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Commission on the Status of Women
Fifty-seventh session
4 – 15 March 2013
The elimination and prevention of
all forms of violence against women and girls
Agreed conclusions
1. The Commission on the Status
of Women reaffirms the Beijing Declaration and Platform
for Action, the outcome documents of the twenty-t
hird special session of the General Assembly,
and the declarations adopted by the Commissi
on on the occasion of the tenth and fifteenth
anniversaries of the Fourth
World Conference on Women.
2. The Commission also reaffirms the interna
tional commitments made at relevant United
Nations summits and conferences in the area
of gender equality and the empowerment of
women, including in the Programme
of Action at the Internati
onal Conference on Population and
Development and the key actions for its further implementation.
3. The Commission reaffirms that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women and the Conventi
on on the Rights of the Child, and the Optional
Protocols thereto, as well as other relevant conve
ntions and treaties, provide an international
legal framework and a comprehensive set of meas
ures for the elimination and prevention of all
forms of discrimination and violence against women
and girls, as a cross-cutting issue addressed
in different international instruments.
4. The Commission recalls the rules of international humanitarian law, including the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Add
itional Protocols thereto of 1977.
5. The Commission recalls the inclusion of ge
nder-related crimes and crimes of sexual
violence in the Rome Statute of the Internati
onal Criminal Court, as well as the recognition by
the ad hoc international criminal
tribunals that rape and othe
r forms of sexual violence can
constitute a war crime, a crime
against humanity or a constitutive
act with respect to genocide or
6. The Commission acknowledges also the importa
nt role in the prevention and elimination
of discrimination and violence against women
and girls played by regional conventions,
instruments and initiatives and th
eir follow-up mechanisms, in resp
ective regions and countries.
7. The Commission reaffirms the commitment to
the full and effective implementation of
and follow-up to all relevant reso
lutions of the General Assembly,
in particular the Declaration
on the Elimination of Violence against Women,
and the Economic and Social Council and its
subsidiary bodies on the elimination and preven
tion of all forms of viol
ence against women and
girls. It also reaffirms its previous agreed
conclusions on violence ag
ainst women (1998) and on
elimination of discrimination and viol
ence against the girl child (2007).
8. The Commission r
ecalls Security Council resoluti
ons 1325 (2000)
of 31 October
2000, 1820 (2008) of 19 June
2008, 1888 (2009) of
30 September 2009,
1889 (2009) of 5
October 2009 and 1960 (2010) of 16 December
2010 on women and peace and security
and all relevant Security Council resoluti
ons on children and arme
d conflict, including
resolutions 1882 (2009) of 4 August 2009 a
nd 1998 (2011) of 12 July 2011 on armed
conflict and post-conflict situations.
9. The Commission also recalls Human Ri
ghts Council resolutions 17/11 of 17 June
2011 on accelerating efforts to eliminate all fo
rms of violence against women: ensuring
due diligence in protection, 20/6 of 5 Ju
ly 2012 on the elimination of discrimination
against women and 20/12 of 5 July 2012 on acc
elerating efforts to el
iminate all forms of
violence against women: remedies for wome
n who have been subjected to violence.
10. The Commission affirms that violence against wo
men and girls is rooted
in historical and
structural inequality in power
relations between women and men, a
nd persists in ev
ery country in
the world as a pervasive violation of the enjoym
ent of human rights. Gender-based violence is a
form of discrimination that seriously violates
and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women
and girls of all human rights and fundamental fr
eedoms. Violence against women and girls is
characterized by the use and abuse of power and
control in public and pr
ivate spheres, and is
intrinsically linked with gender ster
eotypes that underlie and perpetua
te such violence, as well as
other factors that can increase women’s and gi
rls’ vulnerability to such violence.
11. The Commission stresses that “violence ag
ainst women” means a
ny act of gender-based
violence that results in, or is likely to re
sult in, physical, sexual or
psychological harm or
suffering to women and girls, incl
uding threats of such acts, coerci
on or arbitrary
deprivation of
liberty, whether occurring in public or in priv
ate life. The Commission also notes the economic
and social harm caused by such violence.
12. The Commission strongly condemns all forms
of violence against women and girls. It
recognizes their different forms and manifestations
, in different contexts, settings, circumstances
and relationships, and that domestic violence
remains the most prevalent form that affects
women of all social strata across the world. It al
so notes that women and girls who face multiple
forms of discrimination are exposed
to increased risk of violence.
13. The Commission urges States
to strongly condemn violen
ce against women and girls
committed in armed conflict and post-conflict si
tuations, and recognizes that sexual and gender-
based violence affects victims and survivors, fa
milies, communities and societies, and calls for
effective measures of accountability and
redress as well as effective remedies.
14. The Commission urges States to strongly c
ondemn all forms of violence against women
and girls and to refrain from invoking any custom,
tradition or religious
consideration to avoid
their obligations with respect to
its elimination as set out in the Declaration on the Elimination of
Violence against Women.
15. The Commission recognizes
that all human rights are
universal, indi
visible and
interdependent and interrelated and that the in
ternational community must treat human rights
globally in a fair and equal ma
nner, on the same footing and
with the same emphasis, and
stresses that, while the significance of national an
d regional particularities
and various historical,
cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne
in mind, it is the duty of
States regardless of
their political, economic and cultural systems
to promote and protect all human rights and
fundamental freedoms.
16. The Commission stresses that
all States have the obligati
on, at all levels, to use all
appropriate means of a legislativ
e, political, economic, social a
nd administrative nature in order
to promote and protect all human rights and funda
mental freedoms of women and girls, and must
exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate, pr
osecute and punish the perpetrators of violence
against women and girls and end impunity, and
to provide protection as well as access to
appropriate remedies for victims and survivors.
17. The Commission stresses that the right to edu
cation is a human right, and that eliminating
illiteracy, ensuring equal access to e
ducation, in particular in rural
and remote areas, and closing
the gender gap at all levels of education empow
ers women and girls and
thereby contributes to
the elimination of all forms of discriminati
on and violence against women and girls.
18. The Commission reaffirms that women and
men have the right to enjoy, on an equal
basis, all their human rights and fundamental freedom
s. It urges States to prevent all violations of
all human rights and fundamental freedoms of wome
n and girls and to devot
e particular attention
to abolishing practices and legisl
ation that discriminate against
women and girls, or perpetuate
and condone violence against them.
19. The Commission stresses that the realizatio
n of gender equality and the empowerment of
women, including women’s economic empowerment
and full and equal acces
s to resources, and
their full integration into the formal economy, in
particular in economic decision-making, as well
as their full and equal participation in public
and political life is essential for addressing the
structural and underlying causes of vi
olence against women and girls.
20. The Commission also recognizes the persis
tence of obstacles that remain for the
prevention and elimination of al
l forms of violence against wo
men and girls, and that the
prevention and response to such violence requires St
ates to act, at all levels, at each and every
opportunity in a comprehensive and holistic
manner that recognizes the linkages between
violence against women and girl
s and other issues, such as e
ducation, health, HIV and AIDS,
poverty eradication, food security, peace and security, humanitarian assistance and crime
21. The Commission recognizes that women’s pove
rty and lack of empowerment, as well as
their marginalization resulting from their exclus
ion from social and economic policies and from
the benefits of education and sustainable deve
lopment can place them at increased risk of
violence, and that violence against women impe
des the social and economic development of
communities and States, as well as the achievement
of the internationally agreed development
goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.