The UN Statistical Commission today adopted a new global framework for measuring gender-related killings of women and girls, developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women. The framework will enable more precise measuring of the extent of femicide and assess worldwide risk factors associated with this brutal manifestation of violence against women.
“By providing a global definition for femicide, the new statistical framework by UNODC and UN Women can help ensure that each and every woman killed because of her gender is recognized as a victim of this terrible crime, and that justice can be served. Armed with better information, countries can better tailor efforts to prevent and end gender-motivated killings of women and girls,” said UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.
Femicide takes place in all regions and countries around the world. However, unlike for other forms of violence against women, a global or regional statistical approach that can define and produce relevant metrics to measure all gender-motivated killings of women and girls has not yet been created.
“The lack of this evidence has been a major obstacle to address one of the most extreme forms of violence against women. Implementing this framework will give us comparable national data, and global and regional estimates that can help us monitor progress and take decisive action to end gender-related killings of women and girls,” added UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. “What we can measure, we can better act on.”
The framework provides a statistical definition of femicide to help countries record and process the necessary data and to count and compare such killings. It also lists the characteristics that define the gender-related motivation of killings, such as the relationship between offender and female victim (for example, intimate partner or other family member) or a repeated experience of gender-based violence by the victim, among others. These characteristics are defined on a global scale to ensure that national data on femicides are comparable across countries, regardless of existing specific national legislations that sometimes provide different definitions of these offences.
In 2020, some 47,000 women and girls were killed by their intimate partners or other family members worldwide, to speak only of femicides committed in the family. When the new framework is implemented, it will be possible to provide more comprehensive figures on gender-related killings of women and girls, as well as more information on the context of these crimes.
The framework will help national data producers, such as national statistical offices and entities in the criminal justice and public health sector systems and offers them the opportunity to improve their mechanisms for statistical coordination with one another, as well as with entities for the advancement of women and gender equality, civil society organizations and academia.
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The framework was produced by UNODC jointly with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), in full alignment with the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS).
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