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The 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action is marked by discussion of the post-2015 development framework, prominently featuring achieving gender equality, empowering all women and girls and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies among its goals (Goals 5 and 16 respectively, see UNDESA, Open Working Group Proposal for Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, 2014). The focus on the Sustainable Development Goals and the recent developments in the policy and research agendas on ending violence against women may represent a unique opportunity for converging efforts towards effective prevention and reduction of many forms of violence impacting on women and girls, in both conflict and non-conflict settings, including firearm violence. This contribution analyzes patterns of female violent deaths and firearm victimization, provides an overview of promising prevention policies and programmes, as well as challenges for monitoring and evaluating progress.

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  1. 1.

    Many different sources agree. See for example US Bureau of Justice Statistics (, WHO et al. (2013) and Stöckl et al. (2013) (it was estimated that as many as 38 % of female homicides globally were committed by male partners while the corresponding figure for men was 6 %).

  2. 2.

    UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1249 UNTS 13) 1979.

  3. 3.

    Para 11 of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action “Grave violations of the human rights of women occur, particularly in times of armed conflict, and include murder, torture, systematic rape, forced pregnancy and forced abortion, in particular under policies of ethnic cleansing” (Report 1995, chap. I, resolution 1, annex I).

  4. 4.

    A/CONF.192/2012/RC/CRP.3/Rev.3 and A/CONF.192/BMS/2014/2 respectively.

  5. 5.

    S/RES/2117, 26 September 2013.

  6. 6.

    See for example the Roundtable organized by UNLIREC on “Incorporating gender and youth approaches when implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)” in November 2014 (

  7. 7.

    Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women CEDAW/C/GC/30, 18 October 2013.

  8. 8.

  9. 9.

    A/RES/69/61, 2 December 2014.

  10. 10.

    Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Article 1.

  11. 11.

    A/RES/48/104, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Article 1, (9-12-2010).

  12. 12.

    Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995, (9-12-2010), pp. 54–55.

  13. 13.

    The Friends of the Chair group was established by the Statistical Commission at its thirty-ninth session (decision 39/116). It consisted of representatives of Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Ghana, Italy, Mexico (the Chair) and Thailand, as well as several United Nations agencies as observers, with the UN Statistics Division acting as secretariat. The report of the group was presented to the 40th Session of the UN Statistical Commission (E/CN.3/2009/13).

  14. 14.

    The indicators are listed on page 15–21 of the Secretary General’s Report (S/2010/498).

  15. 15.

    S/2012/732 of 2 October 2012.

  16. 16.

    A/RES/68/191 of 18 December 2013.


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Correspondence to Anna Alvazzi del Frate .

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Alvazzi del Frate, A. (2016). A Reflection on Women, Girls and Armed Violence. In: Kury, H., Redo, S., Shea, E. (eds) Women and Children as Victims and Offenders: Background, Prevention, Reintegration. Springer, Cham.

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