Gender-Based Violence

Women poses outside in Bangladesh 

Helping an Unlikely Entrepreneur to Keep Safe and Prosper

March 17, 2021

Blog Post

It’s remarkable enough that Marjina Begum, born in a rural village and married at 13, now employs 560 women in a business she built herself, but she also found a way to keep them safe and Covid-free—with help from The Asia Foundation.


Connecting Private Lawyers with Women Victims of Violence in Indonesia

December 9, 2020

Blog Post

In the vast archipelago of Indonesia, lawyers in remote areas are hard to find. As pandemic stress has caused rates of violence against women to soar, a new project from The Asia Foundation is connecting rural victims with pro bono lawyers eager to help.


Gender Sensitive Policing in Public Spaces

September 22, 2020


This Manual is the outcome of findings of comprehensive need assessments, observation visits, and expert panel consultations conducted in the three cities of Bhopal, Gwalior, and Jodhpur where police officials, women’s help desks and women police stations, survivors of gender based violence, civil society organizations (NGOs), paralegals, academici… Read more


Preventing Violence Against Women and Supporting Victims in Mongolia

August 26, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

Although Mongolia has done well on many measures of gender equality, Mongolian women still face gender inequality, and rates of violence and evident power imbalances remain significant challenges. The Asia Foundation is committed to supporting the survivors of violence against women in Mongolia with Korea’s official development assistance. The Mini… Read more


The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation Partner to Respond to the Impact of Covid-19 on Women and Girls in Asia

August 11, 2020

News Post

The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation launched a new partnership to support women’s economic advancement and address rising incidences of gender-based violence (GBV) across Malaysia, Myanmar, and Nepal. This partnership is part of The Visa Foundation’s commitment to support small and micro-business that aligns with its long-term focus on wome… Read more


In Asia, Not All Homes Are Safe: We Need an Urgent Shift in Thinking

April 15, 2020

Blog Post

Even before Covid-19 lockdowns were put in place, experts were warning of the additional dangers they could pose to women.


The Asia Foundation Hosts “Safety for She” Conference with SafetiPin, KOICA, and CSR

December 9, 2019

Media Coverage Post

The Asia Foundation, with support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and in partnership with SafetiPin and the Centre for Social Research (CSR), held a national conference, Safety for She: Building Equitable Urban Spaces. The conference brought together experts and stakeholders and facilitated discussions on how to improve wome… Read more


The Gender Lab Boys Program

September 11, 2019

Blog Post

From 2018 to 2019, 2,500 boys from 61 schools in Mumbai, Indore, and Delhi, India, took a journey to redefine masculinity and stand up to gender-based violence. The Gender Lab Boys Program is the brainchild of cofounders Akshat Singhal and Ayushi Banerji, strong believers in the power of collective action who say they are out to change a patriarcha… Read more


Specialized Training for Frontline Social Services Workers Expands Its Reach Across Timor-Leste

April 1, 2019

Program Snapshot Post

In one of Asia’s youngest and poorest nations, Timor-Leste’s social services are in high demand. Local crisis shelters, youth organizations, health facilities, disabled people’s organizations and other frontline services perform vital work in supporting vulnerable people and communities. However, training and professional development opportunities… Read more


5th Annual #GBVchat Tweetchat Relay

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Events Post

8:00 am – 4:00 pm EST The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign which runs annually from November 25th (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). We invite you to join us for our fifth annual global tweetchat relay to mark the 16 Days of Activism (#16days… Read more


Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Timor-Leste

September 27, 2018


Understanding the differences between the Nabilan Baseline Study and the Demographic and Health Survey The Asia Foundation undertook the Nabilan Health and Life Experiences Study (the Nabilan Study) from July to September 2015. The purpose of the study was to generate rigorous, reliable data from women and men in Timor-Leste on the prevalence and p… Read more


Key Laws Impacting Women in Myanmar

August 1, 2018

Program Snapshot Post

Myanmar has long had a stated commitment to women’s role in public life. It was among the first countries in Asia to grant women the right to vote, in 1935. Myanmar endorsed the Beijing Declaration in 1995 and became a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1997. The National Strategic Plan fo… Read more


Reflections on the Gender 360 Summit

Washington, DC, August 1, 2018

Program Snapshot Post

More than 300 gender and youth practitioners convened last month in Washington, DC, for the Gender 360 Summit to explore the theme of positive girl and boy development. Panels examined how gender issues intersect with health, education, economic empowerment, and gender-based violence among girls, boys, and youth of diverse gender identities. Over t… Read more


More Female Prosecutors for Afghanistan

July 18, 2018

Blog Post

Female participation in the legal sector has increased dramatically in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, but fundamental legal and gender reforms have yet to truly take root in the country. Afghan society’s strict segregation of the sexes, and a shortage of female legal professionals, makes it difficult for women to seek red… Read more


Seven Questions to Consider When Promoting Gender Justice in Sri Lanka

June 6, 2018

Blog Post

In October 2016, The Asia Foundation’s Sri Lanka office began a project to make that country’s formal justice system more responsive to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Seventeen months later, and after five decades of working with security and justice institutions and promoting women’s rights in Sri Lanka, here are our insights… Read more

Respect Women banner 

Four Things to Know About Gender-Based Violence in Asia

March 14, 2018

Blog Post

Globally, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. On March 6, The Asia Foundation in Washington, D.C., hosted a panel discussion on why gender-based violence remains so prevalent in Asia and the legal frameworks that exist (or don’t, but should) to protect women and girls. Here are four key takeaways f… Read more

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls program profile cover image 

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

March 7, 2018


Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent and destructive problems that women and girls face in the world, constraining their full participation in social, economic, and political life, and with negative repercussions for societies as a whole. The Asia Foundation pursues a holistic approach to ending violence against women and girls throug… Read more


Legislation Alone Cannot Protect Pakistan’s Children

January 17, 2018

Blog Post

The murder and rape of seven-year-old Zainab Amin, whose body was found on a heap of garbage a short walk from her home in Kasur, Pakistan, has resulted in thousands of people taking to the streets in fury, demanding justice. The outpouring of anger resulted in violent clashes that left two dead. Police on Saturday released a sketch of the suspect,… Read more


Victim-Blaming Perpetuates Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste

January 17, 2018

Blog Post

A few months ago, while I was finishing my morning bike ride before work, a guy in a black and red hoodie on a motorbike came up behind me, reached around and grabbed my breast, then sped off down the road. It was 7:30 am and this was a bustling (by Dili standards) street at peak hour. No one said anything. No one did anything. I, myself, was too i… Read more


New Police Database Documents Violence Against Women and Children in Sri Lanka

November 29, 2017

Blog Post

The “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” a global campaign that runs through December 10, occurs this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global uproar against sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women face. Across Asia, as in many countries, violence against women continues to be one of the most widespread… Read more

woman in India 

Join Global Conversation on Gender-Based Violence December 6

November 29, 2017

Blog Post

On December 6, The Asia Foundation joins eight other development organizations for a day-long global tweet chat to mark the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign” (#16Days). From 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. ET, The Asia Foundation and its women’s empowerment and gender equality experts will lead a session on “Seeking Justice for GBV… Read more


A Practical Guide to Monitoring Violence Against Women in Television

November 7, 2017


Television (TV) monitoring is the process of watching and/or listening to the content of TV sources on a continuing basis, and then, identifying, saving and analyzing content that contains specific keywords, images or topics. This manual is intended to provide concise, clear and efficient methods for organizations to monitor the type and amount of… Read more


Four Takeaways from Global Forum on Preventing Violence Against Women

October 4, 2017

Blog Post

From September 18-21, more than 500 researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and activists gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the 5th Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Forum, to share quantitative and qualitative data about the characteristics of sexual and intimate partner violence across settings, and evidence of what works for the prevent… Read more


Community Alcohol Notification System (CANS): For Safer and Healthier Communities

July 24, 2017


The Asia Foundation’s research in 2015 on contributing factors for IPV found alcohol abuse to be a significant risk factor in triggering IPV, both in frequency and severity. Despite the wide-ranging presence of international and local alcohol brands and products, Cambodia still has no enforceable minimum drinking age, no limitation on serving alcoh… Read more


Be Bold for Change: Sparking Transformations for Women in Bangladesh

March 1, 2017

Blog Post

In reflecting on International Women’s Day and the women’s rights movements across Asia in the past year, I am reminded of a trip to Bangladesh I took in November. My trip coincided with discussions that were happening in the government on draft legislation that would allow child marriage in “special circumstances,” such as accidental or unlawful p… Read more


Research Reveals Cambodian Television Rife with Depictions of Violence Against Women

November 30, 2016

Blog Post

In a recent comedy show that aired on Cambodia’s Bayon television at the end of an All Stars Concert, a male comedian is seen repeatedly kicking and hitting his female counterpart with a piece of pipe. The live audience roars with laughter as the comedian continues the abuse throughout the three-and-a-half-minute segment. A girl was repeatedly hit… Read more


Charter Outlines 10 Actions to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children in Timor-Leste

November 30, 2016

Blog Post

As the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign kicks off across the globe, prominent government and civil society leaders in Timor-Leste signed an important Charter last week declaring their own commitment to preventing violence against women and children. The move is a significant step forward in Timor-Leste, where violence agai… Read more


The Phnom Penh Post: On TV, a licence for violence

November 4, 2016

Media Coverage Post

The Phnom Penh Post highlights The Asia Foundation’s media monitoring research conducted in Cambodia on reducing violence against women on Cambodian television: Media monitoring research conducted by the Asia Foundation shows that on the five largest national broadcasters – TV5, MyTV, CTN, Hang Meas and Bayon – 31 percent of aired programs contain… Read more

Cambodia alcohol ad 

Addressing Alcohol Abuse Critical to Preventing Intimate Partner Violence in Cambodia

October 12, 2016

Blog Post

In 2014, Cambodia’s government endorsed its second National Action Plan for Violence Against Women—one of a handful of critical steps the country has taken recently in eliminating violence against women. While this is good news, the overall prevalence rate of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the last decade has changed little. According to the Ca… Read more

Respect Women banner 

In India New Charter Calls on Men and Boys to Counter Violence Against Women

August 24, 2016

Blog Post

Last year, the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index ranked India 108 out of 145 countries. India’s neighbors have fared better in this ranking – Bangladesh is ranked 64th and Sri Lanka, 84th. A possible explanation is that, in India, kinship rules and cultural norms heavily govern life and human relations. Unfortunately, since these social condi… Read more

United States of Women 

Summits Push Investment in Adolescent Girls to Achieve Gender Equality

June 29, 2016

Blog Post

On June 14, The White House hosted the first-ever United State of Women Summit in Washington to rally women’s rights and gender equality advocates and to highlight achievements, identify remaining challenges, and chart the course for addressing them. To a packed audience of more than 5,000 people, speakers including President Obama, Vice President… Read more


Violence Against Women in Korean Television Dramas

June 25, 2016


With the growing popularity of Korean dramas, a problem that is important to examine is the prevalence of violent acts that appear in recent dramas and that are often glamorized. Some scholars argue that violence present in Korean dramas can have a negative influence on viewers particularly considering their prevalence on Korean television. In this… Read more


Audience Feedback Study of Pekmi Group’s Comedy Programs

June 25, 2016


The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is supporting the Cambodian Ministry of Women’s Affairs to change attitudes and prevent violence so that women and girls can feel safe in their homes, in the workplace and in their communities. Under the DFAT-funded Ending Violence Against Women Program, The Asia Foundation’s Prevention of Inti… Read more


Asian Perspectives: Evidence-based Approaches to Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

Washington, DC, June 21, 2016

Events Post

Global statistics indicate pandemic rates of violence against women and girls. Worldwide, approximately one in three women has experienced either physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner, or sexual violence by a non-partner. An expanding evidence base on violence against women and girls has shed light on how violence is experienced ac… Read more


SafetiPin: A Tool to Build Safer Cities for Women

May 11, 2016

Blog Post

The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus in 2012 sparked national outrage in India. Since then, other brutal acts of violence have taken place in India’s cities, including the rape and murder of a 30-year-old law student on April 28 in Kerala. There were 337,922 reported crimes against women in 2014, among them over 36,000 were rape…. Read more


Empowering Women by Shaping a Brave – and Safe – New World Online

March 23, 2016

Blog Post

The 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) kicked off last week, and the streets of New York City near Turtle Bay have been packed with government officials, NGO and multilateral representatives, activists, and academics.


Where Are India’s Working Women?

March 9, 2016

Blog Post

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a significant segment of its 1.2 billion population in the age group of 20-35. By 2020, it is estimated that the average age in the country will be 29. For an economy that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent…


For Women Living Alone in Delhi, Security Concerns Heightened

March 2, 2016

Blog Post

On Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss pressing issues concerning law and order in the city. With eight out of 10 women in Delhi fearing for their safety, it is encouraging that the new commissioner views strengthening women’s security as a priority.


