ASEAN lacks data on violence
against women: UNFPA

Jose Ferraris: (Courtesy of UNFPA Indonesia)
Jose Ferraris: (Courtesy of UNFPA Indonesia)

Few ASEAN countries have reliable statistical data on the prevalence of violence against women although the 2004 ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women underscored the need for reliable statistics both to assess the prevalence of the social problem and to continually monitor changes, a senior United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) official says.

UNFPA Representative for Indonesia, Jose Ferraris, said on Monday that such statistics were important to inform and guide the development of national legislation, policies and programs that could prevent violence against women and protect survivors as well.

“Without timely and accurate indicators, it is impossible to track progress or provide information that compels policy makers to act toward the elimination of violence against women,” he told a workshop on “Strengthening National Capacities to Collect Violence against Women Statistics in the ASEAN Region” jointly held by Women Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, ASEAN Secretariat and the UNFPA today.

The National Commission on Violence against Women recorded that 119,107 cases of violence against women took place in Indonesia in 2011.

The workshop aims to address the need for stakeholders, such as national health systems and planning offices, as well as those who work in women empowerment to more effectively integrate the collection, analysis and use of data on violence against women in national plans and programs.

During the workshop, participants from ASEAN’s ten member countries studied various statistical methodologies, in particular the World Health Organization’s (WHO) multi-country study methodology, available for measuring violence against women.

Ferraris said the WHO methodology was the gold standard in measuring violence against women and which allowed multi-country comparisons to take place.

“Having that kind of data and information will allow us to be able to confidently say this is the situation of violence in the country and ask what are the policy measures that are being taken to address the problem?” he said.

He added that the UNFPA was now working closely with its counterparts from the Women Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, the National Statistics Agency (BPS) and the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) as in the end it would have to go to the DPR because of the budgetary allocation that would be required in order to carry out the study.

“The WHO multi-country study on violence against women will hopefully take place here [in Indonesia] in 2014,” said Ferraris. (iwa)

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