The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 60% of the world’s population and is a culturally, economically and politically diverse region. Gender disparities persist in access to health, access to sexual and reproductive health and services, education, employment and income, political participation and within the family. The outcomes are significantly worse for women and girls who are politically, socially and spatially excluded due to a variety of intersecting factors, including age, disability, caste, citizenship status, economic status, education, ethnicity, location, gender identity and sexual orientation, and situations of conflict, disasters and other emergencies. Moreover, gender-based violence remains a pernicious reality in the region: rates of violence continue to be high and the forms of violence continue to be manifold.
This advocacy brief aims to inform policy-makers and decision-makers on the critical linkages between eliminating gender-based violence (GBV) and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly goal 5 on improving maternal health and providing universal access to reproductive health.