The UK government must use its aid budget and diplomatic influence to promote security for women and girls around the world and especially in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Christian Aid has said.
In a new report, War on Women, the NGO says that reducing the prevalence of armed conflict is key to eliminating violence against women and girls.
"Violence against women and girls increases in conflict settings, with the poorest and most marginalised women and girls suffering the most," the report reads.
"We believe less military conflict will lead to less violence perpetrated against women...An overly militarised response is more likely to result in war."
It adds: "The UK should also reflect on its own experience of conflict and military intervention and incorporate lessons from this – good and bad – into a clear policy."
Recommendations in the report urge the government to address the underlying structural causes of war and violence, engage in demilitarisation and disarmament, and reduce armaments spending while increasing funding for peacebuilding efforts.
The government should champion the meaningful inclusion of women in peacebuilding initiatives and ensure that its peacebuilding spending is transparent, the report adds.
Addressing Afghanistan in particular, Christian Aid warns that women in the country are still experiencing high levels of violence, especially those living in extreme poverty.
It has strongly criticised a peace deal being brokered between the Taliban and the US, which it says risks unravelling years of progress made in the area of women's rights and security by failing to include assurances around the protection of women's employment, education and participation in government.
On India, the report said that caste discrimination continues to be a factor in gender inequality and other forms of social exclusion, leaving women and girls at increased risk of poverty and violence.
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid, said:"The stark fact is that violence against women and girls is increased in conflict settings such as Afghanistan.
"There and around the world, the eradication of gender-based violence (GBV) is a major and urgent challenge of our time; there is a growing recognition that violence against women cannot be tackled unless the systemic inequalities which keep women vulnerable are also recognised and work is done to reduce those inequalities.
"While we commend the work that has been done in increasing gender parity since the end of World War Two when Christian Aid was founded, we are convinced that more must be done.
"All governments committed to equality and justice must no longer tinker around the edges in tackling the effects of violence against women, but must focus their energies on addressing the structural issues of discrimination and economic inequality for the sake of all the world's women."