The Most Dangerous Place for a Woman Is in Her Home

New United Nations research sheds light on a global pandemic.

Posted Nov 26, 2018

The most dangerous place for women is in the home, according to a new United Nations study— about six women are killed every hour around the world by people they know. The study, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was released for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

According to UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, the vast majority of homicide victims are men. However, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination, and negative stereotypes. They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family. The majority of men are killed by strangers.

According to the report, women living in the regions of Africa and the Americas are most at risk of being murdered by intimate partners or family members. The least safe continent for victims of female homicide is Africa, with a rate of around 3.1 victims per 100,000 female population. The rate in the Americas was 1.6 victims per 100,000. Women in Europe are the safest, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 female population.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres described violence against women as a “global pandemic.” “At its core,” says Guterres, "violence against women and girls is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect ― a failure by men to recognize the inherent equality and dignity of women. It is an issue of fundamental human rights.”

The study notes that women are not getting any safer. “Tangible progress in protecting and saving the lives of female victims of intimate partner/family-related homicide has not been made in recent years, despite legislation and programs developed to eradicate violence against women.”

"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/family-related homicide and in changing cultural norms that move away from violent masculinity and gender stereotypes," the study recommends.