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Violence against women - a global perspective

  • Written by  Benjamin Hennig
  • Published in Mapping
Violence against women - a global perspective
01 Nov
2017
Violence against women violates human rights, and the lack of equal rights is also seen as a major obstacle to a more sustainable development

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations. Part of the indicators used to measure the progress in achieving this goal is the issue of eliminating 'all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres.'

The above cartogram (click to enlarge) shows each country resized according to the total number of people living there and combines this view with data about violence against women aggregated at World Health Organization-regional level and published in the Global Burden of Disease study. The information in this map focuses on estimated incidents that take place within intimate relationships, where most of physical and/or sexual violence is believed to happen.

The findings from this study are based on population-based survey data rather than looking merely looking at officially reported incidents. However, while such a global comparison allows for comparing the prevalence between different regions, it does not make it possible to see variations between countries within each region. The global picture also relativises statistics in those regions that have a comparatively lower prevalence. These regions are characterised by better conditions compared to where violence is still more common, but the error margins in in the data mean that the actual situation is still quite uncertain. East Asia, for example, as the region with the lowest estimated prevalence of violence, lies within a range of 9 and 24 per cent (mapped with its average value of 16 in this cartogram), so that even here violence is still far too prevalent to not call it a serious issue in the region that still needs tackling.

Benjamin Hennig (@geoviews) is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Iceland and Honorary Research Associate in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He is involved in the Worldmapper project and is author of viewsoftheworld.net

For more on the issue of tackling gender inequality across the world, read our in-depth Dossier in the November 2017 edition of Geographical magazine, available now in print and digital formats.

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