Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls in the Arab League: A Systematic Review of Preventive Interventions

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Trauma, Violence, and Abuse


The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5 (Gender Equity) includes violence against women and girls (VAWG), considering it as a violation of the rights of women and girls. The variety of risk factors for VAWG in Arab countries suggests the need to identify effective interventions to guide practitioners and policy makers. A systematic review of preventive interventions across the Arab League examined the outcomes of VAWG. Authors registered the study on the prospective register of systematic reviews database. Authors conducted the search for evidence up to 2023. Database searching identified 1,502 studies and after application of the eligibility criteria, 17 studies remained for inclusion. Quality appraisal used the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Evidence emerged from eight Arab countries. Interventions occurred at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention. However, only two studies employed interventions using more than one level of prevention, which considered systems strengthening and the development of community solidarity networks. The evidence revealed a lack of clear evaluation and evidence for the effectiveness of interventions and prevention alongside reactive approaches, with no evidence as to how systems may reduce or prevent VAWG. One main issue is patriarchal dominance in Arab countries creating the lack of a collective female voice in any of the evidence. However, Arab countries can change with support. Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5 by 2030 means interventions and programs need to include more than one prevention level, consider systems and include the collective female voice.



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