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Report with IPU data on violence against women in politics presented at UNGA

© Ben Stansall / AFP

United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Dubravka Šimonovic, will present her report to the 73rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday 5 October. In the report, the Special Rapporteur analyses violence against women in politics, including in parliament, and makes recommendations on how to stop gender-based violence. The report draws extensively on IPU data, particularly a landmark IPU study in 2016 on the subject. On 16 October, the IPU will publish a new report on violence against women in European parliaments.

The Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, is one of the thematic special procedures overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report presented at the UNGA follows consultations held in the framework of an Expert Group Meeting in March with UN Women, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the IPU. A report of the Expert Group Meeting can be found here.

The report decries the lack of attention that violence against women in politics has received until recently. Drawing on IPU data and other studies, the Special Rapporteur suggests that such violence is widespread and systematic.

The Special Rapporteur cites data from the 2016 IPU study in which 55 women parliamentarians from 39 countries across five regions were surveyed. The study found that 82 per cent of the women had experienced some form of psychological violence; 44 per cent had received threats of death, rape, beatings or abduction; and 65 per cent had been subjected to sexist remarks. Of the 42 parliaments covered by its survey, the IPU found that only 28 per cent had a procedure for settling complaints.

On 16 October during its 139th Assembly, the IPU will publish a new, more extensive, report on violence against women in parliaments in Europe in partnership with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This is the first in a series of IPU regional studies designed to build a global picture of sexism, harassment and violence against women in parliaments.

The IPU will also be present at a side-event at the UN around the launch of the report of the Special Rapporteur on Monday 8 October at the UNGA in Conference Room 6 from 3 pm to 6 pm.