Violence against women has received increasing international attentionas a public health and human rights concern. However, femicide, one ofits extreme manifestations, is still not well understood. While a number of studies have been conducted, mainly in high-resource areas, reliable and globally comparable data on its nature and prevalence remain scarce

Femicide has been addressed in different contexts, including intimatepartner violence, stranger violence, rape and other sexual violence, and honor and dowry practices, as well as murders associated with gang activity and political violence. A number of definitions have been proposed by researchers and activists, leading to methodological differences in the collection and interpretation of data

In addition, a range of methodologies has been used in different contexts to collect data on femicide, including population-based studies; analysis of service records; homicide, police, hospital, court, and mortuary statistics; domestic fatality reviews; verbal autopsies; and review of newspaper articles. Each methodology has advantages and disadvantages with respect to the ease with which data can be collected, the rigor of the data, and the use of data in advocacy efforts

In April 2008, PATH convened a first-of-its-kind conference on femicide, frequently referred to as “the gender-based murder of women” or “the murder of women because they are women.” The conference, “Strengthening Understanding of Femicide,” was co-sponsored by the Latin American Alliance for Gender-based Violence Prevention and Health (InterCambios), the South African Medical Research Council, and the World Health Organization. It brought together activists, researchers, and forensic professionals from Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, England, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, and the United States, who collectively represent the most current research and groundbreaking advocacy on femicide

4 While representing a range of backgrounds, perspectives, and regions, participants found that they faced similar challenges in collecting data and advocating for action around femicide. The meeting aimed to identify common ground for strengthening research and galvanizing global action to prevent femicide and end the impunity so often granted to perpetrators

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