Systematic collection and documentation of killing of women and girls needed to combat femicide, say participants of symposium in Vienna

Vienna, 28 November 2016 - The systematic collection, documentation and analysis of data on gender-based killings is necessary in order to address the root causes of this scourge, agreed participants of a high-level symposium marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was held last Friday in Vienna.

The discussion brought together stakeholders from government, international organizations, OSCE institutions and field operations, academics as well as civil society to identify ways forward and the guidance needed for governments to prevent femicide.

"Femicide and gender-based killings are globally recognized as one of the gravest violations of human rights," said Ambassador Paul Bekkers, Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General. "In 2012 more than 43,000 women were killed by an intimate partner or family member worldwide - that's almost four times the number of people killed by terrorism worldwide that same year, according to UNODC. These shocking numbers highlight the importance of addressing femicide, and gender-based violence in general, also as a concern for global security."

Aldo Lale-Demoz, Deputy Executive Director of UNODC, said: "Gender-related killings go beyond 'ordinary' murder and often represent the final event of an extended and ignored continuum of violence, which is rooted in gender-based discrimination and the unequal power relations between men and women. Targeted measures against gender-related killing are not enough. It is crucial that they build upon ongoing efforts to counter violence against women and girls, in order to protect and support victims and survivors from violence before it escalates into gender-related killing."

Dubravka Šimonović, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, said in her keynote address, that "governments have an obligation to protect women and girls from violence and femicides. My proposal is to establish a 'femicide watch' or observatory at the national level, for collection and analysis of data, case by case, that reveals gaps in criminal justice and other services or protection mechanisms. It is an important way and practical forward to prevent gender-related killings of women and girls."

The symposium was organized by the OSCE Gender Section, in co-operation with the UNODC, the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and the Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) NGO.

The OSCE is also joining the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign to combat gender-based violence. Follow the campaign on OSCE social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and learn more about our work in combating gender-based violence at

For further information please contact:

Shiv Sharma
Media and Outreach Officer
Tel: +43 1 514 36 6787
Mobile: +43 676 375 6173
Email:  Shiv.Sharma[at]