Measuring violence to end violence: mainstreaming gender

Sylvia Walby and Jude Towers Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 2018; Read the full paper online

This article aims to mainstream gender into the measurement of violence, in order to assist the development of the theory of change needed to support actions to end violence. It addresses the division between gender-neutral and women-only strategies of data collection that fail to deliver the quality evidence needed to:

  • address the extent and distribution of violence.
  • develop a better operationalisation of the concepts of gender and violence for statistical analysis.
  • produce a checklist of criteria to assess the quality of statistics on gendered violence.

It assesses the strengths and weakness of surveys linked to two contrasting theoretical perspectives: the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) Survey of Violence Against Women and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). It shows how the FRA Survey fails and how the ONS has limited the potential of the CSEW. It therefore offers a solution with a short questionnaire that is fit for purpose as well as ways of analysing data that escape the current polarisation.

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