New research from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations (UN) Women, said nearly 89,000 women and girls were killed intentionally in 2022 across the globe.
The research brief, entitled, ‘Gender-Related Killings of Women and Girls Femicide/Feminicide’, revealed that the figure represents the highest yearly number recorded in the past two decades
The study said data available for 2022 suggests that the increase in female homicides occurred despite a drop in the overall number of homicides, with 55 per cent of all female homicides committed by family members or intimate partners. This, the report said, underscores the disturbing reality that home is far from a safe haven for women and girls. Over 133 women or girls were reported killed daily by someone in their home, while 12 percent of homicides against males are perpetrated in the home.
The Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly, said: “The alarming number of femicides is a stark reminder that humanity is still grappling with deep-rooted inequalities and violence against women and girls. Each life lost is a call to action—a plea to urgently address structural inequalities and improve criminal justice responses so that no woman or girl fears for her life because of her gender.
Governments must invest in institutions that are more inclusive and well-equipped to end impunity, strengthen prevention, and help victims, from frontline responders to the judiciary, to end the violence before it is too late.” Women and girls in all regions experience gender-based violence. For the first time since UNODC began publishing regional estimates in 2013, Africa surpassed Asia in 2022 as the region with the highest number (20,000) of victims.
Africa also witnessed the highest number of victims relative to the size of its female population with 2.8 victims per 100,000 women, although the estimates are subject to uncertainty due to limited data availability. Femicides committed by intimate partners or family members in North America increased by 29 per cent between 2017 and 2022, in part due to improved recording practices.
Such killings also increased in the Caribbean by eight percent over the same period, while decreasing in Central and South America by 10 percent and eight percent, respectively. Europe also experienced a 21 percent average reduction in these kinds of femicides since 2010. It is observed that estimating these trends over time is not possible in Africa, Asia, and Oceania due to limited data availability.