Gender equality and gender-based violence

A group of women sit under a tree.
UNHCR assess the protection needs of displaced people who have returned to Palma District in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique.
© UNHCR/Martim Gray Pereira
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What is gender-based violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue and can take many forms such as intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour crimes’.

GBV is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms.  Read more on UNHCR's global website

What is gender equality?

UNHCR defines gender equality as the equal enjoyment of rights, responsibilities and opportunities of all people and means that the interests, needs and priorities of all are respected, regardless of their gender.

UNHCR recognizes that gender equality is fundamental to the well-being and rights of all people and is committed to ensuring that gender considerations are accounted for throughout our work, including in emergency contexts, and in providing health, education, shelter and settlement, WASH, cash-based interventions and livelihoods support.

UNHCR's commitments

UNHCR is committed to protecting and assisting refugees worldwide and to ensuring that international standards of protection are met.

In line with the United Nation’s overall efforts to advance gender equality and respect for human rights, the UNHCR Strategic Directions 2022-2026 emphasizes the importance of gender equality and lays out commitments to strengthen gender-based violence prevention, risk mitigation and response in accordance with UNHCR’s Policies on GBV and on Age, Gender and Diversity.

Brief on Gender equality and gender based violence


UNHCR has identified $344.5 million in global requirements to support forcibly displaced women, girls, men and boys in preventing and responding to gender-based violence in 2023.

Flexible support (unearmarked or softly earmarked to this purpose) helps UNHCR adapt its response in rapidly changing situations, including emergencies.

Read the brief

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Key figures

Estimates suggest 1 in 5 forcibly displaced women is subjected to sexual violence and a World Bank analysis documented higher risks of intimate partner violence among women who are displaced.

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Performance targets and results