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UNODC and UN Women Study: Rise in Gender-related Killings 


Recently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women released a study titled-Gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide), revealing an increase in gender-related killings of women and girls in 2022.


GS II: Issues Related to Women

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Femicide/Feminicide and the Highlights of the Study
  2. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Femicide/Feminicide and the Highlights of the Study

Femicide/Feminicide: Deliberate killing of women or girls based solely on their gender, rooted in societal attitudes and discrimination.

Key Highlights of the Study:

Global Trends:

  • Nearly 89,000 intentional killings of women and girls in 2022, marking the highest yearly number in the past two decades.
  • Despite a decline in overall homicides globally, female homicides are not decreasing.

Victim Profile:

  • Women are more likely to be victims of intimate partner or family-related homicides compared to men.
  • While men and boys constitute 80% of global homicides, women represent 53% of killings in the home and 66% of intimate partner killings.

Regional Disparities:

  • Africa reported the highest number of intimate partner/family-related homicides in 2022, surpassing Asia for the first time in 13 years.
  • The Americas, with fewer cases, exhibited higher rates of femicides per 100,000 female population.

Africa’s Standing:

  • Africa, with around 20,000 victims in 2022, surpassed Asia as the region with the highest absolute number of victims.
  • Africa also had the highest number of victims relative to its female population (2.8 per 100,000 women).

Europe’s Trends:

  • Europe saw an average reduction in female intimate partner/family-related homicides by 21% between 2010 and 2022, with variations across sub-regions.

India’s Situation:

  • India experienced a slight decline in gender-based killings over the past decade.
  • Dowry-related deaths remained a significant cause, with honour killings and witchcraft-related murders forming a smaller percentage.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a United Nations agency established to address global issues related to drugs, crime, and terrorism. It was established in 1997 through the merger of the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.

Key Functions of UNODC:
  • Drug Control: UNODC works to combat the production, trafficking, and abuse of illicit drugs globally. This includes efforts to prevent drug abuse, treat addiction, and support alternative development strategies for communities affected by the illicit drug trade.
  • Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice: UNODC focuses on preventing and combating various forms of transnational crime, including human trafficking, organized crime, corruption, and cybercrime. It supports member states in strengthening their criminal justice systems.
  • Terrorism Prevention: UNODC plays a role in preventing and countering terrorism by providing assistance to member states in developing legal frameworks, enhancing capacities, and promoting international cooperation in combating terrorism.
  • Corruption Prevention: The agency works to prevent and combat corruption by promoting anti-corruption measures, supporting the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and providing technical assistance to member states.
  • Research and Data Analysis: UNODC conducts research and analysis to provide member states with accurate and up-to-date information on trends related to drugs, crime, and terrorism. This information helps in formulating evidence-based policies and strategies.
  • Technical Assistance: UNODC provides technical assistance and capacity-building support to member states, helping them develop effective policies, legislation, and institutions to address drug-related and criminal justice challenges.
  • International Cooperation: The agency facilitates international cooperation and coordination among governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to address cross-border challenges related to drugs, crime, and terrorism.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024