Indicator 39. Percentage of referred cases of sexual and gender-based violence against women and children that are investigated and sentenced

Rationale and definition:

Sexual and gender-based violence remains widespread, and too often ends in impunity. This indicator, recommended as a measure under UNSCR 1325 on women and peace and security, assesses how the police and justice system process and manage violence against women and children. The three stages – monitoring, investigating, and sentencing – are all important and interrelated. Monitoring suggests confidence in the system, investigation shows commitment by the police/legal establishment, and sentencing shows justice being achieved.

This indicator is also a good proxy for a broader measure of the quality of the rule of law and access to justice in a given country. In order to know whether a justice system is performing, several aspects must be measured: the capacity to redress crimes, whether citizens trust formal systems enough to actually go to police and courts, and the rates of redress. Each of these pieces of information gives an important part of the picture, and focusing on the treatment of particularly vulnerable groups is a good test of the system as a whole.


By sex, age and urban/rural. Further opportunities for disaggregation to be reviewed.

Comments and limitations:

Limitations include the lack of data and inconsistency in monitoring across countries; lack of gender-sensitivity, capacity, and resources of the police and judicial system; persistent discriminatory attitudes and practices; and the likelihood that these crimes are often resolved informally within the community are major ongoing challenges.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Administrative data.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

Civil society networks such as the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders are actively engaged in building capacity to measure and implement this and other indicators from the UNSCR 1325.1 UN Women could take on responsibility for gathering data.

  1. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (2012). Women Count – Security Council Resolution 1325: Civil Society Monitoring Report.