Stop Violence against Women in the Name of 'Culture'

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women


In 2007, the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign), was launched to end the relentless misuse of religion and culture to justify the killing, maiming and torture of women as punishment for violating the imposed ‘norms’ of sexual behaviour. Violence against women is never acceptable, and yet its manifestations are diverse, prolific, and cut across all cultures.

Our Key Messages:

  • Culturally-justified violence against women and all its manifestations cannot be condoned and tolerated , whenever and wherever they occur.

    Both State and non-state actors are increasingly using culture to ‘justify’ carrying out violence against women. When these acts are given legitimacy, whether at the international or regional levels, it promotes the idea that there is an inherent cultural right to execute violence amongst certain communities. This is patently unacceptable and must be rejected. When such conservative forces claim ownership over an ‘authentic’ interpretation of culture, tradition and/or religion, women are not only told to accept violence, they are denied the fulfillment of their potential as equal and active contributors to the development and production of culture.

  • Human rights are universal, indivisible, and inalienable to each and every person

    States are accountable to their existing obligations under international law to prevent, investigate, punish and redress all acts of violence against women, whether in peacetime or armed conflict, regardless of whether the perpetrators are State or non-State actors. We are calling for the repeal of all national-level laws that facilitate or condone harmful acts against women for alleged sexual and moral transgressions as a critical step without which women subject to gender-based violence have little or no legal recourse.

  • Ending discrimination against women is the ultimate solution to culturally-justified violence against women

    Patriarchal interpretations of cultural norms and traditions including religious texts in many societies which promote a mind-set which claims women’s bodies and sexuality as the prerogative of her male family and/or community members still abound. Women who do not conform to prescribed norms, especially those related to her sexuality, are ostracised and and subjected to brutal, cruel and sadistic reprisals by members of her own family and community. The Campaign actively promotes the importance of evolving a more gender-equitable, rights-based value systems.