Commonwealth VAWG

The Economic, Youth & Sustainable Development Directorate has responsibility for Gender for the Commonwealth of Nations. This includes VAWG initiatives with the mission to advance gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment in all social, economic and political spheres.

Within the Directorate, Gender provides technical assistance to member countries to support skills training and capacity building initiatives, monitoring and evaluation and high level advocacy, research and knowledge generation and lead the way for building consensus on key global priorities for gender equality for the Commonwealth.

This work centers on key aspects of human development towards the achievement of the Commonwealth’s priorities on gender equality: (i) women in leadership; (ii) women’s economic empowerment; (iii) ending violence against women and girls; and (iv) gender and climate change; the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and global, regional and national commitments on gender equality and overall empowerment of women.

There are three inter-linked functions to the gender work:

  1. Promoting women’s rights and gender equality in Commonwealth countries through advocacy, policy advice, capacity building, and technical assistance.
  2. Convening policy dialogue and consensus building through triennial meetings of Commonwealth Ministers responsible for Women’s Affairs, annual meetings of Commonwealth Women’s National Machineries and the Commonwealth Women’s Forum.
  3. Leading and coordinating policies, systems and mechanisms for effective gender mainstreaming.

Key documents

Legal Resources on VAWG
Please find below PDFs on the judicial books on VAW produced in collaboration with UN Women, Rule of Law and HRU

Judicial Bench-book on VAW in Commonwealth East Africa jurisdictions, launched by the Secretary-General at 11WAMM, hosted by the Government of Samoa in September 2016.

Judicial Resource Book on VAW for Asia in partnership with UN Women Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, also launched by the SG on International Day for the Elimination of VAW, Nov 2018.

Case Law Handbook on Violence Against Women and Girls in Commonwealth East Africa, launched by the Secretary-General at 12WAMM, hosted by the Government of Kenya, September 2019.


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