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This page includes resources we believe are relevant to the theme of culturally-justified violence. We have included both VNC-led publications as well as those by allies. If you have a resource you think should be on this page, please contact
The Human Rights Crisis in Northwest Pakistan
A comprehensive report of the human rights and humanitarian crises in the Northwestern province of Pakistan by Amnesty International in the context of the Taleban's control of some parts of the province and armed conflict with the Pakistan military.
Video: Concluding remarks - Independent Expert on Cultural rights' first report to the UN Human Rights Council
A Catalogue of International Human Rights Instruments for campaigners
In addition to the Bill of Rights, there are nine core international human rights treaties. Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns.
Through ratification of , Governments undertake to put into place domestic measures and legislation compatible with their treaty obligations and duties. Where domestic legal proceedings fail to address human rights abuses, mechanisms and procedures for individual complaints or communications are available at the regional and international levels to help ensure that international human rights standards are indeed respected, implemented, and enforced at the local level.
Afghanistan: Concluding Observations by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3-21 May 2010)
Highlights from the Report
16. The Committee notes with concern that the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms which absorbs more cases of dispute that the formal judicial system, is not compatible with the human rights standards, including the Covenant rights. The Committee regrets the fact that the rights of women and children, as well as those of nomadic tribes and the poorest sectors of society, are particularly affected by the lack of access to formal justice mechanisms.
Algeria: Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3-21 May 2010)
Highlights from the Report
8. The Committee notes with concern that, despite the amendments to the Constitution through article 31(bis) of Act No.08-19 of 15 November 2008, the Family Code and the Nationality Code, de iure and de facto inequalities continue to exist between men and women, in particular the persistence of stereotypes, attitudes and patriarchal traditions on family and societal roles of men and women. It is also concerned about discrimination against women, in particular regarding inheritance rights, a lower representation of women in decision-making and public positions, and wages that are nearly a third of those for men. (article 3)
Reparations for Women Subjected to Violence: First thematic report submitted to the HRC by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, 19 April 2010
This is the first thematic report submitted to the Human Rights Council by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, since her appointment in June 2009. In addition to providing an overview of the main activities carried out by the Special Rapporteur, the report focuses on the topic of reparations to women who have been subjected to violence in contexts of both peace and post-conflict. Most human rights and humanitarian law treaties provide for a right to a remedy. In the context of gross and systematic violations of human rights, the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, adopted by the General Assembly in 2005, start with the premise that “the State is responsible for ensuring that victims of human rights violations enjoy an individual right to reparation”.
First Annual Report of the Independent Expert in the field of Cultural Rights
In this first report to the Human Rights Council, the independent expert in the field of cultural rights develops preliminary views on the conceptual and legal framework of her mandate. Focusing on the challenges regarding the scope and content of cultural rights, she reviews the relevant existing provisions in United Nations human rights instruments, and develops her initial thoughts on the interaction among the principle of universality of human rights, the recognition and implementation of cultural rights and the need to respect cultural diversity (chap. II). Aware that many other United Nations mechanisms have received mandates which relate to cultural rights, the independent expert has committed to coordinating with other mechanisms (chap. III). The independent expert has also selected a list of priority issues she proposes to address. These issues relate to two main topics: (a) cultural rights, globalization of exchanges and of information, and development processes; and (b) participation, access and contribution to cultural life, without any discrimination (chap. IV).
The Global Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls
is an online resource in English, French and Spanish, designed to serve the needs of policymakers, programme implementers and other practitioners dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls. The Centre is an initiative of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), bringing together the valuable contributions of expert organizations and individuals, governments, United Nations sister agencies, and a wide range of relevant actors. Part of the overall effort is encouraging shared ownership of the site and ongoing partnership-building for its continuous development and sustainability.
The Bride Price: Consequences of Child Marriage Worldwide (Short Documentary)
The Bride Price: Consequences of Child Marriage Worldwide is a video containing moving images by Stephanie Sinclair - recipient of the 2007 UNICEF Photo of the Year - on the many issues of child marriage. Sinclair's photos include compelling images of child brides in Afghanistan, Ethiopia and India. Sinclair's previous work on child marriage includes a photo essay of Afghani child brides published in The New York Times.
Women & Religion - International Museum of Women
Religious women make change happen, whether it’s by seeking peace or inciting war. Strong beliefs can inspire social justice or block a woman's access to freedom or equality. Join us as we explore the relationship between faith and politics in the lives of women around the world.
