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MOWECP, ASEAN Secretariat and UNFPA Join Forces to Promote the Availability of Reliable Statistics on Violence Against Women in ASEAN Countries

6 August 2012

MOWECP, ASEAN Secretariat and UNFPA Join Forces to Promote the Availability of Reliable Statistics on Violence Against Women in ASEAN Countries

 

Jakarta, 6 August 2012 – Violence against women (VAW) is a global phenomenon that has received increased attention in recent decades. However, the lack of reliable and comparable data on VAW remains a major obstacle in developing sound national VAW legislation, policies, and programmes to prevent and address VAW.

 

The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, in its capacity as the Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW), and in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), are joining forces and organizing a four-day meeting on strengthening national capacities to collect VAW statistics in the ASEAN region. This workshop will bring together representatives of National Women's organizations, National Statistics Offices (NSOs), and Ministries of Health to increase understanding of how to measure VAW. The workshop aims to address the needs of stakeholders to more effectively promote and integrate the collection, analysis, and use of data on violence against women in their national and plans and programmes.

 

Globally, the need for national VAW data has been given high priority, as evidenced through several UN initiatives and declarations, including the latest through the 2008-2015 UN Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign to End Violence Against Women, which notes data collection on VAW as one of the five priority outcomes. At the regional level,  the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, dated 30 June 2004, states as one of the eights commitments, “to encourage greater regional and bilateral cooperation in the systematic research, collection, analysis and dissemination of data, including disaggregated by sex, age, and other relevant information, on the extent, nature and consequences of violence against women and girls, and on the impact and effectiveness of policies and programmes for combating violence against women.”

 

Ms. Sri Danti, the ASEAN Committee on Women chairperson has stated “a major obstacle to prevent and address VAW is the lack of reliable and comparable data on VAW”.

 

“The 2004 ASEAN Declaration underscored the need for reliable statistics in order to assess the prevalence of violence against women and monitor changes over time.  Such statistics are needed to inform and guide development of national legislation, policy and programmes that can prevent violence against women and protect its survivors,” said UNFPA Representative in Indonesia Mr. Jose Ferraris, at the opening of the meeting and workshop on Monday.

 

Mr. Ferraris indicated that without timely and accurate indicators, it is impossible to track progress or provide information that compels policymakers to act toward eliminating violence against women. Unfortunately, only a few ASEAN countries have reliable data on this problem.

 

UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Office’s Gender Advisor, Ms. Riet Groenen, said there is a great interest in collecting national data on violence against women in the region and that UNFPA is eager to support capacity building of the National partners in this respect. UNFPA has already supported national studies on violence against women in three countries in the Pacific, while five more studies are underway, with financial support by AusAID. Dr. Henriette Jansen, an international expert on data collection on violence against women, is coordinating these five new studies in the Pacific region. Dr. Jansen is the main resource person at this UNFPA/ASEAN workshop on strengthening national capacities on VAW statistics, currently taking place in Jakarta.

 

Around the world, one in every three women experiences violence in their lifetime – such as being beaten, coerced into sex—mostly by her husband or intimate partner. The data also shows that in some cases women also experience physical violence during pregnancy. In the Asia and the Pacific region, violence against women has resulted in unknown number of deaths. In Indonesia, the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) recorded that there were 119,107 cases during 2011. This, however, does not reflect the real number of violence against Indonesian women as there were many more cases that were not reported due to social stigma and various other reasons. Currently, discussions are underway to conduct a national study to get a more accurate picture of the magnitude of the problem in Indonesia.

 

For more information: Contact Agustina Wayansari, Communications Officer UNFPA Indonesia, at wayansari@unfpa.org or phone: 0812 106 8341.

 

About UNFPA:

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is a UN agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA’s goal is delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA in Indonesia has been actively promoting reproductive health, population and development, and gender equality efforts since 1972. Gender-based violence, including human trafficking, is currently one of the key issues addressed by UNFPA Indonesia under its current eight Country Programme cycle (2011-2015).

Tags: Gender-based Violence, Population