Asia-Pacific

More than half of women killed in 2017 died at hands of partner or relative

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The gender-related killing of women and girls has been examined in a global study.

Six women are killed every hour by people they know, a global report has found.

The United Nations study found that, in the last year about 87,000 women were killed with that number indicating an overall increase compared to previous years.

More than half (58 per cent) - 50,000 women - were killed by their partners or family members.

That amounts to 137 women every day being killed by their partner or their own family.

Women are the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family, the study found.
Women are the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family, the study found.
UNODC

'Femicide'

Available homicide data was examined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to look at the death of female victims in intimate partner and family-related homicide.

Entitled 'Femicide Report 2018', the study said it aims to highlight "what more can be done to prevent...the number of gender-related killings of women and girls", despite laws against femicide in Latin America and other multi-agency efforts.

UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov said the focus on females is important in efforts to eradicate violence against women.

"While the vast majority of homicide victims are men, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes," he said.

"They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family."

The gender dimension

Of the deaths at the hands of partners or family, women constituted 64 per cent of the victims, men 36 per cent.

The percentage for women increases to 82 per cent when looking at death by a partner.

However, men represent 80 per cent of people killed in 2017.

Thousands of people protest against violence against women and femicide (the intentional killing of females) through the streets of Madrid.
Thousands of people protest against violence against women and femicide (the intentional killing of females) through the streets of Madrid.
AAP

"These findings show that even though men are the principal victims of homicide globally, women continue to bear the heaviest burden of lethal victimisation as a result of gender stereotypes and inequality," the report said.

Dowry and honour killings were a part of the reason, the report found.

"The death of those killed by intimate partners does not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-related violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives," the report said.

Africa is the most dangerous place, Europe the safest

Regionally, the largest number of females were killed by their partners or family in Asia (20,000 victims), although the risk was greater in Africa (1.3 per 100,000 head of population).

The risk was lowest in Europe (0.7 per 100,000 population).

The largest number women killed worldwide by intimate partners or family members in 2017 was in Asia.
The largest number women killed worldwide by intimate partners or family members in 2017 was in Asia.
UNODC

The Oceania region - including Australia - had the lowest absolute number of women killed by their partners or family.

The report is the first part of the Global Study on Homicide project which will be launched early next year.

Human rights experts urge end to 'global epidemic of femicide'

In a joint statement, human right experts urged an end to the "preventable" deaths of women.

The statement pointed to data collected from UN member states such as Australia, Canada, the UK and Sweden as supporting UN research that 80 per cent of victims of partner violence are women.

It said the #MeToo movement had achieved some progress, but the number of deaths continue to rise.

"While the movement has broken the silence on sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence, for the most part, it has not always been followed by adequate reforms of laws and policies, nor has it produced much needed results and changes in women’s daily lives.

"International and regional mechanisms should capitalise on this transformative movement to reaffirm States’ obligations under various human rights instruments that protect women’s rights in order to promote lasting change.

"The experts also highlight that gender-based violence remains widely unpunished across the world. As women, girls and adolescents strive access to fair, unbiased and opportune justice, impunity prevails in cases of femicide, sexual violence, harassment and other violent and discriminatory crimes against them."

Global marches

The study's release comes as women around the world marched to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The 16-day campaign aims to get individuals and organisations to join the effort to stop violence against women.

The UN said more than a third of women globally will experience violence. The organisation has credited the #MeToo movement for bringing momentum to the issue of systemic gender violence in countries such as Noth Korea and India.

This year buildings and landmarks were lit in orange as part of the theme 'Orange the World: #HearMeToo".

Twenty five years after the UN General Assembly passed the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr Fedotov said there is still much work to be done.

"Targeted criminal justice responses are needed to prevent and end gender-related killings," he said.

The report recommmends involving men in the solution through early education, as well as better support from police, health and social services to promote victim safety and ensure offender accountability.

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