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Gender and Armed Violence

Armed violence affects women, men, girls, and boys in different ways—as both perpetrators and targets of armed violence. Across cultures, most acts of violence are committed by men, and men and boys also account for the majority of firearm-related deaths and injuries.

  • In Rio de Janeiro, young men are 24 times more likely than women to be killed by armed violence, while men between the ages of 15 and 29 are twice as likely to die from armed violence as the rest of the male population.

Women and girls are targeted by a number of forms of gender-based violence in different ways:

  • rape;
  • domestic violence or intimate partner violence;
  • murder;
  • sexual abuse.


Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Gender Counts: Assessing Global Armed Violence Datasets for Gender Relevance, by Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Gergely Hideg, and Emile LeBrun. Briefing Paper. March 2020. (Also available in French)

    Download (724.31 KB)
  • Darkening Horizons: Global Violent Deaths Scenarios, 2018–30, by Gergely Hideg and Anna Alvazzi del Frate. Briefing Paper, May 2019.

    Download (853.5 KB)
  • A Gendered Analysis of Violent Deaths, November 2016. Research Note No. 63.

    Download (496.74 KB)
  • Gender-based Violence Interventions: Opportunities for Innovation. Gap Analysis. Study undertaken by the Small Arms Survey, commissioned and published by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund/Elrha. September 2016. (Summary also available.)

    Download (542.64 KB)
  • Unheard and Uncounted: Violence against Women in India, October 2015. India Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 5.

    Download (629.08 KB)
  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2015: Every Body Counts, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat. Published by Cambridge University Press. May 2015.

    More information
  • Women and Gun Ownership, September 2014. Research Note No. 45, Armed Actors.

    Download (1.58 MB)
  • Femicide: A Global Issue that Demands Action. Edited by Claire Laurent, Michael Platzer, and Maria Idomir. Co-published with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), April 2013.

  • Battering, Rape, and Lethal Violence: A Baseline of Information on Physical Threats against Women in Nairobi, by Claire Mc Evoy, December 2012. Working Paper No. 13

    Download (771.48 KB)
  • Peace without Security: Violence against Women and Girls in Liberia, September 2012. Liberia Armed Violence Assessment Issue Brief No. 3.

    Download (652.46 KB)
  • Guatemala en la encrucijada. Panorama de una violencia transformada (in Spanish), by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat, CERAC, and the Small Arms Survey (Executive Summary in English and Spanish, and Press Release in English and Spanish also available). Published by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat and CERAC.

  • Femicide: A Global Problem, February 2012. Research Note No. 14, Armed Violence (also available in Arabic).

    Download (659.24 KB)
  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2011: Lethal Encounters, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat. Published by Cambridge University Press. October 2011.

    More information
  • Tackling Violence against Women: From Knowledge to Practical Initiatives, by Jennifer Milliken with Elisabeth Gilgen and Jasna Lazaravic, published by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat, June 2011. 

  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2008, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat, September 2008.

  • Armed Violence Prevention and Reduction: A Challenge for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, by Keith Krause and Robert Muggah, June 2008

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Other Publications

  • Bloom, Shelah S. 2008. Violence against Women and Girls: A Compendium of Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators. Chapel Hill (NC): Measure Evaluation.

  • Bastick, Megan, Karin Grimm, and Rahel Kunz. 2007. Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict – Global Overview and Implication for the Security Sector. Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).

    More information
  • Ellsberg, Mary. 2006. Violence against women and the Millennium Development Goals: Facilitating women’s access to support. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Vol. 94. Pp. 325—32.

  • WHO (World Health Organization). 2005. Addressing Violence against Women and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Geneva: WHO.

  • Garcia-Moreno, Claudia et al. 2005. WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women’s responses. Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO).

    More information
  • Ellsberg, Mary and Lori Heise. 2005. Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Activists. Washington D.C.: World Health Organization and Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.

  • Walby, Silvia. 2004. The cost of domestic  violence. London: Department of Trade and Industry, Women and Equality Unit.

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Further Resources

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