IV. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY
THE COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
Eleventh session (1992)**
General recommendation No. 19: Violence against women
Background
1.
Gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s ability
to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
2.
In 1989, the Committee recommended that States should include in their reports
information on violence and on measures introduced to deal with it (General
recommendation 12, Eighth session).
3.
At its tenth session in 1991, it was decided to allocate part of the eleventh session to a
discussion and study on article 6 and other articles of the Convention relating to violence
towards women and the sexual harassment and exploitation of women. That subject was chosen
in anticipation of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, convened by the
General Assembly by its resolution 45/155 of 18 December 1990.
4.
The Committee concluded that not all the reports of States parties adequately reflected the
close connection between discrimination against women, gender-based violence, and violations
of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The full implementation of the Convention required
States to take positive measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
5.
The Committee suggested to States parties that in reviewing their laws and policies, and in
reporting under the Convention, they should have regard to the following comments of the
Committee concerning gender-based violence.
General comments
6.
The Convention in article 1 defines discrimination against women. The definition of
discrimination includes gender-based violence, that is, violence that is directed against a woman
because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately. It includes acts that inflict
physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations
of liberty. Gender-based violence may breach specific provisions of the Convention, regardless
of whether those provisions expressly mention violence.
7.
Gender-based violence, which impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of human
rights and fundamental freedoms under general international law or under human rights
conventions, is discrimination within the meaning of article 1 of the Convention. These rights
and freedoms include:

**

Contained in document A/47/38.

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