Discover how the veil can celebrate devotion yet divide worlds. Learn how one woman raised an army in God's name. Listen in as women sing to protest unfair laws in their country. Learn what the future holds for a new generation of Muslim women unburdened by fundamentalism. Listen to our with Hadil El-Khouly on being a devout Muslim and a feminist and read Curator to this topic.
Arab Guide on Engaging Men & Boys to End Violence Against Women
Women & Men - Hand in Hand Against Violence
Beirut – The global aid agency Oxfam Great Britain, along with Lebanese women’s rights organization, KAFA, today released ,’ was unveiled in Beirut at a high level event. It was hosted by His Excellency the Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Dr. Salim El-Sayegh, and attended by UNIFEM regional office’s representative Ms. Rania Tarazi and other government ministers, top UN officials and key ambassadors, among others.
Interview: Mona Eltahawy on iMuslim
An Egyptian-born Muslim journalist living in New York is one of the new wave of iMuslims who are using the internet to push reform in Islam. Like the "Men in Headscarves" campaign by Iranian men who've posted pictures of themselves on the internet, Mona protests the covering of women as a human rights issue. She was recently awarded the Anvil of Freedom Award from the University of Denver for outstanding contributions to the field of journalism. Rachael Kohn interviews her at home in New York.
Interview: Dr. Ida Lichter on her book Muslim Women Reformers / Amina Wadud on leading Muslim prayers
A book by Sydney-based Dr. Ida Lichter, Muslim Women Reformers brings to light the many Muslim women around the world who are risking their lives to bring changes to the way Islam is interpreted and imposed especially on women and children. As well, we hear from the African-American Islamic scholar, Amina Wadud, who made headlines when she led Friday prayers of men and women in New York City. But her major work is through Qur'anic studies that are intended to liberate the text from a male-centred view.
Pakistan - After the Rape: the Mukhtar Mai Story (Film)
In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts—making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtar’s own memoir, “In the Name of Honor”, has inspired women across the globe.
Mobilizing Religious Communities to Respond to Gender-Based Violence and HIV: A Training Manual
Training Religious Leaders and Women of Faith on GBV and HIV
Women of faith have called attention to gender-based violence in their communities, citing a need for religious leaders to raise awareness of the issue and address it. Religious leaders and women of faith are well positioned to identify, validate, and promote best practices on preventing and reducing GBV as it relates to HIV.
Under the USAID | Health Policy Initiative Task Order 1, Futures Group and Religions for Peace initiated a multi-religious activity to prevent and reduce GBV and HIV for women and girls and other vulnerable groups.
This activity included the following objectives:
- Strengthen the capacity of religious communities and networks to respond to GBV as it relates to HIV;
- Equip religious communities with tools to deepen their awareness and understanding of GBV;
- Enhance faith-based activities regarding GBV.
Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief discusses early warning signs of discrimination and violence on the grounds or in the name of religion or belief.
She gives an overview of her mandate activities with regard to communications sent to States concerning individual cases, her participation in recent conferences and meetings, country visits undertaken by the Special Rapporteur and further follow-up activities of the mandate.In addition, Special Rapporteur discusses early warning signs of discrimination and violence on the grounds or in the name of religion or belief.
Report on the CSW forum on the Women Reclaiming and Re-defining Cultures (WRRC) program and SKSW documentary film screenings
On March 10, the Global Campaign To Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) hosted a forum to introduce the Women Re-claiming and Redefining Cultures (WRRC) programme and a screening of two video documentaries on violence against women and girls justified in the name of ‘culture'.
Proceedings of the CSW panel discussion on violence against women and girls justified in the name of culture
On March 3rd, a panel discussion on violence against women and girls justified in the name of culture was held by the Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) campaign during the 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Women and Islam: Religion, Tradition, or Simply Human Rights?
WOMEN AND ISLAM: RELIGION, TRADITION OR SIMPLY HUMAN RIGHTS?
“Women – religion or belief – human rights”. When referring to the Islamic world we should change it into “Women – Islam or tradition – human rights”. As a matter of fact in the Arab-Islamic world it is sometimes hard to separate religion and tradition when talking about women. What is a clear derivation from Koranic teachings and what is a simple traditional custom? When it comes to FGM, honor killings, wife beating and other matters regarding female discrimination is it a matter of religion, of tradition, of tradition justified through a wrong interpretation of religion or what else?
Politicizing Islam: New Challenges for Indonesian Women
Politicizing Islam: New Challenges for Indonesian Women Sri Wiyanti Eddyono is a feminist lawyer, member of National Commission on Violence Against Women Indonesia, and Vice-President of Semarak Cerlang Nusa, Indonesia.
If you have a report, article, or official document you would like us to know about, write us: