Nearly 89,000 women and girls were intentionally killed (femicide) in 2022, marking the highest yearly number in the past two decades. This alarming figure comes despite an overall drop in homicides, said a new research brief from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women.
HOME NOT SAFE FOR MANY
Shockingly, 55% (48,800) of these female homicides are committed by family members or intimate partners. This underscores the disturbing fact that, for women and girls, home is far from being a safe haven. On average, more than 133 women or girls were killed every day by someone within their own homes. In contrast, only 12% of homicides against males occur in the home.
The research highlights that the true scale of femicide may be even higher, as information on gender-related motivations is insufficient in approximately four out of ten female homicides.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION
Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, emphasizes that the alarming number of femicides is a stark reminder of deep-rooted inequalities and violence against women and girls. Each life lost is a call to action, urging governments to address structural inequalities, improve criminal justice responses, and invest in inclusive institutions to end impunity and strengthen prevention.
Women and girls across all regions experience gender-based violence. In 2022, Africa surpassed Asia for the first time as the region with the highest number of total victims (20,000). Femicides committed by intimate partners or family members increased by 29% in North America between 2017 and 2022.
The escalating femicide crisis calls for immediate and comprehensive action. Governments, institutions, and societies must work together to dismantle systemic inequalities, fortify criminal justice responses, and create a world where no woman or girl fears for her life because of her gender. This urgent plea emphasizes the need for coordinated efforts to end violence against women and girls globally.