Violence against women

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Violence against women
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{{short description|Violent acts committed primarily against women and girls}}{{For|the journal|Violence Against Women (journal)}}{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2012}}{{pp-semi-sock|small=yes}}{{Violence against women}}{{Feminism sidebar}}Violence against women (VAW), also known as gender-based violenceJOURNAL, Russo, Nancy Felipe, Pirlott, Angela, Gender-based violence: concepts, methods, and findings, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Violence and Exploitation Against Women and Girls, 1087, 178–205, Taylor and Francis and Oxfam, 10.1196/annals.1385.024, 17189506, November 2006, harv, 2006NYASA1087..178R, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)Sexual and Gender-based Violence (WHO) are violent acts the victims of which are primarily or exclusively women or girls. Such violence is often considered a form of hate crime,Citations:
  • BOOK, Angelari, Marguerite, Hate crime statutes: a promising tool for fighting violence against women,weblink Maschke, Karen J., Pornography, sex work, and hate speech, 405–448, Taylor and Francis, New York, 1997, 9780815325208,
  • BOOK, Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B., The hate debate: constitutional and policy problems,weblink Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B., Hate crimes: causes, controls, and controversies, 58, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, 2013, 9781452256627,
  • BOOK, McPhail, Beverly, Gender-bias hate crimes: a review,weblink Perry, Barbara, Hate and bias crime: a reader, 271, Routledge, New York, 2003, 9780415944076, committed against women or girls specifically because they are female, and can take many forms.
VAW has a very long history, though the incidents and intensity of such violence has varied over time and even today varies between societies. Such violence is often seen as a mechanism for the subjugation of women, whether in society in general or in an interpersonal relationship. Such violence may arise from a sense of entitlement, superiority, misogyny or similar attitudes in the perpetrator, or because of his violent nature, especially against women. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states, "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women" and "violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men."WEB,weblink A/RES/48/104 - Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, United Nations General Assembly, 6 August 2014, Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared in a 2006 report posted on the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) website:Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.WEB,weblink Domestic Violence against Single and Married Women in Iranian Society, Moradian, Azad,, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 10 September 2010, live,weblink" title="">weblink 25 April 2012, 1 March 2015, dmy-all, {{TOC limit|3}}

Types of violence

Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by individuals as well as states. Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are: rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, acid throwing, reproductive coercion, female infanticide, prenatal sex selection, obstetric violence, and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction and forced marriage. There are forms of violence which may be perpetrated or condoned by the government, such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging. Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.BOOK, Prügl, Elisabeth (Director), Violence Against Women. Gender and International Affairs Class 2013. Lecture conducted from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, Switzerland, 25 November 2013, Histrorically, there have been forms of organized WAV, such as the Witch trials in the early modern period or the sexual slavery of the Comfort women.The World Health Organization (WHO), in its research on VAW, has analyzed and categorized the different forms of VAW occurring through all stages of life from before birth to old age.BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, Violence against women: Definition and scope of the problem, 1, 1-3,weblink World Health Organization, July 1997, 30 November 2013, In recent years, there has been a trend of approaching VAW at an international level through means such as conventions or, in the European Union, through directives (such as the directive against sexual harassment, and the directive against human trafficking).WEB, Directive 2002/73/EC - equal treatment of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions,weblink PDF, September 2002, WEB,weblink PDF, Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JH, Official Journal of the European Union, 4 April 2016,


A number of international instruments that aim to eliminate violence against women and domestic violence have been enacted by various international bodies. These generally start with a definition of what such violence is, with a view to combating such practices. The Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) of the Council of Europe describes VAW "as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women" and defines VAW as "all acts of gender-based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.WEB,weblink Details of Treaty No.210: Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Council of Europe, 3 April 2016, The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) of the United Nations General Assembly makes recommendations relating to VAW,WEB, General recommendations made by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,weblink, 2015-05-08, live,weblink" title="">weblink 10 May 2015, dmy-all, , General Recommendations 12 and 19 and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action mentions VAW.WEB, 12 July 1993,weblink Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, UN General Assembly, 3 April 2016, , paragraph 18 However, the 1993 United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women was the first international instrument to explicitly define VAW and elaborate on the subject.WEB,weblink What We Do: Ending Violence against Women: Global Norms and Standards, UN Women, 3 April 2016, Other definitions of VAW are set out in the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against WomenWEB,weblink Inter-American Convention On The Prevention, Punishment And Eradication Of Violence Against Women "Convention Of Belem Do Para", Organization of American States, 3 April 2016, and by the 2003 Maputo Protocol.WEB,weblink Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, 3 April 2016, In addition, the term gender-based violence refers to "any acts or threats of acts intended to hurt or make women suffer physically, sexually or psychologically, and which affect women because they are women or affect women disproportionately".BOOK, Richters, J.M. Annemiek, Women, culture and violence: a development, health and human rights issue, Women and Autonomy Centre (VENA), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1994,weblink 905570045, 9789072631374, The definition of gender-based violence is most often "used interchangeably with violence against women",JOURNAL, Krantz, Gunilla, Garcia-Moreno, Claudia, Violence against women, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59, 10, 818–821, BMJ Group, 10.1136/jech.2004.022756, 25570854, 16166351, 1732916, October 2005, harv, and some articles on VAW reiterate these conceptions by suggesting that men are the main perpetrators of this violence.JOURNAL, Sen, Purna, Development practice and violence against women, Gender & Development, 6, 3, 7–16, Taylor and Francis and Oxfam, 10.1080/741922827, 12294415, 4030497, November 1998, harv, Moreover, the definition stated by the 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women also supported the notion that violence is rooted in the inequality between men and women when the term violence is used together with the term 'gender-based.'In Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence, the Council of Europe stipulated that VAW "includes, but is not limited to, the following":WEB, 30 April 2002,weblink PDF, Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of women against violence, Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, 3 April 2016,
a. violence occurring in the family or domestic unit, including, inter alia, physical and mental aggression, emotional and psychological abuse, rape and sexual abuse, incest, rape between spouses, regular or occasional partners and cohabitants, crimes committed in the name of honour, female genital and sexual mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, such as forced marriages;
b. violence occurring within the general community, including, inter alia, rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in institutions or elsewhere trafficking in women for the purposes of sexual exploitation and economic exploitation and sex tourism;
c. violence perpetrated or condoned by the state or its officials;
d. violation of the human rights of women in situations of armed conflict, in particular the taking of hostages, forced displacement, systematic rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and economic exploitation.
These definitions of VAW as being gender-based are seen by some to be unsatisfactory and problematic. These definitions are conceptualized in an understanding of society as patriarchal, signifying unequal relations between men and women.JOURNAL, Ertürk, Yakin, Towards a post-patriarchal gender order: confronting the universality and the particularity of violence against women, Sociologisk Forskning, 46, 4, 61–70, Sveriges Sociologförbund [Swedish Sociological Association], 20853687, 2009, harv, Opponents of such definitions argue that the definitions disregard violence against men and that the term gender, as used in gender based violence, only refers to women. Other critics argue that employing the term gender in this particular way may introduce notions of inferiority and subordination for femininity and superiority for masculinity.JOURNAL, Visaria, Leela, Violence against women: a field study, Economic and Political Weekly, 35, 20, 1742–1751, Sameeksha Trust, Mumbai, India, 4409296, 13 May 2000, harv, JOURNAL, Michau, Lori, Approaching old problems in new ways: community mobilisation as a primary prevention strategy to combat violence against women, Gender & Development, 15, 1, 95–109, Taylor and Francis and Oxfam, 10.1080/13552070601179144, 20461184, March 2007, harv, There is no widely accepted current definition that covers all the dimensions of gender-based violence rather than the one for women that tends to reproduce the concept of binary oppositions: masculinity versus femininity.



