Gender and Respectful Relationships: Gender-based violence

In the paper shared yesterday by violence prevention organisation Our Watch, one of the main benefits discussed was Respectful Relationship education’s potential to prevent gender-based violence. But what is gender-based violence? Today’s article – taken from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) website – will answer this very question.

On its website, the UNFPA gives a broad overview of what gender-based violence is. This helps us to understand why measures like the Respectful Relationships curriculum might be needed. As the UNFPA states, violence against women and girls happens regardless of socioeconomic status or nationality. The website shares statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 that shows one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused, and one in every five was abused as a child. Gender-based violence can thus take many forms, and can affect many different types of women and girls.

While focussing on the work that the UNFPA does to eliminate gender-based violence, the statistics the website shares also has relevance for this week’s discussion on respectful relationships. According to the UNFPA, gender-based violence (often also perpetrated by a partner, called intimate partner violence) is incredibly widespread, occurring across the entire world. Given this, can comparatively small-scale measures like the Victorian government’s Respectful Relationships program help to prevent it?

United Nations Population Fund 2016, Gender-based violence, viewed 21 October 2016, http://www.unfpa.org/gender-based-violence