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Over half of all global female homicide victims in 2017 were murdered by a member of their own family.

Research published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) disclosed that out of the 87,000 female murder cases worldwide last year, around 58% died at the hands of their "intimate partner" or close family member. This, in turn, makes the home "the most dangerous place for a woman."

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The Femicide Report 2018, released to coincide with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, elaborated that 82% of all partner-related homicide victims were female. For men, the corresponding figure sits at 18%. However, men still account for 8 out of every 10 overall homicides, the majority of which are committed by strangers.

"While the vast majority of homicide victims are men, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination, and negative stereotypes," UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov stated. "Gender-based homicide is a lethal act on a continuum of gender-based discrimination and abuse."

The report goes on to cite dowry and honour killings as a significant cause behind the death rate.

"Many of the victims are also killed by fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, and other family members because of their role and status as women," the report disclosed. "The death of those killed by intimate partners does not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-related violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives."

Over the past five years, nations around the globe have adopted various policies and implemented gender-specific units in an attempt to address intimate partner violence. Despite this, the report revealed the percentage of worldwide gender-related killings for women and girls has not decreased. In fact, the percentage has increased 11% since 2012.

The African continent and the Americas recorded the highest percentage of female homicide cases caused by family members, at 3.1 and 1.6 victims per 100,000 women, respectively. Oceania followed at a rate of 1.3, with Asia at 0.9 and Europe at 0.7.

To prevent future homicides, the new study has called for international institutions and organisations to adopt stricter gender legislation and overall greater cooperation between police, health services, the male population, and the criminal justice system.

"In order to prevent and tackle gender-related killing of women and girls, men need to be involved in efforts to combat intimate partner violence and in changing cultural norms that move away from violent masculinity and gender stereotypes," the report stated.


Demand Equity

Home Is The Most Dangerous Place For Women: UN Report

By Madeleine Keck  and  Erica Sánchez