About the Database

In December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a comprehensive resolution calling for intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and requesting the Secretary-General to establish a coordinated database on the extent, nature and consequences of all forms of violence against women, and on the impact and effectiveness of policies and programmes for eliminating such violence. The database was developed and launched in 2009, and was called the “UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women”. In 2016, in accordance with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN Women updated and redesigned the database and relaunched it as the “Global Database on Violence against Women”. UN Women serves as the secretariat for the database.


The Database is Designed to:

  • Provide easy access to comprehensive and up-to-date information on measures undertaken by Governments to address all forms of violence against women;
  • Increase opportunities for exchange of experiences in addressing violence against women;
  • Strengthen the knowledge-base for effective policy responses to prevent and address violence against women; and
  • Encourage the further collection, availability, use and dissemination of data on violence against women, as well as analysis of such data.


The primary sources of information for the database are responses received from Governments to a questionnaire on violence against women sent to all countries in September 2008, supplemented with subsequent updates and other official information provided by Governments. The sources of official information include:

  • Government reports to human rights bodies, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
  • Information provided by Governments in follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), including: the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the UN General Assembly (2000); and the national review of implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in the context of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (2015).
  • Information available through official reports of other relevant United Nations entities.
  • Government statements made at the United Nations.


The global database is a unique “one-stop site” for information on the following types of measures undertaken by Governments to address violence against women:

  • institutional mechanisms
  • research and statistical data
  • laws
  • policies
  • budgets
  • services
  • prevention
  • perpetrators programmes
  • regional/international initiatives
  • monitoring and evaluation


Advanced search: The "advanced search" function allows the user to search the database by: type of measure; form of violence; and region/country. This is the most comprehensive and systematic method of searching the database.

Unguided search: Users may search the database using the search field in the top right-hand corner of the page. However, this search will return only those records that contain the exact language that the user has entered and is therefore likely not to return as many results as the advanced search option.

Country pages: Each country page provides the user with a snapshot of available prevalence data on different forms of violence against women*, reports submitted by the UN Human Rights bodies, and a comprehensive and easily printable list of available information on measures undertaken by the selected country.

*Prevalence Data on Different Forms of Violence against Women

Each country page provides the following prevalence data:

  • Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months
  • Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence
  • Lifetime Non-Partner Sexual Violence

The main source for the three prevalence data above is the report “The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics” published by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division in 2015.

  • Child Marriage (UNICEF global databases 2014. Based on DHS, MICS and other national household surveys)
  • Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (UNICEF global databases 2014. Based on DHS, MICS and other nationally representative surveys).

*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 psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life” (General Assembly Resolution 48/104 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993).

*The terms ‘gender-based violence’ and ‘violence against women’ are frequently used interchangeably in literature and by advocates, however, the term gender-based violence refers to violence directed against a person because of his or her gender and expectations of his or her role in a society or culture.

*Throughout the site, unless specified differently, the term “women” refers to females of all ages, including girls (UN General Assembly, 2006).

For additional information and questions, please contact us: