Statement by the Director-General, Ms Jan Beagle
On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, it is more important than ever to add our voice to the global movement calling for an end to gender-based violence, a persistent violation of women’s human rights.
We are at a moment of mounting crises across the humanitarian-development-peace and climate continuum.
IDLO’s work across conflict-affected and fragile contexts has shown that, in these complex settings, gender-based violence (GBV) is exacerbated. Seventy per cent of women experience GBV in humanitarian or crisis contexts, more than double the global average. According to the Secretary-General, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children in conflict settings increased by 20 per cent in 2021, with 98 per cent of survivors being girls.
And, in these situations, women and girls are less likely to receive justice.
As the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development, IDLO champions a rule of law based approach to ending gender-based violence.
Guided by our Strategic Plan and Gender Strategy 2021-2024, IDLO’s work focuses on upholding a survivor-centred justice response to GBV to strengthen the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of these offenses against women, and provide support services to survivors.
Some of these approaches are highlighted in IDLO’s campaign ’16 Days, 16 Ways to Stand with Survivors of Gender-based Violence’.
For example, in Mongolia, IDLO has supported the establishment and operations of a referral network of Civil Society Organizations to assist GBV survivors. In Tunisia, IDLO is strengthening gender-responsiveness in the justice sector and supporting women’s economic empowerment.
New research that IDLO has conducted in partnership with the Global Women's Institute in six countries – Afghanistan, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Sudan and Tunisia – recommends five concrete approaches to enhance justice for GBV survivors.
First, we need to implement a comprehensive survivor-centred justice response to GBV that meets the needs of diverse groups of women. This includes the use of effective gender-responsive laws and the elimination of discriminatory ones.
Second, we need to foster the integration of services for GBV survivors in ways that enhance prevention, protection and access to redress, including through formal and informal pathways to justice.
Third, we must strengthen the legal empowerment of women and girls, including raising their awareness of their rights and the legal support services available to GBV survivors.
Fourth, we must support women’s collective action against gender-based violence, including the provision of targeted financing for local women’s organizations and essential community networks.
Lastly, we must expand monitoring and data collection, and strengthen research on what works to properly target interventions and measure progress.
IDLO calls on all our partners to work together towards the realization of these recommendations. We will continue to take forward our collective commitments to increase access to essential services for survivors of gender-based violence and implement and scale up gender-responsive policing under the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence.
As we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, we must stand together with survivors of gender-based violence everywhere. The time for justice is now.