Stop Gender-Based Violence in Times of Crisis

Both a cause and consequence of discrimination, inequality and oppression, gender-based violence is pervasive in times of peace.

In times of crisis, it often becomes even more extreme.

During armed conflict, gender-based violence, including rape, may take on new forms, even turning into a deliberate tactic of war. Conditions of conflict and associated social breakdown can amplify long-established patterns of male dominance and acceptance of violence. Impunity for perpetrators is the norm.

While men and boys can also suffer abuse, women and girls are the primary targets for sexual violence, usually by adult men. But men and boys can also be powerful allies for change — if they are proactively and positively engaged in prevention efforts.

Indeed, the pervasiveness of gender-based violence requires robust, multi-sectoral initiatives that engage a wide range of actors to respond when it occurs, address immediate risks and vulnerabilities, and tackle the underlying gender norms and inequalities that drive it. As one of the leading UN entities addressing this issue, UNFPA helps catalyze such efforts.

Preventing gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations

UNFPA works with governments, NGOs and other humanitarian partners to ensure effective and comprehensive action to address gender-based violence in humanitarian crises. UNFPA scales up and helps stock health services, promotes access to information and referral systems for survivors of violence, and advocates to ensure that the minimum actions for prevention and response are taken throughout the humanitarian response system.

Strengthening national capacity and data collection

UNFPA invests heavily in training national partners to effectively design, manage, and evaluate programmes to address gender-based violence in emergencies. UNFPA also deploys senior-level rapid response advisors to urgent emergencies. In post-conflict contexts, UNFPA works with Member States to develop National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security.

UNFPA strengthens systems for improved management of data through the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS). The aim of this project is to protect and empower survivors and their helpers, while also promoting better data collection to the benefit of all responders and the humanitarian aid community at large.


Message of the Executive Director for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
UNiTE Against Violence
UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict
Managing Gender-Based Violence Programmes in Emergencies E-learning and E-learning Companion Guide
The Gender-Based Violence Information Management System
The Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility of the Protection Cluster
Assisting in Emergencies

Key Publications

Issue Brief on GBV, Men and Boys and Sexual Violence in Conflict
Managing Gender-based Violence in Emergencies
Women are the Fabric
Adolescent Reproductive Health Toolkit for Humanitarian Settings
Mobilizing Men in Practice
Humanitarian Response Strategy


Women and War: Guatemala
Women and War: Afghanistan
Women and War: Iraq
Delivering as One on Addressing Violence Against Women
Youth Voices on Violence Against Women
Gender Based Violence Information Management System
Talking with Gender Based Violence Specialist Erin Kenny

Other areas of UNFPA work on GBV

Engaging Men and Boys
Ending Child Marriage
Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting