Over the past 25 years, the number of countries introducing laws addressing domestic violence has risen from close to zero in 1990, to 118 by 2016 (World Bank, 2016). However, only 44% of countries fully enforce their laws (WHO, 2014).
The purpose of this VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) Helpdesk paper is to provide a brief overview of what types of legislative reform are most effective in protecting women and girls from VAWG. It explores promising strategies and approaches that have enabled the implementation of legislative reform and implementation changes that have taken place at national, regional and international level. Risks and lessons learned for development actors (particularly DFID) are identified.