Thèmes et resources
SDC Factsheet: Violence against women - The missing MDC?
Violence sexuelle

SDC Factsheet: Violence against women - The missing MDC?

Violence against women (VAW) is an international problem - it persists in different forms in all countries and societies of the world. It is currently estimated that over one third of all women worldwide have been subjected to physical or sexual violence (WHO 2013). After the evolution of a number of human rights standards building a strong international framework on the issue in the last decades, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) of the United Nations only recently in its annual meeting 2013 adopted agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.

However, despite the increasing recognition of the problem accompanied by a number of human rights standards, there is still a glaring lack of data on the issue, as well as great lack of resources and political will devoted to combat this epidemic (Bunch 2008).

The MDGs, as the first global target-bound framework to combat poverty and inequality, have also often been criti-cized for their lack of integration of this crucial issue for gender equality. VAW has been glaringly absent from the MDGs, despite evidence that it is affecting and undoing progress in each area the MDGs focus on (Moosa 2013). Many players therefore now advocate that vio-lence against women - often termed ‘the missing MDG’ - be integrated into the post-2015 agenda (among them is also Switzerland in its Swiss Position on Gender Equality in the post-2015 Agenda).

Violence against women is not only an important issue for the post-2015 agenda, it is also a problem that is often encountered by development practitioners in the field, as can be seen by the rich and varied feedback our E-discussion with SDC Gender Focal Points generated. It was interesting to note that despite the fact that only few cooperation offices have projects that directly deal with violence against women, it is nevertheless an issue people frequently encounter in their work. It was even mentioned, that in some cases development interventions can lead to increased violence against women.

This paper is the first of a series of three factsheets on different pertinent issues concerning gender equality and sustainable development. In the context of the post-2015 agenda negotia-tions, we asked SDC Gender Focal Points around the world, which issues they deemed to be most important with regards to sustainable development and gender equality. Responses came in from different corners of the earth, highlighting that the main issues people were struggling with in their countries and in their day-to-day work were: Violence against women, political participation and economic empowerment.

The aim of our factsheets is three-fold

    1. provide practitioners with a theoretical background and indicators on these issues, under-lined with case studies and best-practice examples from their own work

    2. lance a discussion among practitioners about how VAW can be integrated into their differ-ent thematic domains and fields of action in the most sustainable way

    3. highlight the importance of these three gender equality issues for the post-2015 agenda and suggest possible indicators for policy makers


© SDC, Giorgia Müller, November 2013

SDC Factsheet Violence against women - The missing MDC.pdf — (710 kB)