One femicide watch in every country to end the shadow pandemic
The shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a global crisis compounded and complicated by other crises. Despite many efforts, VAWG remains a threat to human rights and a serious impediment to achieving the SDGs, and more specifically SDG5.
In October 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19, the UN relaunched a call urging states to collect data and to each year publish comparable data on femicide. It also urged states to establish femicide watches or observatories with the assistance of interdisciplinary review panels, including National Human Rights Institutions, civil society, as well as academia, to inform policy and law-making to prevent and respond to the most extreme form of discrimination against women.
Data on femicide, the killing of women and girls because of their sex or gender, remain difficult to access and collect. Most countries in the UNECE region collect and report only the most basic data on homicide. Official data-collection instruments very often lack critical measures, variables, accuracy and consistency that could assist the prevention of femicide, hampering the access of researchers, advocates, service providers and policymakers to the right information. The institutionalization of mechanisms to monitor femicides, such as femicide watches or observatories, is a powerful tool to unfold the scope of the issue and put in place evidence-based responses in a coordinated and collective manner.
In this regard, the side event will inform about ongoing UN efforts in support of UNECE member states to pursue efforts to address the gap in the availability of data to develop normative frameworks and service provision, layout the impacts of the sheer underestimation of the magnitude of the femicide phenomena which translates into misreporting; lack of resources and multiagency coordination, and ultimately puts the lives of women and girls at risk; and underscore best practices on the establishment of femicide watches, such as the Spanish case.