Violence against women: A neglected public health issue in less developed countries

Lori L. Heise, Alanagh Raikes, Charlotte H. Watts, Anthony B. Zwi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Violence against women is a significant public health issue in countries of both the industrialized and less developed world. This paper describes the magnitude and health consequences of domestic violence and rape, with an emphasis on developing countries; it recognizes, however, that there is a dearth of documentation regarding the wide range of activity opposing violence against women which is taking place in less developed countries. It briefly explores the factors that perpetuate violence against women and the strategies that have evolved to respond to the problem. It analyses the constellation of factors that may assist violence to emerge as a legitimate public health concern, and explores opportunities and obstacles to further progress in this field. Particular attention is devoted to the role of research in the policy-making process; research areas which may assist those opposing violence against women in all its forms are tentatively suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1179
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • developing countries
  • gender
  • health policy
  • policy analysis
  • research
  • violence
  • violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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