VIENNA (AFP) - More than half the women who were murdered worldwide last year were killed by their partners or family members, making home "the most dangerous place for a woman", a new United Nations study said on Sunday (Nov 25).
In statistics released on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calculated that of a total 87,000 female homicide cases worldwide in 2017, some 50,000 - or 58 per cent - were committed by the victims' intimate partners or family members.
Around 30,000, or 34 per cent, were committed by intimate partners alone.
"This amounts to some six women being killed every hour by people they know," the Vienna-based body said.
The vast majority - around 80 per cent - of homicide victims worldwide were men, but "women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes", said UNODC chief Yury Fedotov.
"They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family... making the home the most dangerous place for a woman," he said.
"The fact that women continue to be affected by this type of violence to a greater degree than men is indicative of an imbalance in power relations between women and men inside the domestic sphere."
The UNODC calculated that the global rate of female homicide victims stood at around 1.3 victims per 100,000 female population.
The study found that Africa and the Americas were the regions where women were most at risk of being killed by intimate partners or family members.
In Africa, the rate was around 3.1 victims per 100,000 female population, while the rate in the Americas was 1.6 victims, in Oceania 1.3 and in Asia 0.9.
The lowest rate was found in Europe, with 0.7 victims per 100,000 female population.
According to the UNODC, "no tangible progress" in combating the scourge had been made in recent years "despite legislation and programmes developed to eradicate violence against women".
The report's conclusions "highlight the need for effective crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women", the UNODC said, stressing the need for measures to boost safety and empower potential victims while holding their abusers accountable.
The study also called for greater coordination between police and the justice system, as well as health and social services.
And the UNODC said it was also important to involve men in the solutions, including through early education.