Human rights

Violence against Women

The United Nations defines violence against women as 'any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.' In 2006, the World Health Assembly declared it a "leading worldwide public health problem". Violence against women is not only a violation of women's human rights. It is one of the worst forms of gender inequality and pervasive discrimination against women in the public and private spheres. Domestic violence, trafficking, sexual harassment, female genital mutilation, dowry murder, honor killings and infanticide are widespread forms of the problem. At least one out of every three women in the world is likely to experience violence in her lifetime. One in five will become a victim of rape or attempted rape. In this Western Pacific Region, the WHO Multi-country Study and similar studies have found that between 13% and 68% of women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.