Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a fundamental violation of human rights and a global health problem with considerable social and economic cost to individuals, communities and countries. More than one-third of women and girls globally have experienced violence during their lives. This violence takes many forms. It includes violence in childhood and adolescence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence (IPV), violence due to sexual orientation or gender identity, violence due to disability, sorcery-accusation related violence, and early and forced marriage. In many Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste, the prevalence of violence is more than twice the global average.
The Australian Government is committed to ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG), in Australia and overseas. Over the past decade, the Australian aid program’s commitment to gender equality and EVAWG has strengthened.
The Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE) commissioned this strategic evaluation of Australian development assistance for EVAWG to look back over the 10 years since the 2008 ODE evaluation, Violence Against Women in Melanesia and East Timor: Building on Global and Regional Promising Approaches. This current evaluation provides a critical lens for assessing the gains made since 2008 and makes recommendations to guide Australia’s aid program and policy engagement on EVAWG for the next decade.
Over the past decade, Australia has been a leading donor, investing more than $300 million in EVAWG programs.
Australia has maintained or expanded its cooperation with key partners internationally, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. There has been strong and sustained policy leadership by Australia to end and prevent VAWG.
Australia has maintained and expanded long-term core funding to key CSOs. CSOs have been crucial in advancing understanding of women’s and girls’ rights, enabling their full participation in society, advocating strongly for an end to violence, and providing much-needed services.
This evaluation found good examples of work by the private sector to provide services for survivors of VAWG. There is scope to expand on this promising work
Australia is supporting promising work improving justice and quality of services for children who have experienced violence.
Australian aid has contributed to EVAWG legislative reforms in the last decade. These have significantly improved access to justice throughout the Asia-Pacific region, but implementation remains challenging.