Glossary Term

Gender-based violence

An umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (i.e. gender) differences between males and females. It includes acts that inflict physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion, and other deprivations of liberty. These acts can occur in public or in private. Examples include:

  • Sexual violence, including exploitation, abuse, and harassment;
  • Forced and early marriage;
  • Domestic and family violence, which may be physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual;
  • Harmful cultural and traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting, honor killings, and widow inheritance; and
  • Denial of resources or opportunities, such as education.