Gender-based violence (GBV) is a human rights violation, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation.
Gender-based violence (GBV) in the broadest terms, is violence that is directed at individuals based on their biological sex, gender identity, or perceived adherence to culturally-defined expectations of what it means to be a woman and man, girl and boy. GBV includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation. Whether occurring in public or private, GBV is a human rights violation, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation.
While gender-based violence is often defined only by physical violence, the reality is much broader. GBV can include but is not limited to female infanticide; early and forced marriage, “honor” killings, and female genital cutting/mutilation; child sexual abuse and exploitation; trafficking in persons; sexual coercion, harassment and abuse; neglect; domestic violence; economic deprivation, and elder abuse.
While it impacts everyone, women and men, girls and boys, it disproportionately affects women across their life cycle. It undermines not only the safety, dignity, overall health status, and human rights of the millions of individuals who experience it, but also the public health, economic stability, and security of nations.