The most dangerous place for women is the home, according to a new UN study.
Out of an estimated 87,000 women killed last year, some 50,000 – or 58% – were killed by partners or family members, according to the 2018 report on gender-related killing of women and girls by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
More than a third of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by a current or former partner, and 137 women are killed by family members every day, it said.
While the majority of intentional homicide victims are male and killed by strangers, women are far more likely to die at the hands of someone they know, the study showed.
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said women “continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes” and that gender-based homicide is a “lethal act on a continuum of gender-based discrimination and abuse.”
The study, released on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, looked at homicide data related to gender violence and “femicide,” a term understood as a gender-based hate crime perpetrated by men.
Globally, Asia was the region with the highest number of women killed by partners or family members last year, at 20,000, followed by Africa (19,000), the Americas (8,000), Europe (3,000) and Oceania (300).
However, rates were higher in Africa and the Americas, meaning women faced the greatest risk of being killed by partners or family members in these regions.
In Africa, these homicides accounted for 3.1 victims per 100,000 of the female population and in the Americas, the rate was 1.6 victims per 100,000 of the female population – compared with 0.9 per 100,000 in Asia.
Europe showed the lowest rate of gender-based homicide, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 of the female population.
While countries have taken various steps to address violence against women and gender-related killings – including the adoption of special units and more training in the criminal justice system – the report said there is no sign of a fall in the number of gender-related killings of women and girls worldwide.
The total number of female homicide victims appears to have increased since 2012, it said, when the number of women killed by partners or family members was estimated at 48,000 – or 47% of all female homicide victims.
The new study has called for a series of measures to combat the global problem, including coordination between police, the criminal justice system, health and social services, and involving men more in addressing the problem.
“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,” it said.