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Regional Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Vol. 2) : Executive Summary (Árabe)

This Regional Action Plan on Gender-based Violence (GBV) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region reflects the region’s commitment to step up its efforts to address different forms of GBV, recognizing the detrimental impact GBV has not only on the survivors’ wellbeing, but for societies and economies at large. It is a call to action, for teams across the World Bank Group (WBG) to be creative and persistent in bringing these issues to the forefront of our dialogue, and to use all different instruments at our disposal to contribute to preventing and addressing GBV. GBV remains a major challenge in the MENA region. Women and girls are particularly at risk of different forms of GBV, including intimate partner violence (IPV), non-partner sexual violence, femicides and so-called “honor crimes”, child and early marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), as well as sexual harassment. Compared to other regions, MENA has some of the highest prevalence rates for different types of GBV. Forty percent of women in MENA, for example, are estimated to have experienced physical or sexual IPV during their lifetime, being the second highest regional prevalence rate after South Asia (43 percent) and equal to Sub-Saharan Africa (40 percent). Average prevalence of FGM/C remains among the highest in the world. GBV against men and boys, as well as particularly vulnerable populations, is a taboo topic in many MENA countries. The current COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated risks and affected the availability of and access to services. Challenges in the MENA region are further compounded in fragile and conflict contexts, which result in higher levels of GBV, including sexual violence and forced marriage, and disrupt service provision due to insecurity, the breakdown of institutions, and the lack of rule of law. Risks related to climate change increase existing vulnerabilities and the incidence of GBV. With devastating effects on individuals and societies, countries struggle to address GBV effectively. Legal and policy gaps, weak institutional capacity, and inadequate protection, services, and access to justice represent major obstacles, especially when combined with discriminatory social norms and practices.

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