Addressing violence against women and achieving the Millennium Development Goals
Violence is a major obstacle to development. Violence against women in particular hinders progress in achieving development targets. Despite the growing recognition of violence against women as a public health and human rights concern, and of the obstacle it poses for development, this type of violence continues to have an unjustifiably low priority on the international development agenda and in planning, programming and budgeting.
This document highlights the connections between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the prevention of violence against women by showing how:
- working towards the MDGs will reduce violence against women; and
- preventing violence against women will contribute to achieving the MDGs.
The document concludes that many MDG targets will be missed if violence against women – one of the most blatant manifestations of gender inequality is not addressed. It aims to clarify the links between violence against women and the MDGs, and to help translate these links into action.
Who should read this document?
The document is aimed at several audiences. These include:
- politicians and other leaders who wish to take action to address violence against women; decision-makers and policy specialists working in development, public health, legal reform, social policy and other relevant fields;
- advocacy groups working to raise the profile of violence against women as well as that of related issues of gender equality and women's empowerment; and
- programme and policy staff in donor organizations, development and aid agencies.
What does this document cover?
The document begins with a brief discussion of gender and development in the context of the MDGs. This is followed by a short overview of violence against women.
The main body of the document deals with specific MDGs and their links with the prevalence and prevention of violence against women. The final section discusses ways forward, with an emphasis on action.