Resources by Region
UN agencies rally to end to female genital mutilation within a generation
Ten United Nations agencies issued a joint statement on 27 February 2008 joining hands to help eliminate female genital mutilation within a generation and "stressing the need for strong leadership and
UN Study on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Status of Women from the Viewpoint of Religion and Traditions
This is the official United Nations Study on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Status of Women from the Viewpoint of Religion and Traditions (E/CN.4/2002) by Mr.
UN Website on Violence Against Women
This highly recommended website contains all the relevant UN documents related to the recently launched UN campaign on VAW.
From the site:
Crimes of honour in UN General Assembly Resolution - now available in 19 languages
Crimes of Honor UN Resolution in 19 Languages - Working towards the elimination of crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honour.
Strengthening the Protection of Women from Torture
The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment submits his second report to the Human Rights Council.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence - 2008 Theme Announcement
The 2008 theme for the 14 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence was recently announced by the Center for Women's Global Leadership.
Fact Sheet No.23, Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children
Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women. These harmful traditional practices include female genital mutilation (FGM); forced feeding of women; early marriage; the various taboos or practices which prevent women from controlling their own fertility; nutritional taboos and traditional birth practices; son preference and its implications for the status of the girl child; female infanticide; early pregnancy; and dowry price. Despite their harmful nature and their violation of international human rights laws, such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practising them.
The harmful traditional practices identified in this Fact Sheet are categorized as separate issues; however, they are all consequences of the value placed on women and the girl child by society. They persist in an environment where women and the girl child have unequal access to education, wealth, health and employment.
In part I, the Fact Sheet identifies and analyses the background to harmful traditional practices, their causes, and their consequences for the health of women and the girl child. Part II reviews the action taken by United Nations organs and agencies, Governments and organizations (NGOs). The Conclusions highlight the drawbacks in the implementation of the practical steps identified by the United Nations, NGOs and women's organizations.
To read the report, go here:
Rejecting 'cultural' justifications for violence against women: strategies for women's rights advocates.
This paper was first drafted as a Consultation Paper that was presented at the WEMC forums in Istanbul and Ankara. It was then uploaded on the WEMC Web site at and circulated among members of the Research Programme Consortium. This finalised version has evolved into a Strategy Paper that incorporates the comments of diverse stakeholders who provided inputs. We would like to thank the WEMC members who contributed to the writing of this Paper.
The aim of this Strategy Paper is to contribute to the implementation of the UN General Assembly's Resolution A/RES/61/143 Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women, and to the Secretary-General's Campaign to End Violence Against Women, by focusing 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
Culture, Religion and Gender
"This article explores the intersection of culture, religion, and gender in the context of international and constitutional human rights law.
Violence Against Women - Alternative Reports for UN Committees
OMCT publishes Alternative Reports and other publications for the United Nations committees, particularly for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.