Areas of work and programmes: Ending Violence against Women and Girls

Regional Flagship Programme: Joint Action for the elimination of violence against women and girls in the Arab States region

UN Women, together with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and World Health Organization (WHO), have developed a Regional Flagship Programme to address Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the Arab States to bridge research with policy recommendations, provide guidance to adapt international standards in service provision to the region, and strengthen interagency understanding and collaboration in areas such as prevention. The Programme aims to reduce intersectional discrimination and VAWG in six countries, and is anchored in the normative frameworks of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the International Conference on Population and Development, the Arab Charter of Human Rights, and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme will also reinforce favorable social norms and attitudes to promote gender equality. Currently, the Government of Japan supports the implementation of the first year of the programme (from April 2018 to March 2019).

Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence programme

In 2015, within the framework of a Joint Global Programme, UN Women, together with UNFPA, WHO, UNDP, and UNODC launched a set of Global Standards and Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, aiming to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence. In the Arab States, Tunisia and Egypt have been identified as pilot countries for the rollout of the Essential Services Package. Under the framework of an enhanced regional interagency partnership launched at the end of 2016, UN Women and UNFPA jointly supported the rollout of the Essential Package in the region in 2017.

Gender Justice Study Initiative

In order to facilitate effective evidence-based programming on VAWG that focuses on the rule of law and access to justice, a comprehensive study was commissioned on laws, policies and practices related to VAWG in the 20 countries in the Arab States region. The report of the study will provide an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of constitutional protections, penal codes, anti-trafficking laws, family/personal status laws, policies and practices etc. vis-à-vis VAWG, in each country. UNDP, UN Women and UNFPA Regional Office in the Arab States have jointly validated the national studies and have conducted consultations with national stakeholders to identify national priorities for reform. UN Women led the validation and national consultation process in Palestine, Morocco, Iraq and Kuwait.

Estimating the Cost of Violence against Women in the Arab Region

UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS) in partnership with the Centre for Women of the United Nations Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is conducting a two-phased regional project on estimating the cost of violence against women in the Arab region. The first phase of the project entailed the publication of two reports. The first publication, entitled “The Status of Arab Women in the Arab Region: Violence Against Women: What is at Stake?” draws on global and regional literature reviews to formulate a conceptual and analytical framework on violence against women and develop an understanding of methodologies used to estimate economic costs of intimate partner violence. The report sheds light on existing VAWG reporting mechanisms and administrative databases at national level; analyzes the relationship between intimate partner violence and the economy; and examines the adverse health consequences of violence. The second publication “Estimating costs of marital violence in the Arab region: Operational Model” elaborates the basic economic model and options to estimate the costs of intimate partner violence in the region, taking into consideration the knowledge gaps, policy environment and legislative framework in the Arab States. In the second phase of this joint project, the economic model is envisioned to be piloted in some countries in the region. The aim would be to estimate the annual service provision cost in selected sectors such as health, security, and social services; develop macro estimates due to loss in productivity; and estimate the annual cost of violence against women on the household. Palestine is the first country to be included in the piloting phase.