Report celebrating 25 years of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women

20 June 2019
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
To the Human Rights Council at its 41st session


The year 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the creation of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, as well as the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The following year heralded a number of key landmark women’s rights instruments, including:

  • 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995);
  • 20 years since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security; and
  • 5 years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015).

It is within this context that the Special Rapporteur considered 2019 a key moment in time to reflect on the challenges facing women in attaining their rights. She wished to analyze the adequacy of the international legal framework on violence against women. She also wanted to look at how her mandate could address these challenges going forward. 


This report provides an analysis of the evolution of the mandate, from standard-setting to consolidation and implementation strategies. The Special Rapporteur reflects on the new and persisting challenges the global women’s rights movement faces, and its impact on the work of the mandate. She looks at the international framework on women’s human rights and violence against women, and the expanding role of the mandate. She makes a number of recommendations to States and other stakeholders, calling for a system-wide approach to end violence against women.


The Special Rapporteur issued a call for submissions in January 2019 in preparation for the present report, and is sincerely grateful to all those who submitted a response. (See links to the responses below). The Special Rapporteur is also very grateful to the London School of Economics for hosting an expert group meeting in January 2019, the discussions from which form the basis of the present report.

Inputs received

Member States


Regional mechanisms and academic institutions