to “the fatal beating of adult women.” The report shows that domestic violence is alarmingly prevalent in every country and region, although “the problem is often most acute in the poorest countries.”
The study gathers already published research from many countries, and is part of Unicef’s recent series of studies on women’s rights aimed at uncovering the political, economic, and socio-cultural reasons behind women’s inability to overcome disadvantages like poverty and illiteracy.
Unicef released its report just before next weeks special General Assembly session assessing the advances women have made since 1995’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. The Feminist Majority Foundation will participate in this conference, presenting research and recommendations based on our work with women’s rights worldwide, including the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. For more information, please visit FMF’s Beijing +5 Schedule.