June 13, 2016
Written by USAID
Violence against women (VAW), and specifically domestic violence (DV), is perhaps the most widespread and common human rights violation, experienced by women daily in every country of the world. Despite the pervasiveness of the problem, VAW has not been perceived as a global epidemic requiring urgent action. Over the last 15 years, progress has been made in the international community from recognizing and characterizing VAW as a fundamental human rights violation to the development of policies and recommendations to combat such violence. More recently, global development initiatives have also acknowledged the role that VAW plays in disempowering women across all spheres of life. The articulation of State obligations to address VAW and the construction of frameworks that set forth critical areas for government response are also important indicators of progress. Yet, despite these fundamental efforts, at the level of daily life, fully translating these policies into concrete mechanisms for women’s protection remains a challenge.