5 Things to Know When Designing an App for Ending Violence Against Women

March 2, 2016

Blog Post

One year ago, the Cambodian government officially launched its second National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women (NAPVAW), reinforcing its commitment to eliminating violence against women. In the early 1990s, The Asia Foundation broke ground with a landmark study…

China's domestic violence law 

China’s First Law Against Domestic Violence: It’s No Longer a Private Matter

January 20, 2016

Blog Post

Last month, China passed its first-ever national law against domestic violence, the result of a decade-long campaign driven by the country’s civil society groups. The new law, which goes into effect on March 1, takes a significant step forward from existing legislation by legally defining domestic violence as physical and psychological abuse of family members…


New Study Reveals Patterns of Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste

December 9, 2015

Blog Post

Asia’s newest country, Timor-Leste, boasts one of the highest rates of female parliamentarians in the region and has made a number of important legislative advances in recent years on domestic violence.


The Persistent Gender Gap and How It Perpetuates Violence Against Women

December 2, 2015

Blog Post

November 25 marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and we are now in the midst of a global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. (Tune in next Thursday, December 10 at 11am EST to our live #GBVChat Tweetchat relay…


Compromising Justice: Pakistan’s Low Conviction Rates for Rape

November 11, 2015

Blog Post

Despite recent progress in the overall reporting of rape in Pakistan, conviction rates remain disappointingly low. Victims of sexual assault, usually women or children, often choose not to register a complaint, due to social stigma and the biased attitudes of service providers.


Int’l Day of the Girl Child: Celebrating the Power of Girls in Vietnam and Across Asia

October 7, 2015

Blog Post

On October 11, global communities will mark the International Day of the Girl Child to celebrate girls’ rights and to recognize the achievements and shortcomings since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals…


Melanne Verveer: “No Country Can Get Ahead That Leaves Half its People Behind.”

May 27, 2015

Blog Post

We sat down this week with Asia Foundation Trustee Melanne Verveer, director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, and the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues from 2009 to 2013. We asked her how far women had come in Asia, and how far they had yet to go.


World Leaders Issue Political Declaration on Gender Equality by 2030: Asia Foundation Experts Weigh In

March 25, 2015

Blog Post

At the opening of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at UN Headquarters on March 9, world leaders issued a political declaration calling for gender equality by 2030. In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with Barbara Rodriguez, The Asia Foundation’s assistant director for women’s empowerment programs, and Kate Bollinger…


The Case for Investing in Gender Equality

March 11, 2015

Blog Post

The debate over women’s rights as a central element of development has been transformed in the 20 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s clarion call to action, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”


Can India’s Youth Change Pervasive Culture of Violence and Abuse?

March 4, 2015

Blog Post

It is estimated that every 20 minutes a rape occurs in India. Those who work on the front lines of providing legal and health services to victims say that the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, it is widely accepted that close to 90 percent of rape incidences in India happen within the household…


Timor-Leste’s Law on Domestic Violence Just the Beginning

March 4, 2015

Blog Post

On February 16, Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo delivered his first speech as new prime minister of Timor-Leste, driving home a commitment to peace, reconciliation, economic development, and poverty reduction. He also emphasized the need to build a more inclusive society…


India Under Prime Minister Modi: A Conversation with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens

February 25, 2015

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman sat down with Asia Foundation trustee Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, who visited Asia Foundation headquarters in San Francisco having just concluded a 7-month post as chargé d’affaires at the U.S Embassy in New Delhi.


Cambodia Steps up as Regional Role Model for Preventing Violence Against Women

February 4, 2015

Blog Post

Propelled by the leadership of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Cambodia is emerging as a regional, if not global, role model for advocating prevention of violence against women. Today, major gender-responsive policies are being produced, including the 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women…


Uber Rape Case Reignites Debate over Women’s Security in India

December 17, 2014

Blog Post

On Friday evening, December 5, a young woman, just finishing work in Gurgaon, India (a satellite city which is part of the larger National Capital Region), goes to meet her friends at a pub in South Delhi, and decides to call an Uber home. This chain of events is typical of what many young professionals…


Acid Crimes: A Growing Crisis in Pakistan

October 1, 2014

Blog Post

Acid crimes have long been recognized as one of the most horrendous manifestations of gender-based violence, directed largely at women, who account for an overwhelming 80 percent of all cases globally. In a country like Pakistan, where conservative ideals and deeply rooted patriarchal structures have shaped its psyche and social fabric…


India’s Elected Women Leaders Push to End Violence Against Women

December 18, 2013

Blog Post

One year ago, on December 16, the fatal rape case of a 23-year-old woman in a Delhi suburb shocked the nation, grabbing international news headlines, and mobilized the government and civil society to recognize…


Mongolian Women Urge Amendments to Domestic Violence Law

December 18, 2013

Blog Post

Every year, a “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” campaign is held across the globe, including in Mongolia, to increase awareness about this global pandemic. This year in Mongolia, the spotlight was shone on domestic violence…