Rejecting ‘Cultural’ Justifications for Violence Against Women: Strategies for Women’s Rights Advocates

This Strategy Paper argues that a structural cause for the persisting violence [against women] is the use of ‘culture’ to legitimise it. So a crucial step is to reject the ‘cultural’ excuses that are used to justify and thereby perpetuate such violence. Without taking this crucial step, no significant advance can be made, because even as international bodies call for an end to violence against women, such violence is occurring on the ground as an everyday ‘cultural’ norm. The aim of this Strategy Paper is to contribute to the implementation of the UN General Assembly’s Resolution A/RES/61/143 and to the Secretary-General’s Campaign to End Violence Against Women by focussing 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.

Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC)
Source publication: 
Strategy Paper for the Research Programme Consortium on ‘Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts: Gender, Poverty and Democratisation from the Inside Out’