Structural violence: a barrier to achieving the millennium development goals for women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Apr;20(4):593-7. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2375. Epub 2011 Mar 25.


In 2000, all 191 United Nations member states agreed to work toward the achievement of a set of health and development goals by 2015. The achievement of these eight goals, the Millennium Development goals (MDGs) is highly dependent on improving the status of women, who play a key role in health and education in families and communities around the world. Yet structural violence, defined as the systematic exclusion of a group from the resources needed to develop their full human potential, remains a significant barrier against women's development and threatens the achievement of the MDGs. Although sound evidence has long existed for improving women's survival, the will to address women's health concretely and holistically is only recently gaining the advocacy needed to change policy. Concrete examples of the integration of approaches to mitigate structural violence within the delivery of health services do exist and should be incorporated into global advocacy for women's health.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Advocacy
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Health Policy
  • Health Priorities*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Maternal Mortality
  • United Nations
  • Women's Health*
  • Women's Rights*