Gender-based Violence | UNDP


As the United Nations’ leading development agency, UNDP has a key role to play in reducing gender inequalities and all its manifestations, including gender-based violence (GBV).

We work with partners to address drivers of violence and promote survivors’ right to live in dignity free from fear.


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What is GBV and why does it matter?


Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses in the world. An umbrella term for any harmful act that directed at an individual based on their gender, GBV is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequalities. It includes not only sexual and physical violence, but also emotional and socio-economic violence. 

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The situation may be worse now, as the pandemic has exacerbated risk factors of GBV, such as economic stress, job loss and social isolation because of lockdowns and other pandemic measures. This has led to a surge in GBV reporting, with many, including the United Nations Secretary-General, calling GBV the shadow pandemic.​ 


Where we work


UNDP currently supports almost 100 countries on ending GBV, including our work as part of the Spotlight Initiative. 

What is UNDP doing to address GBV?


In response to COVID-19, UNDP quickly ramped up its work to prevent and respond to GBV. Almost 100 UNDP field offices reported GBV-related work in 2021, roughly a 20 percent increase compared to the previous year.

This includes UNDP’s role as a core UN agency implementing the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Other global UNDP flagship initiatives include the Ending Gender-based Violence and Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals project, a partnership between UNDP and the Republic of Korea, and Targeting Men, Transforming Masculinities (TMx2).

UNDP also contributes to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, and the UN Team of Experts on Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict. The COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, co-created by UNDP and UN Women in 2020, monitors gender-responsive policy measures enacted by governments worldwide to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, including those with  a GBV lens. 

Ending GBV and Achieving the SDGs



This global project, a partnership between UNDP and the Republic of Korea, is testing new tools and approaches to reduce GBV and intensify progress towards other development goals, such as economic empowerment, climate change and governance.

Knowledge and Learning

Browse curated webinar series and resources on GBV prevention, mitigation, and response

Contact Us

For more information, contact:

Diego Antoni

Policy Specialist on Gender, Governance and Recovery