Gender-based violence and the Global Goals

On 1 January 2016, the 17 new Global Goals for Sustainable Development came into force. These goals will guide the development agenda for the next 15 years, but what do they mean for efforts to eliminate gender-based violence?

Goal 5, on gender equality, has some specific targets that are relevant for GBV:

Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

This inclusion, and the specific recognition of violence against women and girls as a problem to be tackled, is very welcome. IDS research on gender, health and violence has shown however, that gender needs to be integrated across all of the goals if gender inequalities (and GBV) are to be addressed. For example, in order for Goal 16, on peace, justice and strong institutions to be achieved there will need to be an understanding of gender specific forms of violence and experiences of conflict, the role of harmful social norms in exacerbating violence, and the importance of women’s participation in developing strong institutions and good governance.

Measuring progress

Indicators to measure progress on the global goals are currently being developed. On 30 March 2016 the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) will meet to continue this process. A list of proposed indicators can be found here. For Goal 5’s target on eliminating violence against women and girls, the proposed indicators are:

  • The proportion of ever partnered women and girls (age 15-49) subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner in the last 12 months
  • The proportion of women and girls (aged 15-49) subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner, since age 15

Among the indicator used to measure the targets of Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, are:

  • Number of victims of intentional homicide by age, sex, mechanism and where possible type of perpetrator, per 100,000 population
  • Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 people (disaggregated by age, sex and cause)
  • Number of detected and non-detected victims of human trafficking per 100,000; by sex, age and form of exploitation

This blog post from February 2015 looks at the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) as they were being developed. It explores whether the proposed language on sexual and gender-based violence was enough.

Read the blog post