Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa has launched a new handbook for reporters to support sustained media coverage of gender-based violence beyond 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children. December 2009 (pdf).
Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights and a major impediment to achieving gender equality. (U.N. Secretary General's study on violence against women, October 2006).
Every day and everywhere women are killed in sex-related crimes and just for the sake of being women. In recent years, women’s movements from different countries have been denouncing femicides, a concept that aims at accounting for the specific nature of these crimes as well as for their being sexist crimes. "The same as with the concept of violence towards women, this concept has been coined as a result of new approaches, a new understanding of practices that are not new at all. While the concept of sexist violence has been used for several decades, the concept of femicide is more recent: it questions those arguments that tend to excuse perpetrators and consider them as being ‘crazy’ or to regard these murders as ‘passionate crimes’, or else to undermine their importance in the case of conflict or war situations, as if these contexts by themselves could be justifying the violation of the most elementary social rules." (Silvia Chejter, "Femicidios e impunidad", 2005)
Violence against women is recognized as a human rights violation in many agreements and international and regional treaties and national commitments, which should be useful as tools and real guarantees to work towards the prevention of these crimes. As an example, it is worth mentioning the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and its Optional Protocol, 1979/1999, which calls on States to pursue a “policy of eliminating violence against women” and empowers women to make demands at national level and make their demands to be taken into account; the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993; the chapter devoted to violence against women in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the UN World Conference on Women, 1995; the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), 1998, which includes sexual violence – rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy – within the definition of crimes against humanity and war crimes; the Beijing review (Beijing +5) that calls for the criminalization of violence against women and for the adoption of measures to end violence against women on the basis of racial grounds and included honour crimes for the first time; the United Nations Millennium Declaration, 2000 that proposes "to combat all forms of violence against women”, as well as to support some of the above-mentioned conventions.
However, several years have passed since the signing of those agreements and crimes such as the massive extermination of women, rape, abuse and sexual harassment, domestic violence, trafficking in women and girls, enforced prostitution, sexual slavery, violence in situations of armed conflict, forced pregnancy, female infanticide and prenatal sex selection in favour of male offsprings, honour killings, dowry-related violence, female genital mutilation and other practices and abuses are still being practised with impunity.
By analyzing the advances made in terms of international legislation and the campaigns and activism of women’s organizations, it has been possible to give visibility to the inequality existing between genders and the oppressive structures perpetuating it. Official recognition has been given to violence suffered by women considering it a human rights violation together with the commitment of governments to condenm it. Yet, the implementation of these commitments is left entirely to the will of States. It is there that the limitations of international achievements often become self-evident, since they collide against the lack of political will to prevent, investigate and punish these crimes.
There are some paradigmatic cases: from 1993 until January 2006, more than 430 women were murdered and more than 600 are missing (and presumably murdered too) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a place where all the following become concentrated: border industrialization of “maquilas”, marginalization, immigration, exacerbated male chauvinism, drug trafficking, prostitution, impunity and political and police corruption. In Guatemala, just like in Ciudad Juárez, about two thousand women were murdered between 2001 and 2005. Most victims are aged between 12 and 25 and live in the poorest regions of the country. Methods vary from the use of firearms, and include tortures, violation and later on murder. Together with the growing number of crimes there is also an increase in threats and harassment towards the different organizations that undertake to publicly denounce these massacres.
In addition to these alarming recent facts, war femicides should also be taken into account – many times associated to massive violations – such as those that took place in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, just to mention some of the cases registered in recent decades. At the present time, these crimes are severely sanctioned under the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Violence against women, as shown in these cases, not only represents a form of discrimination but also implies a violation of the rights to life, physical integrity, freedom, security and legal protection consecrated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, among others. These international provisions reaffirm the obligation of States to clarify the truth, to do justice and provide compensation to victims, even when their rights were violated by individuals.
”The issue of violence against women is still characterized by two important aspects: the issue of impunity and the implementation of human rights mechanisms. The latter should ultimately be part of a new vision that incorporates, along with the human rights framework, the connections to the issues and organizations working for peace, economic justice and security”.
“The status of women of all regions and the diverse violations to their human rights, which were previously hidden and silenced, have all surfaced, linking local movements to a global women's movement that continues to grow. It is time to close the cycle of victimization and violence, and open one of empowerment. We need to encourage women to recognize themselves as subjects with rights, who have the capacity to confront a justice system which is highly sexist, racist, classist and homophobic. ("How Effective is a Human Rights framework in addressing Gender-based Violence? February 2004", Ana Elena Obando)
Although the different forms and situations in which women are murdered for the sake of being women can all be gathered under the term “femicides”, this report offers a certain categorization aimed at simplifying their organization.
It is now fashionable in academic and activist circles to speak of transitional justice in normative, inflexible terms that suggest a utopian certainty. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the outset, we need to understand that transitional justice concepts are experimental –good experiments to be sure– but that they do not offer us tested panacea because they are essentially works in progress.The invisibility of sexual and gender-based violence in society in general, and transitional justice contexts in particular, is intrinsically bound up with the invisibility and marginalization of women in public life. Until societies decide that women are as important as men –and that human dignity means dignity for all genders– the failure to take seriously and address sexual and gender based violence will persist. June 2008.
I therefore, wish here to link, gender based violence within the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), to the question of political power and women’s emancipation, based on our experience as a women’s political leadership. My position being that patriarchy as a system of oppression is not going to willingly dismantle itself, it has to be fought. December 4th, 2007.
Historically, the process of critiquing and reﬁning human rights with the aim of protecting the rights of Indigenous women has only just begun. Therefore, this report raises more questions than answers.These questions are a guide, propelling our thinking and our efforts to create change. Through the process of grappling with questions, Indigenous women are producing concepts and language,including the terms introduced in this report (such as violence in the name of tradition,spiritual violence ,and ecological violence). These terms reﬂect and support the development of a uniquely Indigenous conception of gender-based violence and Indigenous anti-violence strategies. 2006, pdf format.
It is worth mentioning the importance of this work by Alice Miller, which analyzes the elements that have influence both on the success and potential danger of those strategies that place sexual violence against women as the main focus of the work in favour of women’s human rights. She wonders how to ensure that interventions by the women’s movement are not reinforcing - against its own wishes – the idea that the most important thing about a woman is her chastity. Sexual harm allowed for the visibility of gender within harm but this idea could also be reinforcing strongly conservative beliefs about women and sexuality. This article studies the different trends both within the doctrine and practice of human rights as well as within the traditional women’s human rights movement, which have been coupled together in order to achieve an hyper-visibility of sexual harm without drawing equivalent attention to the solutions and situations that are allowing it. (First published in “Harvard Health and Human Rights Journal”, 2005 Vol. 8, no 2 - subscription). Content:
Women's Human Rights and the trajectory of violence against women as a human rights issue in the UN system
A reflection on the short version of the success of women's human rights at the UN
Exploring women's human rights in the UN context: the doctrines of equality, development, and state-actor forced violence
Violence against women: the political and campaigning motor for attaching human rights to women
A "doctrine and practice" analysis of the encounter between human rights and sexuality
The fault lines in the politics of the body versus the politics of social justice - Torture as a paradigm for rights abuse and the links between the suffering body and the sexual body
Evolutions by analogy: rape as torture, rape survivors as citizens?
Making women's bodies visible while holding onto their minds: sexual-harm campaigns engage human rights
The accountability of the state: criminal prosecution or social welfare -or both?
Prosecution for sexual harm: scrutinizing the criminal law in light of its regulatory histories
The operation of respectability in human rights work
For 25 years women’s rights advocates have been campaigning against violence against women. They have succeeded in changing the law, changing the stand of the judiciary. But have they succeeded in changing social attitudes, asks Flavia Agnes, lawyer and noted activist. "After 25 years of our campaign against violence, why don’t we adopt Rakhmabai as our symbol of strength? "Why do we look for international symbols? Unless we understand our own history, how will we fight this battle?" India, December 2005.
This report explores the use of the human rights framework and its significance for gender-based violence. It mentions the various international legal and political advances made possible through the use of this framework, its strengths and limitations as well as the challenges the women's movements face in opening up a new cycle of strategies, visions and paradigms. February 2004.
This report explores the use of the human rights framework and its significance for gender-based violence. It mentions the various international legal and political advances made possible through the use of this framework, its strengths and limitations as well as the challenges the women's movements face in opening up a new cycle of strategies, visions and paradigms. February 2004.
Until the early 1990s, most forms of violence directed against women were met with silence not only by governments but also by much of the human rights community. In the last fifteen years, however, the engagement of human rights activists in the problem of violence against women has risen exponentially. Why and how this change has occurred is an important piece of the history of the women's and human rights movements, with major implications for both. 2004.
According to figures from Guatemala City based women’s group Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres (GGM) between January 2002 and January 2009 there were 197,538 acts of domestic violence, 13,895 rapes and 4,428 women were murdered. October 2009.
"Greetings from a war zone that's not Iraq. And not Afghanistan either. I'm checking in from West Africa, where I've been working with women in three neighboring countries, all recently torn apart by civil wars: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Côte d'Ivoire. The Iraq debacle has monopolized attention and obscured these "lesser" wars -now officially "over"- but millions of West African women are struggling to recover. For them, the war isn't really over at all, not by a long shot. This is the war story that's never truly told. Let me explain". February 2008.
To much of the general public in the international community, genocide in Rwanda appeared suddenly, with a rapid and horrific surge in violence against the Tutsi minority in 1994. Genocide, however, is not a sudden event; it is the result of complex factors fueled by history, psychology, and sociology, culminating in a quest for power. In order to understand the sexual violence perpetrated throughout the 1994 genocide and the gender hate propaganda that incited it, the author provides a brief background to the events of 1994.
Activists’ work in response to the killings of women in Ciudad Juárez illustrates both the usefulness of applying a human rights framework to violence against women and the difficulty of actually reducing the occurrence of such violence. 2004.
Girls and women in Cambodia face discrimination in many areas of their lives: unequal access to an education, inappropriate and inadequate health care, limited options for jobs, little or no voice in public affairs, little involvement in the family or the society's decision making, and the high risk of being abused. Three common types of this gender-based violence are rape, human trafficking and domestic violence. Girls and younger women are especially at risk. June 2008.
Focusing on intimate partner abuse in Malawi, this study explores sexual, emotional, and physical violence, as well as financial abuse. This on-line book presents the main findings of the study where a total of 3,546 households were sampled, and females and males interviewed. Both a male and female perspective is offered in the study in addition to recommendations and suggestions for both parties. Pdf format, 2005.
The United Nations Secretary-General has released a study to be be presented at the UN General Assembly on 9 October 2006. It provides recommendations on the national, intergovernmental, and UN level, on the action steps governments should take to end the impunity in which violence against women is perpetrated. Specifically, the study aims to: highlight the persistence and unacceptability of all forms of violence against women in all parts of the world; strengthen the political commitment and jo int efforts of all stakeholders to prevent and eliminate violence against women; and identify ways and means to ensure more sustained and effective implementation of State obligations to address all forms of violence against women, and to increase State accountability.
This UNIFEM web-site is intended to address the lack of consolidated data on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls as noted by Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). By no means exhaustive, this portal is meant to serve as a centralized repository of information from a wide variety of sources, with links to reports and data from the UN system to information and analysis from experts, academics, NGOs and media sources.
World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace (Copenhagen, 14-30 July 1980). RESOLUTION 35/136 - WORLD CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE FOR WOMEN (Adopted on 11 December 1980 by the General Assembly at its 35th session). The issue of violence against women is explicitly mentioned for the first time in 1980, at this Conference held in Copenhagen. As a matter of fact, it includes among its 48 resolutions one entitled “Abused women and violence in the family”. This resolution urges recognition of the fact that the abuse of family members “represents a problem with serious social consequences that is perpetuated from one generation to the next”. It is also pointed out that ”…ancestral attitudes undermining the value of women have determined the virtual legal impunity of people committing acts of violence against family members or women at the care of institutions”. (A/CONF.94/35)
It was the first-ever global inter-governmental conference specifically organized to address women’s issues and world problems from women’s perspectives. The World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Objectives of International Women’s Year adopted by the conference was intended as a programme for the advancement of women to be implemented during the forthcoming decade in all areas and all countries. At this meeting, the process was launched and three objectives were identified in relation to equality, peace and development for the Decade: Full gender equality and the elimination of gender discrimination; The integration and full participation of women in development; An increased contribution by women towards strengthening world peace. INSTRAW and UNIFEM Emerge out of the Mexico Conference.(E/CONF.66/34)
In February 1946, the Economic and Social Council decided to establish this body as one of the sub-commissions of the Commission on Human Rights, made up by experts who acted in a personal capacity. Notwithstanding that, during its second period of sessions held in June 1946, the Council conferred it the category of intergovernmental commission directly dependent on the Council itself. The suggestions made by non-governmental organizations involved played an important part in upgrading the Commission, although most of them considered that the Commission should have kept its non-governmental character. Texts are available in English.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was created in 1994 to enable the mandate-holder to gather and analyze broad information as well as to recommend measures aimed at eliminating violence against women at the international, national and regional levels.
Fiftieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948-1998: The human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community.
This Convention can be understood, particularly in this issue, as a development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regards to women and it was necessary due to the historical predominance of men over women, acknowledged by legal provisions and cultural and religious traditions. This Convention, although dealing with the issue of violence against women only in a tangential way is sufficient enough - as a legally binding text - to demand States the implementation of legislative and administrative measures to prevent, investigate, punish violence and compensate for damages caused (Hanna Binstock, in “Leyes sobre violencia sexual en América Latina”). In 1992, the CEDAW Committee adopted Recommendation No. 19, which requested States to include information about violence against women and measures taken to face it. The Recommendation calls on States Parties to take all appropriate measures to overcome all forms of gender-based violence being perpetrated by any person, organization or enterprise. It has been often termed as a bill of rights for women; it forbids any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which would impair or nullify the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women in any field. A United Nation Committee regularly monitors the progress made in the implementation of the Convention and holds meetings to review reports submitted by States Parties. An Optional Protocol has also been approved.
Exhaustive list of international human rights instruments. Among them, we can have access to the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention on the Political Rights of Women; Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict; Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The Beijing Platform for Action is the most complete document ever produced by a United Nations conference concerning the rights of women, as it incorporates what was achieved in previous conferences and treaties, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) and the Vienna Declaration. It also reaffirms Cairo’s definitions and adds a paragraph on Human Rights in general. A recommendation to the States was added to Article 8.25 of the Cairo Conference to revise their punitive legislations.
Excerpts referred to gender equality found in the chapter on Values and Principles; Education, Employment; HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other health issues; Women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts; Human rights; and paragraphs devoted to gender equality and empowerment of women. October 24, 2005.
Honour killings were included for the first time, language was strengthened with regards to dowry-related violence and deaths, countries were called on to incorporate legislation on marital rape, racially motivated crimes as well as acid attacks were included as a form of violence, and finally governments were asked to launch a zero tolerance campaign on violence against women. Full text in pdf format.
59. Violence against women and girls is a major obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of gender equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Gender-based violence, such as battering and other domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual slavery and exploitation, international trafficking in women and children, forced prostitution and sexual harassment, as well as violence against women resulting from cultural prejudice, racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia, pornography, ethnic cleansing, armed conflict, foreign occupation, religious and anti-religious extremism and terrorism are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated.
This Conference prompted a major shift in human rights theory, when at the initiative of women, it was accepted that human rights can be enjoyed both in private as well as in public, and therefore can be violated in both spheres. Until that time, the system was based on violations committed by States and referred to the political and social sphere. For the first time, the acts of individuals taking place within the private sphere could be generating state responsibility.
Article 38.- In particular, the World Conference on Human Rights stresses the importance of working towards the elimination of violence against women in public and private life, the elimination of all forms of sexual harassment, exploitation and trafficking in women, the elimination of gender bias in the administration of justice and the eradication of any conflicts which may arise between the rights of women and the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices, cultural prejudices and religious extremism. The World Conference on Human Rights calls upon the General Assembly to adopt the draft declaration on violence against women and urges States to combat violence against women in accordance with its provisions. Violations of the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict are violations of the fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian law. All violations of this kind, including in particular murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery, and forced pregnancy, require a particularly effective response.
In 1985, the end of the United Nations Decade for Women was marked by the World Conference in Nairobi, which for the first time included violence against women within the family as a peace-related issue, by stating that beatings, mutilations, burns, sexual abuse and rape pose a major obstacle to peace; it set the elimination of violence within the family as a priority and proposed the need that “governments should try to raise public awareness on violence against women as a social phenomenon”, although violence against women was not considered as a human rights violation, under the Convention.
The One Man Can Campaign supports men and boys to take action to end domestic and sexual violence and to promote healthy, equitable relationships that men and women can enjoy - passionately, respectfully and fully.
The name of three Dominican women, known as the Mirabal sisters, became since 1981 the symbol of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. María Teresa, Minerva and Patria Mirabal, were murdered on November 25 1960 by order of Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. They were beaten to death and then their bodies were placed back into their vehicle and pushed over a cliff.
It tells the story of the hundreds of kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. The murders first came to light in 1993 and young women continue to "disappear" to this day (2005) without any hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice. Who are these women from all walks of life and why are they getting murdered so brutally? The documentary moves like the unsolved mystery it is, and the filmmaker poetically investigates the circumstances of the murders and the horror, fear and courage of the families whose children have been taken. Yet it is also the story of a city of the future; it is the story of the underbelly of our global economy.
Throughout the film, characters will start to re-write the family book where it has been written down who is who and what each one is expected to do, but where all concepts are wrong: where it says home it is read hell, where it says love there is pain and the one who promises protection produces terror. 2003, pdf.
The state of hopelessness of five prisoners who are granted temporary leave to visit their families dramatically marks this film which ends up being a social portrait of Turkey at the time it was filmed. The degrading conditions, the submission at different levels (prison, family, society) represent obstacles to the full exercise of human rights. Besides, it is a film that communicates personal experiences of director Güney, who was himself a prisoner while the film was being shot under the supervision of his assistant Serif Goren. Directed by Yilmaz Guney, 1982.
In all situations of conflict, merely by virtue of their gender identity, women are both primary and secondary victims; they suffer when they are themselves violated, and they also suffer when their family members are violated in that they have the responsibility of looking after the injured person or persons. This has not been any different in Zimbabwe. There is considerable anecdotal evidence of politically motivated violence against women, and organizations have been documenting the violence to support the anecdotal evidence. March 2009 (pdf).
General overview of the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) that identifyies some key themes, and highlights the impact of NGOs and women's groups in this space written by the Association for Women's Rights in Developmen (AWID). This year's priority theme was "The Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Violence against the Girl Child". The AWID's report provides information on the young women's voices, the impact of NGOs at the CSW and
the gender equality architecture of the U.N. March 2007.
There are several clear indicators of the fact that Indian women continue to be discriminated against: the sex ratio is skewed against them; maternal mortality is the second-highest in the world; more than 40 per cent of women are illiterate; and crimes against women are on the rise. Yet, the women's movement which gathered strength after the 1970s, has led to progressive legislation and positive change, spurred on by the participation of women in local self-government.
This manual is meant to be a contribution towards building the capacity and commitment of men to eradicate violence against women and girls and to develop the men’s movement for gender equality. The strength of the manual lies in its systematic linkage of gender-based violence issues with the overall movement for gender equality. It does this by providing comprehensive historical information and theoretical analysis of these issues. It also brings into play the expertise and experience FEMNET has developed over more than a decade in conducting gender training for and with different development actors spanning the governmental, United Nations, donor, civil society, political and private sectors. 2004, Pdf format.
On June 19, 2008 the United Nations Security Council adopted a Resolution to end sexual violence in conflict. The Resolution is not a comprehensive instrument for addressing sexual violence; It is however, a step in the right direction provided that it will complement and not distract from Resolution 1325, which is still the definitive standard so far for incorporating women's rights perspectives into conflict prevention and resolution, and peace building.
Terrible, unspeakable things have been done to the women of DR Congo. The war being waged against women may well be the most savage display of misogyny ever orchestrated in a conflict zone,It isn’t enough to stop the shooting when the raping continues apace. The only worthwhile armistice restores peace for the entire population, male and female. There can be no satisfaction in claiming a truce or a peace treaty which is soaked in the carnage of the women of the land. If all the peacekeepers were women, and the men of a country were under pervasive sexual assault, do you think the women would simply observe the carnage? June 2008.
In conflict and post-conflict situations members of local populations, particularly girls and women, are at increased risk of sexual violence perpetrated not only by combatants, but also by aid workers and United Nations peacekeepers. Two recently published reports highlight this problem. "No One to Turn To" is the report of a study carried out by Save the Children, UK in Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti and Southern Sudan. "Forced Marriage within the Lord's Resistance Army, Uganda" is published by the Feinstein International Center. May 2008.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations has said that violence against women is one of the gravest issues of our time. Well if that's the case, surely he can understand that speeches aren't enough. And if he truly believes what he says, then let him stake his tenure on it. Remarks by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World. April 12, 2008.
Whether or it is conflict over resources, genocide, ethnic clashes or ethnic cleansing that is taking place in Darfur right now, lives are being lost, devalued and otherwise irrevocably changed. Rape used as a method to alter the genetic ethnicity of a group with a view to eventually eliminating it is clearly abhorred. Rape used as a method to humiliate a certain ethnic group is abhorred. However the appraisal of conflict in the light of what rape does to the individual woman and the resultant effect on the society is something that warrants deeper exploration. June 2006.
Deliberate killing, rape, mutilation, forced displacement, abduction, trafficking and torture of women and girls continue unabated in contemporary armed conflicts. Special focus is given to preventing gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and improving the monitoring and reporting of gender-based violations.
Rapes have been committed in the context of attacks on villages, and according to some testimonies collected by Amnesty International, during smaller raids, mainly at night, before attacks on villages took place. Women in Darfur are primary targets for violence and are more vulnerable in the context of armed conflict because, in Darfur, it is women who are responsible for the children and other family dependants. July 2004.
"Focusing on Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence in Emergencies". Gender-based violence is especially problematic in the context of complex emergencies and natural disasters, where civilian women and children are often targeted for abuse, and are the most vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and abuse simply because of their gender, age, and status in society. Developed by a coalition of United Nations agencies, academic institutions, and local and international NGOs, the guidelines outline a range of activities to be undertaken by a variety of actors working in different sectors. The activities include: putting women in charge of emergency food distribution to minimize the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse; working with displaced communities to make sure women are not vulnerable to attack on their way to latrines or to collect fuel wood; and providing medical care and psychological support for victims of sexual violence. September 2005, pdf format.
A World Health Organization's (WHO) web-site provides studies that include a review of national legislation on sexual violence, a situation analysis of medico-legal services in selected developing countries, and a review of health service models that address sexual violence.
"Sexual violence is rampant in Kenya and the law was not adequately dealing with it. Before the Sexual Offences Act was passed, the law on sexual violence was spread through four different pieces of legislation, which complicated matters for victims, the police and judiciary. The definition of the offence of rape was also very limited and the law categorized rape as an issue of morality. It was therefore prejudicial to women who form the majority of sexual violence victims". An interview with Hon. Njoki Ndungu the Member of Parliament behind Kenya's Sexual Offences Act 2006, which came into law in July this year. August 2006.
India's booming economy and increasing prosperity does not conceal the fact
that an oppressive caste system still exists. The Indian Government has so
far failed in its endeavours to eradicate caste, and women in particular
are regularly subject to gross human rights violations as a result. October 2007.
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
2. For the purpose of paragraph 1: (f) "Forced pregnancy" means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This definition shall not in any way be interpreted as
affecting national laws relating to pregnancy;
2. For the purpose of this Statute, "war crimes" means: (b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed
conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions;
(e) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts: (vi) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, and any other form of sexual violence also constituting a serious violation of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions;
Commission on Human Rights - OAS
Inter-American Convention on the prevention, punishment and eradication of violence against women. Adopted in Belem do Para, Brazil, on June 9, 1994 at the 24th regular session of the General Assembly. Entered into force on March 5, 1995.
On 26 October 2005, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa received its 15th ratification, meaning the Protocol entered into force on 25 November 2005. This marked a milestone in the protection and promotion of women’s rights in Africa, creating new rights for women in terms of international standards. This groundbreaking Protocol, for the first time in international law, explicitly sets forth the reproductive right of women to medical abortion when pregnancy results from rape or incest or when the continuation of pregnancy endangers the health or life of the mother. In another first, the Protocol explicitly calls for the legal prohibition of female genital mutilation.
In addition to performing any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Commission is officially charged with three major functions: the promotion of human and peoples' rights; the promotion of human and peoples' rights; the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa has launched a new handbook for reporters to support sustained media coverage of gender-based violence beyond 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children. The toolkit looks at various issues related to gender-based violence including religious and harmful traditional practices, domestic violence, sexual violence, femicide, sex work and trafficking, sexual harassment, armed conflicts, HIV and AIDS, child abuse, the role of men, the criminal justice system, as well as the costs of gender-based violence. December 2009 (pdf).
The novel paints a vivid picture of life in a small rural Indian town, the thoughts and feelings of the two small children, and the complexity and hypocrisy of the adults in their world. It is also a poignant lesson in the destructive power of the caste system, and moral and political bigotry in general. 1997.
Thriller based on real facts set in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Unpunished crimes, struggle for power, money and cruelty are some of the ingredients of this novel which denounces machism and violence inflicted upon women. Ciudad Juarez has been the stage for over a decade of hundreds of atrocious crimes. Women are murdered, raped or mutilated in the most complete indifference.
The monumental 2666 was published in 2004. 1100 pages long, the novel is divided in five "parts," four and a half of which were finished before Bolaño's death. Focused on the unsolved and still ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juarez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the apocalyptic 2666 depicts the horror of the 20th century through a wide cast of characters. 2004.
Masculine domination is so deeply ingrained in our unconscious that we hardly perceive all of its dimensions. It is so much in line with our expectations that we struggle to call it fully into question. Pierre Bourdieu's ethnographic analysis of gender divisions in Kabyle society, as a living reservoir of the Mediterranean cultural tradition, provides a potent instrument for disclosing the symbolic structures of the androcentric unconscious which survives in the men and women of our own societies. 2001.