Inclusivity and Diversity Series

World Health Organization (WHO) Global Report Finds 1 in 3 Women Experience Violence

By IGI Global on Mar 11, 2021
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Editor Note: Understanding the importance of this timely topic and to ensure that research is made available to the wider academic community, IGI Global has made a sample of related articles and chapters complimentary to access. View the end of this article to freely access this critical research.

As a follow-up to our previous Trending Topic article and the International Women’s Day, yet another report has been recently highlighted showcasing the ongoing plight of women. According to the World Health Organization:

  • One in three women between the ages of 15-24 have already experienced violence from their partners by the time they reach their mid-twenties.
  • Over 735 million women over the age of 15 years have experienced sexual and physical abuse.
  • Some countries reported up to 50% of women experiencing this abuse.

These startling statistics were garnered from over 160 countries and the data was collected from 2000-2018. Therefore, it does not account for the recent lockdown and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic or the recent headlines highlighting honor killings in India and around the world, deaths of women in Mexico during the femicide protests, or increased genital mutilation reports in the Middle East and Australia.

“Violence against women is endemic in every country and culture and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “But unlike COVID-19, violence against women cannot be stopped with a vaccine. We can only fight it with deep-rooted and sustained efforts to change harmful attitudes, improve access to opportunities and services, and foster healthy and mutually respectful relationships.”

Although recent legislation has been signed in the United States, Turkey, Jamaica, and other countries to protect women’s rights, the need for quality research on how to mitigate these statistics continues to grow, and Prof. Jean de Dieu Sikulibo, from the University of Strathclyde, UK, explains how physical and sexual violence is viewed in the various international courts and examines the effectiveness of victim’s rights framework in his chapter, “International Criminal Justice and the New Promise of Therapeutic Jurisprudence” featured in Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Overcoming Violence Against Women (IGI Global).

Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Overcoming Violence Against Women
Profs. Debarati Halder (Unitedworld School of Law, India) et al.
Copyright: 2017 | Pages: 344 | ISBN: 9781522524724 | EISBN: 9781522524731

This publication is a comprehensive reference source for the latest scholarly research on the strategic role of jurisprudential practices to benefit women and protect women’s rights....Learn More.

In many conflicts across the globe, rape and other brutal acts of sexual violence are used as part of military strategies aimed at civilian population to spread terror, inflict trauma and public humiliation. The fact that widespread and systematic sexual violence often serve as a weapon of war is now widely acknowledged. Despite growing awareness and constant global condemnation of rape and other acts of sexual violence in conflict situations as well as significant strides made in international criminal justice in this regard, these crimes continue to be used as a weapon in conflict situations around the world.

In its Resolution 1820 (2008) on acts of sexual violence against civilians in armed conflicts, the United Nations(UN) Security Council noted that ‘…women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence, including as a tactic of war to humiliate, dominate, instil fear in, disperse and/or forcibly relocate civilian members of a community or ethnic group’.1 A growing body of empirical studies and reports of the UN and international nongovernmental organisations reveal how a wide range of cruel sexual violence-based practices have become a viable part of military strategies.2 In support of this position, the ICC recently found Jean Pierre Bemba, the former Congolese vice-president, guilty in its first case to focus on rape as a war crime.3 Through the Jean Pierre Bemba emblematic case, the ICC has built on the jurisprudence pioneered by the ad hoc International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) which made significant contribution to the international criminal prosecution of these crimes to throw a spotlight on the prevalent use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Despite the fact that victims of crimes have for too long been considered as forgotten parties in the criminal justice process (Doak, 2005; Martsui, 2011), significant strides have been made over the recent years which culminated in the victims’ rights to redress in the context of international criminal justice. In fact, due to a growing recognition of the impact of mass crimes on victims, the victims’ right to justice and redress has become an important consideration in the international criminal justice discourse. As such, in addition to victims’ rights to be treated with respect and dignity, right to information about the proceedings and measures to protect their physical and psychological wellbeing,4 the ICC’s victim rights framework enshrined an important right for victims to present ‘their views and concerns’ in the course of the criminal proceedings,5 and the right to reparations.6 It is important to note that the need and significance of providing victims the right to participate in the criminal justice process is also enshrined in the UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.7

Although the relatively recent victim-centred approach in the international criminal prosecution represents a positive advance in adopting a healing approach towards the victims of mass crimes, it also presents the Court with significant challenges. Particularly, given the nature of international criminal justice, the complex realities of victims of sexual violence in conflict situations provide a unique range of challenges in addressing their needs within the context of victim participation at trial proceedings. While Article 68(3) of the Rome Statute and rules 89 to 93 of the Rule of Procedure and Evidence (RPE) set out key principles in relation to victims’ participation in proceedings before the ICC, wide discretion was vested with the Court’s judges to develop appropriate modalities of victims’ participation within the context of international criminal justice.

