A Call to Action on violence against women and girls

Addressing violence against women: A call to action

This is the popular version of the fifth paper of the series on violence against women and girls published by The Lancet.

Achieving the goal of women and girls living healthy lives, free from violence, will require not just good intentions, but well-coordinated, funded strategies by international bodies, governments, civil society and communities. This call to action holds a common human rights agenda. It is a strategic demand for change:

• Show leadership – publicly condemn violence against women and girls, allocate the needed resources to prevent and respond to violence, and develop a National Plan of Action
• Create equality – ensure national laws and policies prohibit all forms of violence against women and girls and promote equality
• Change norms – invest in violence prevention programming to promote the empowerment of women, gender equitable social norms and non-violent behaviours. Also support communities to challenge social norms promoting discrimination and challenge constructs of dominant masculinity and passive femininity that support men’s violence
• Challenge sectors – provide training on violence against women and girls for health, security, education and justice professionals, and allocate budgets and create policies to identify and support survivors
• Invest in research and programming – implement national population-based surveys that measure the prevalence of violence against women and girls, as well as the risk factors and consequences; and invest in programming and research on violence prevention