Gender-based Violence (GBV) is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females. Throughout history, GBV has been an integral component of armed conflict. Sexual violence is often systematic, for the purposes of destabilizing populations and destroying bonds within communities and families, advancing ethnic cleansing, expressing hatred for the enemy, or supplying combatants with sexual services. Evidence suggests that the use of rape as a method of warfare has increased in recent years in conflict-affected areas.
For more information about the IAWG’s work on GBV, please see the GBV Sub-Working Group page .