This chapter sets out to critically analyse the effectiveness of victim participation in international criminal justice process in addressing the needs of victims of conflict-related sexual violence. In so doing, the discussion in this chapter begins by examining the nature of these crimes and their victims as well the context in which such crimes are committed in order to understand the extent of the challenge posed by the systematic use of sexual violence in conflict zones. The chapter further looks at the procedural, legal and practical aspects of victims’ participation in international criminal justice process to highlight its potential for therapeutic jurisprudence and challenges to the effectiveness of this approach in addressing the harm suffered by victims of these crimes. In so doing, the discussion first examines the shortcomings of the previous international criminal tribunals in accommodating the victims of rape and other acts of sexual violence. Secondly, it takes a critical approach to the ICC’s victim participation scheme in addressing the needs of victims of such crimes and contributes to the victims’ healing process. The chapter finally offers critical insight into ways forward to ensure effective redress for the victims’ suffering in light of the unique nature of rape and other forms of sexual violence during conflict situations.

Interested in Reading the Rest of the Chapter? Access the Full Article Through IGI Global’s InfoSci-Demo Account, here.

Understanding the need for research around this topic, this research is featured in the Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Overcoming Violence Against Women (IGI Global). This is an essential research publication that generates conversations around the practical implementation of healthy emotional workspace practices in the sphere of higher education and investigates tools, frameworks, and case studies that can create a sustainable and healthy work environment. It moves beyond addressing emotional intelligence to addressing the awakening of a greater sense of the emotional self.

It is currently available in print and electronic format (ISBN: 9781522530183; EISBN: 9781522530190) through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore at a 20% discount. Additionally, to ensure that the research community can easily and affordably access this content, this publication and all IGI Global titles are available on the individual article and chapter level (pay-per-view) for US$ 37.50 through IGI Global's InfoSci-OnDemand. Recommend this publication and view all of the chapters featured in this title on the book webpage here.

Complimentary Research Articles and Chapters on Gender Equality, Violence Against Women, and Human Rights:

In response to the timeliness and importance of this topic, we have made all of the below articles and chapters complimentary to access. As such, please feel free to integrate these resources into your research and share them across your network.

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Featured Publications Surrounding This Topic:

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Recommend to Library
Globalization and Its Impact on Violence Against Vulnerable Groups
Prof. Milica S. Boskovic (College of Social Work, Serbia)
Copyright: 2020 | Pages: 315 | ISBN: 9781522596271 | EISBN: 9781522596295

This title is an essential source that provides research that delves deeply into occurrences of violence and the environmental and personal influences that lead to violence in order to better understand and prevent it from happening.


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Sexual Violence and Effective Redress for Victims in Post-Conflict Situations: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Prof. Jean de Dieu Sikulibo (University of Lay Adventists of Kigali, Rwanda)
Copyright: 2019 | Pages: 328 | ISBN: 9781522581949 | EISBN: 9781522581956

This title is a collection of innovative research that analyzes these crimes and their implications for the needs of victims in post-conflict justice processes and how these needs can be effectively addressed in order to support the affected community.
Learn More
Recommend to Library
Assessing and Averting the Prevalence of Mass Violence
Prof. Sarah E. Daly (St. Vincent College, USA)
Copyright: 2019 | Pages: 271 | ISBN: 9781522556701 | EISBN: 9781522556718

This title provides advanced insights into the social implications and the cultural and political natures of violent events. The content within this publication explores gun violence, crisis management, and public policy. It is a vital reference source for law enforcement professionals, criminal justice students, sociology researchers, policymakers, and government researchers seeking coverage on topics centered on mass violence prevention, assessment, and intervention.
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Recommend to Library
Handbook of Research on Women's Issues and Rights in the Developing World
Profs. Nazmunnessa Mahtab (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) et al.
Copyright: 2018 | Pages: 452 | ISBN: 9781522530183 | EISBN: 9781522530190

This title is a pivotal scholarly resource that discusses the current issues facing women’s rights in developing nations, as well as suggestions for improvements on these problems. Featuring in-depth discussions on relevant topics such as working-class women, gender theories, and international migration, this publication is an ideal resource for academicians, students, and researchers that are interested in learning more about the current challenges to the women’s rights movement, and how to best combat them.





Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.


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