Violence against Women and Girls: Lessons from South Asia examines the prevalence and factors associated with various types of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It analyzes the nature of violence throughout the life cycle and highlights gaps where intensive research or interventions might be undertaken. Analyses of the most recent data reveal that South Asia has the world's highest levels of excess female child mortality and child marriage. The prevalence of intimate partner violence also remains unacceptably high, particularly for married adolescents. Reliable data are limited for other forms of violence.
The number and intensity of efforts to address violence in the region are truly impressive and yield promising practices for future action. Important challenges remain, however-particularly the need for more rigorous evaluation and the urgency for actors to engage across forms of violence and to more systematically involve men and boys in addressing this violence. Different stakeholders have distinct roles to play if the region is to make progress in violence prevention and response, including increased funding of programs and evaluations. On the whole, strengthening the effectiveness, reach, and sustainability of interventions will involve multifaceted coordination across all actors on the ground. This book offers evidence-based recommendations for these actors and for coordination among them.
"This book makes a huge contribution to the field of violence against women and girls. It synthesizes an enormous amount of information, including extensive consultations with stakeholders from governments and civil society in South Asia. Most important, it provides an excellent set of recommendations that clearly outline how governments, donors, civil society, and the private sector can contribute to ending violence against women by addressing gender inequality and discrimination."
- Dr. Mary Ellsberg, Founding Director, Global Women's Institute, The George Washington University
"Structural gender inequality is deeply embedded in South Asian societies, leading to different manifestations of violence against women across their lives. And this violence continues despite laws and policies and various other attempts to address it. Hopefully this book will lead to a more nuanced understanding of this problem and help to develop contextually appropriate interventions to address it."
- Dr. Abhijit Das, Director, Centre for Health and Social Justice, India, and Founding Member, Men's Action for Stopping Violence Against Women (MASVAW)
"Repeatedly, violence against women has been identified as the biggest issue faced by women in Pakistan. This book captures the patterns of the problem across South Asia, illustrating that the problem is not rooted in the traditions of just one religion or one country, but, rather, in centuries-old systems of patriarchy that make women second-class citizens. The case studies of success provided in the book build hope for the possibility of a more balanced and just society in the future."
- Dr. Fouzia Saeed, women's rights activist and author of Working with Sharks (2013)