How common is gender-based violence?

September 13, 2023

The violence that women, girls and gender-nonconforming people experience is so ubiquitous that it can take on this feeling of inevitability or mundane everydayness. But the violence we experience is shocking and it should remain so. In this series of illustrations, I use U.S. statistics about other common experiences in an effort to reawaken us to the unacceptable rate at which this violence happens around the world.

Finding a statistic to show the enormity and frequency of this violence was nearly impossible. The 31% figure, from the World Health Organization, is high—but it still vastly understates the problem because it does not count femicide, harassment or the many ways that systemic violence against women, girls and gender-nonconforming people affects their lives.

Perhaps if we see the true scale of GBV, world leaders might finally treat it like the deadly global public health crisis that it is.

This illustration is part of a new series between the Ford Foundation and The Meteor. Learn more at


About the artist

Mona Chalabi is an award-winning writer and illustrator. Using words, color and sound, Mona rehumanizes data to help us understand our world and the way we live in it.Her work has earned her a Pulitzer Prize, a fellowship at the British Science Association, an Emmy nomination and recognition from the Royal Statistical Society.