Skip navigation

About this survey

Violence against women and girls is a persistent human rights violation that not only threatens the security and safety of its victims, but also hinders women and girls around the world from being full and equal participants in society. The OSCE recognizes violence against women and girls (VAWG) as both a threat to individuals and a broader security concern, and acknowledges the need to tackle it to achieve comprehensive security, implement the Istanbul convention (if ratified) and reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

The lack of comparable data on violence against women has limited the ability of key actors to develop cross-regional initiatives aimed at improving policies and measures on the prevention of violence against women and girls and the protection of victims.

The data explorer presents the cross-regional, comparable findings of the OSCE-led Survey on the Wellbeing and Safety of Women, which was implemented in 2018 in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine. The research was also conducted in Kosovo[1].

The survey included a quantitative and qualitative component and was undertaken to provide comparable data on different forms of violence women experience in their childhood and throughout their lives.

The OSCE-led survey included:

In total, 15,179 women aged 18–74 were interviewed face-to-face using a multi-stage, random probability approach. The data is weighted to the known population profile within each OSCE participating State. The data is also weighted to the known population profile in Kosovo. An additional weight (population weight) was calculated to enable reporting for the entire sample of the selected OSCE participating States or for a subgroup thereof[2]. This weight reflects the distribution of the survey population across the area covered. Interviews were conducted by female interviewers who received training on the implementation of the survey.

The qualitative part of the research consisted of three different activities. First, 114 key experts shared their views on the current state of how governmental institutions and NGOs are working to prevent VAWG, what support is available to women who have experienced VAWG, and what improvements they recommend. These experts included representatives of international organizations as well as governmental and non-governmental institutions. Second, a total of 63 focus group discussions were conducted with women from different age groups, women living in urban and rural areas, women from different minority backgrounds and women who had experienced conflict. Finally, 35 in-depth interviews were conducted with survivors of violence, including women with a disability.

The research examined violence that women experience in conflict and non-conflict settings, as well as the impact violence has on women. The area covered by this research is diverse and has different historical, social and economic contexts. Rather than focusing on the findings from particular locations, the report aims to provide an overview of women’s experiences and to highlight the issues – often similar – that persist and continue to hamper the well-being and safety of women throughout the area covered by the research.

The OSCE-led survey is based on the methodology used by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency for its EU-wide survey on violence against women, which was published in in 2014[3]. The data collected by the OSCE-led survey is comparable to the data collected by the FRA survey. Together, the two surveys cover 35 OSCE participating States.

With its comparable data, the OSCE-led survey will provide much-needed information that will help show the current situation concerning violence against women and girls in OSCE participating States. It will also enable the planning and development of cross-regional initiatives and actions as well as local policies and services.

The full report can be found at:

A shorter, at a glance report, is also available: (Link to AAG report once uploaded).

For more details on the process behind the survey, a technical report can be found at: (link to technical report once uploaded)

[1] All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text should be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.

[2] The same was done for Kosovo.