Expert Group Meeting on Good Practices in Legislation on Violence Against Women

Publication Date: 
May, 2008

Expert Group Meeting on Good Practices in Legislation on Violence Against Women

Vienna, Austria
26 to 28 May 2008

The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDAW/DESA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are convening an expert group meeting on good practices and lessons learned in regard to legislation on violence against women, to be held at the United Nations at Vienna, from 26 to 28 May 2008.


Indicators to Measure Violence Against Women

*United Nations Statistical Commission & Economic Commission for Europe
*Conference of European Statisticians
*United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women

Ending Footbinding and Infibulation: A Convention Account

Publication Date: 
December, 1996

This is a paper was published in the American Sociological Review, 1996, Col. 61 (December, pg.999-1017.)

Female genital mutilation in Africa persists despite modernization, public education, and legal prohibition. Female footbinding in China lasted for 1,000 years but ended in a single generation. 1 show that each practice is a self-enforcing convention, in Schelling's (1960) sense, maintained by interdependent expectations on the marriage market. Each practice originated under conditions of extreme resource polygyny as a means of enforcing the imperial male's exclusive sexual access to his female consorts. Extreme polygyny also caused a competitive upward flow of women and a downward flow of conjugal practices, accounting for diffusion of the practices. A Schelling coordination diagram explains how the three methods of the Chinese campaign to abolish footbinding succeeded in bringing it to a quick end. The pivotal innovation was to form associations of parents who pledged not to footbind their daughters nor let their sons marry footbound women. The "convention" hypothesis predicts that promotion of such pledge associations would help bring female genital mutilation to an end.

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

Publication Date: 
April, 2009

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

Publication Date: 
October, 2004

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

Publication Date: 
January, 2008

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

Publication Date: 
November, 2008

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: