The forms of violence referred to as “harmful cultural or traditional practices” have been addressed by the United Nations for many years. These forms of violence include female genital mutilation, female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, child marriage, forced marriage, dowry-related violence, acid attacks, so-called “honour” crimes, and maltreatment of widows.
This Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa handbook brings together the available expertise and data based on the growing body of knowledge worldwide to help us understand why gender based violence takes place and its profound and far reaching consequences on women, families and societies.
Gender focused NGO's can find significant advocacy opportunities in the processes of the UN CEDAW Committee - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee also makes recommendations on any issue affecting women to which it believes the States parties should devote more attention. For example, at the 1989 session, the Committee discussed the high incidence of violence against women, requesting information on this problem from all countries.
The Covention on the Elimination of all forms of Discriminations Against Women adopted in 1969 by the United Nations General Assembly is described as an international bill of rights for women. The Covention establishes an agenda of action for putting an end to sex-based discrimination.