The present work is a review of the available data on gender-based violence (GBV) as experienced by girls and women in the Middle East region. Its purpose is to examine the different forms of GBV, which are most specific to the region: certain forms of domestic violence, female genital mutilation/cutting, honor killing, and violence in times of war. It will attempt to define their prevalence, social background, and complications as they occur in the Middle East. This review shows that the systematic denial of women’s human rights throughout the Middle East and the ancestral collusion between Law, State and Religion have led to the increase of women’s vulnerability to violence. It highlights the considerable social and political forces behind the underreporting, and reviews the attitudes concerning GBV especially by the women themselves. In conclusion, there is a need for more research on the attitudes of men and women regarding gender-based violence and how these attitudes may be changed; also, researchers, advocates and health care professionals must work together to develop culturally sensitive interventions. Above all, long-term change will only be possible through access to education, civil and political rights for all the women in the region.

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