General definition 

Killing of women and girls because of their gender, which can take the form of, inter alia:

  • the murder of women as a result of intimate partner violence;
  • the torture and misogynist slaying of women 
  • killing of women and girls in the name of “honour”;
  • targeted killing of women and girls in the context of armed conflict;
  • dowry-related killings of women;
  • killing of women and girls because of their sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • the killing of aboriginal and indigenous women and girls because of their gender;
  • female infanticide and gender-based sex selection foeticide;
  • genital mutilation related deaths;
  • accusations of witchcraft; and
  • other femicides connected with gangs, organized crime, drug dealers, human trafficking and the proliferation of small arms.

Statistical definition

The killing of a woman by an intimate partner and the death of a woman as a result of a practice that is harmful to women. Intimate partner is understood as a former or current spouse or partner, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim.

Additional notes and information

The term ‘femicide’ (femicidio) was particularly embraced in Latin America as a useful tool in response to an alarming escalation of very violent murders of women and girls. In parallel, the word feminicidio was introduced in order to capture the element of impunity and institutional violence, owing to a lack of accountability and adequate response on the part of the state when such killings occur. This term is used when state accountability is at stake.