Policy papers

See below for a selection of policy publications regarding women's rights and violence against women. Alert us to policy developments where you are by emailing info@sistersforchange.org.uk.

Global policy reports

Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences 2014: UN 20 years

UN Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo, May 2014

[Extract from Summary] "The present report focuses broadly on developments in the United Nations regarding violence against women, its causes and consequences, over approximately 20 years. The objective is to provide a snapshot view of these developments, including the expanding conceptualization of the theme of violence against women, its causes and consequences."

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women 2013: State Responsibility

Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo, May 2013
[Extract from Summary] "The present report addresses the topic of State responsibility for eliminating violence against women. As a general rule, State responsibility is based on acts or omissions committed either by State actors or by actors whose actions are attributable to the State. A longstanding exception to this rule is that a State may incur responsibility where there is a failure to exercise due diligence to prevent or respond to certain acts or omissions of non-State actors."

Challenges & achievements in the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls

Commission on the Status of Women, March 2014

“The Commission is deeply concerned that overall progress for women and girls across all the Millennium Development Goals remains slow and uneven … and that lack of progress on gender equality has hindered progress towards all of the Goals.”

Women’s rights & gender equality in the post-2015 Framework

Womankind Worldwide (UK), FIDA (Kenya), LIWOMAC (Liberia) and WILDAF (Ghana), 2014

“For the Post-2015 Framework to make significant advances in promoting women’s rights it must include a dedicated goal on gender equality and women’s rights. Securing this standalone goal must be the priority for all governments committed to tackling gender inequality.”

UN Women Position Paper on Post 2015 Development Agenda

UN Women Policy Division, 2013

In its position paper, UN Women advocates for a stand-alone goal in the post-2015 development agenda to achieve gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment, one that is grounded in human rights and tackles unequal power relations. UN Women is also calling for integration of gender equality concerns throughout the other priority areas.

UN Women Annual Report 2013-2014

UN Woman, 2014

"In 2013, UN Women delivered direct programme support in 96 countries. The largest areas of support were (i) ending violence against women (85 countries), (ii) leadership & participation (71), (iii) economic empowerment (67)."

Declaration of Commitment to end Sexual Violence in Conflict

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 2013

The Declaration contains a set of practical and political commitments to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. The Declaration was launched in New York on 24 September 2013 during the United Nations General Assembly, by Foreign Secretary William Hague and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura. Over two thirds of all members of the United Nations have endorsed the Declaration.

Regional and country policy reports

Violence against Women and Girls: Lessons from South Asia

World Bank Group, 2014

“This report examines the prevalence and the factors associated with various types of violence against women and girls in South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). The report also highlights the gaps where intensive research or interventions might be undertaken."

India: National Consultation Report Post 2015 Development Framework

United Nations, 2013

“Building on its commitment to the MDGs, India has responded to the call of the UN Secretary-General for inclusive broad-based consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. Beginning in September 2012, eight national conveners representing the government, trade unions, industry, women’s associations, farmer’s associations, research institutions, civil society and youth organizations have undertaken constituency-based consultations.”

Indonesia: National Consultation Report Post 2015 Development Framework

United Nations, 2013

“[A] cross-cutting issue that came out clearly through the consultation process was a strong emphasis on the inclusion of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education in the national education curriculum. This was one of the strongest themes of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Inequalities.”

Economic reports on women's issues

Understanding the costs of violence against women: Selected findings from Asia & the Pacific

UN Women, 2013

“The intended audience for this report includes partners in government,other United Nations agencies and NGOs, as well as donors and practitioners. This report aims to catalog and elucidate the past and current efforts to cost VAW in Asia and the Pacific, building on what was presented at the costing consultation in January 2013, and highlighting the challenges and key lessons.”

Measuring the Economic Gain of Investing in Girls: The Girl Effect Dividend

World Bank Working Paper, 2011

"Although girls are approximately half the youth population in developing countries, they contribute less than their potential to the economy. The objective of this paper is to quantify the opportunity cost of girls' exclusion from productive employment with the hope that stark figures will lead policymakers to reconsider the current underinvestment in girls."

Smarter Economics: Investing in Girls

Nike Foundation (Girl Effect) & World Bank, 2013

"Smarter Economics: Investing in Girls uses findings from the 2012 World Development Report and other sources to show how adding girls to development plans can deliver a huge economic upside and breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty."