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Resources: March 2008

Rejecting 'cultural' justifications for violence against women: strategies for women's rights advocates.

Women's Empowerment in Muslim Contexts

This paper was first drafted as a Consultation Paper that was presented at the WEMC forums in Istanbul and Ankara. It was then uploaded on the WEMC Web site at and circulated among members of the Research Programme Consortium. This finalised version has evolved into a Strategy Paper that incorporates the comments of diverse stakeholders who provided inputs. We would like to thank the WEMC members who contributed to the writing of this Paper.

The aim of this Strategy Paper is to contribute to the implementation of the UN General Assembly's Resolution A/RES/61/143 Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women, and to the Secretary-General's Campaign to End Violence Against Women, by focusing on how to reject 'cultural' justifications for violence against women. This Paper discusses two ways of doing this:

(1) By strategizing around key opportunities that have emerged in the UN system

(2) By countering 'cultural' justifications for violence against women at micro, meso and macro levels

Culture, Religion and Gender

December, 2003
Professor Frances Raday

"This article explores the intersection of culture, religion, and gender in the context of international and constitutional human rights law. The clash between religious or cultural autonomy and gender equality is a pervasive problem for constitutional law, one that arises in connection with claims of immunity from gender equality provisions on the grounds of cultural or religious freedom.