Roster of experts on gender-responsive police services for survivors of violence established in the Arab States
A roster of police middle-managers from Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen participated in a training of trainers on gender-responsive police services for women and girls survivors of violence, from 06 to 08 December 2021.
The training was provided through the project Reducing Online Violence Against Women and Girls for Peace and Stability, implemented by UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States with the generous support of the Government of Japan.
According to a UN Women survey on the effects of COVID-19 on violence against women, between 23 per cent and 38 per cent of women who experienced violence in the Arab region sought help. Respondents reported that women mainly turned to police and justice entities to seek support. Moreover, according to another UN Women survey, 23 per cent of women who report incidents of online violence in the Arab region do so to the police.
A quality police and justice response are thus crucial to keep women and girls safe from violence, including from the recurrence of further violence; to hold perpetrators accountable; and to provide for effective reparations to victims and survivors.
Based on the Handbook on gender-responsive police services for women and girls survivors of violence, the training aims to create a roster of trainers from the region with the necessary expertise to better respond to survivors and protect their rights. The handbook was developed by UN Women in partnership with UNODC and provides practical, peer-to-peer guidance on how to deliver more effective services for women and girls survivors of violence, while enabling partnerships and collaboration between service providers in order to offer comprehensive support to survivors.
The training included in-depth guidance on responding to cases of online violence, providing services to survivors in conflict-settings, gender-responsive police investigations and survivor-centred approaches. The police middle-managers who completed the training will form the first intake to a pool of experts from the Arab States trained on gender-sensitive policing, who will share their acquired knowledge with their colleagues and continue to enhance access to justice for women survivors of violence.
Despite large-scale efforts on legislation, prevention and response, violence against women continues to be prevalent in the region: 31% of ever-married/partnered women aged 15-49 year old in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence from a current or former husband or male partner at least once in their lifetime.
UN Women works with States in the region to advance their efforts to eliminate violence against women, including by producing research and engaging with civil society, the police and other service providers to build capacities to ensure enhanced support and response for women survivors of violence.
 WHO, VAW Prevalence Estimates, 2018, available at: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-SRH-21.8