Gender-based violence and FGC/M

Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person on the basis of gender, frequently as a form of family and domestic violence. It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity.

Gender-based violence reflects and reinforces inequalities between men and women. These gender inequalities are commonly found in traditions and beliefs that assert male authority and may be reflected in the practices of some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, e.g. some migrant or refugee communities.

Specific forms of violence that may be relevant within some CALD communities include:

  • Female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • Forced marriage / child forced marriage.
  • Honour killings.


Female genital cutting / mutilation (FGC/M)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as comprising all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the female genitalia and/or injury to the female genital organs for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reasons.

The WHO estimates approximately 130 million women across the globe have undergone the procedure and that 2 million girls are at risk of being circumcised each year.


Other forms of gender-based violence

Forced marriage / child forced marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties.

Being under duress includes feeling both physical and emotional pressure. Some victims of forced marriage are tricked into going to another country by their families. Victims fall prey to forced marriage through deception, abduction, coercion, fear and inducements.

A forced marriage may be between children, a child and an adult or between adults. A forced marriage is considered domestic violence.

Honour killings

Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by a male family member against a female family member who is perceived to have dishonoured the family. Dishonouring the family can include engaging in premarital intercourse, marrying someone the family doesn’t approve of, being a victim of sexual assault or seeking a divorce. Honour crimes are a form of gender-based violence.

Last Updated: 24/06/2024