Culturally Justified Violence Against Women (CVAW)

What is culturally justified violence against women (CVAW)?

The defines “violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” The considers VAW as constituting a form of gender discrimination that impairs or nullifies women’s enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms under international law. Culturally–justified VAW are these acts defined in UNDEVAW that are explicitly justified or condoned through a misuse of cultural, religious, or traditional beliefs, values, and practices that are meant to impose a patriarchal control over women and girls. This includes control over her body, her sexuality, who to love, who to marry, how to express herself, what to believe and exercise of her own free will.

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We fully reject the notion that violence in any form is part of our culture, religion, or traditions. This page features information on three of these forms: stoning, whipping/lashing, and 'honour' killings. This list is by no means exhaustive: women often experience other forms of violence justified by 'culture', including but not limited to: forced marriages, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment, acid attacks. More information about various forms of CVAW can be found in the News & Views section of the website, as well as in the SKSW Policy Briefing Series.





"Honour" Killings