File:Grandville Cent Proverbes page69.png|thumb|right|An illustration from JJ Grandville's Cent Proverbes (1845) captioned "Qui aime bien châtie bien" (Who loves well, punishes well). A man beating a woman is shown in the back.]](File:Torturing and execution of witches in medieval miniature.jpg|thumb|Burning witches, with others held in Stocks)File:Sati ceremony.jpg|thumb|Sati (a Hindu practice whereby a widowwidowFile:Bound feet (X-ray).jpg|thumb|X-ray of bound feetbound feetThe history of violence against women remains vague in scientific literature. This is in part because many kinds of violence against women (specifically rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence) are under-reported, often due to societal norms, taboos, stigma, and the sensitive nature of the subject.JOURNAL, Watts, Charlotte, Zimmerman, Cathy, Violence against women: global scope and magnitude, The Lancet, 359, 9313, 1232–1237, Elsevier, 11955557, 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08221-1, 6 April 2002, harv, It is widely recognized that even today, a lack of reliable and continuous data is an obstacle to forming a clear picture of violence against women.BOOK, UN, United Nations, In-depth study on all forms of violence against women. Report of the Secretary-General.,weblink United Nations General Assembly, A/61/122/Add, 2006, 2 December 2013, Although the history of violence against women is difficult to track, it is clear that much of the violence was accepted, condoned and even legally sanctioned.BOOK, Ireland, Patricia, No Safe Place: Violence Against Women (script),weblink PBS documentary, 1996, 2 December 2013, Examples include that Roman law gave men the right to chastise their wives, even to the point of death,JOURNAL, Stedman, Berne, Right of husband to chastise wife, Virginia Law Review, The Virginia Law Register, 3, 4, 241–248, University of Virginia School of Law, 10.2307/1106112, 1106112, August 1917, harv, Also available at HeinOnline. Full text available here weblink. and the burning of witches, which was condoned by both the church and the state (although this was not a practice exclusively against women).The history of violence against women is closely related to the historical view of women as property and a gender role of subservience.BOOK, Toren, Christina, Transforming love: representing Fijian hierarchy,weblink Harvey, Penelope, Gow, Peter, Sex and violence: issues in representation and experience, 18–39, Routledge, London New York, 1994, 9780415057349, Explanations of patriarchy and an overall world system or status quo in which gender inequalities exist and are perpetuated are cited to explain the scope and history of violence against women. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) states, "violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men."BOOK, UN, United Nations, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, A/RES/48/104,weblink United Nations, WEB, UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, Addressing gender-based violence: advancing human rights,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2014,weblink United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), According to the UN, "there is no region of the world, no country and no culture in which women's freedom from violence has been secured." Several forms of violence are more prevalent in certain parts of the world, often in developing countries. For example, dowry violence and bride burning is associated with India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Acid throwing is also associated with these countries, as well as in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia. Honor killing is associated with the Middle East and South Asia. Female genital mutilation is found mostly in Africa, and to a lesser extent in the Middle East and some other parts of Asia. Marriage by abduction is found in Ethiopia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Abuse related to payment of bride price (such as violence, trafficking and forced marriage) is linked to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. (Also see lobolo.)NEWS, Papua New Guinea: police cite bride price major factor in marital violence,weblink" title="">weblink 18 February 2015,weblink Island Business, Violence is not our Culture, 21 November 2011, 6 August 2014, WEB, An exploratory study of bride price and domestic violence in Bundibugyo District, Uganda,weblink Centre for Human Rights Advancement (CEHURA) and South African Medical Research Council, April 2012, 6 August 2014, Certain regions are no longer associated with a specific form of violence, but such violence was common until quite recently in those places; this is true of honor-based crimes in Southern/Mediterranean Europe.JOURNAL, Kirti, Anand, Kumar, Prateek, Yadav, Rachana, The face of honour based crimes: global concerns and solutions, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 6, 1–2, 343–357, South Asian Society of Criminology & Victimology (SASCV), 2011,weblink harv, For instance, in Italy, before 1981, the Criminal Code provided for mitigating circumstances in case of a killing of a woman or her sexual partner for reasons related to honor, providing for a reduced sentence.BOOK, Barazzetti, Donatella, Garreffa, Franca, Marsico, Rosaria, Daphne Project "Proposing new indicators: measuring violence's effects, GVEI (Gender Violence Effects Indicators)",weblink Centre Women’s Studies "Milly Villa", University of Calabria, Rende, Italy, July 2007, Before 1981, Art. 587 read: He who causes the death of a spouse, daughter, or sister upon discovering her in illegitimate carnal relations and in the heat of passion caused by the offence to his honour or that of his family will be sentenced to three to seven years. The same sentence shall apply to whom, in the above circumstances, causes the death of the person involved in illegitimate carnal relations with his spouse, daughter, or sister., Invoking culture to explain particular forms of violence against women risks appearing to legitimize them. There is also debate and controversy about the ways in which cultural traditions, local customs and social expectations, as well as various interpretations of religion, interact with abusive practices.BOOK, Narayan, Uma, Cross‐cultural connections, border‐crossings, and "Death by Culture": thinking about dowry-murders in India and domestic‐violence murders in the United States,weblink Narayan, Uma, Dislocating cultures: identities, traditions, and Third-World feminism, 81–118, Routledge, New York, 1997, 9780415914192, harv, Specifically, cultural justifications for certain violent acts against women are asserted by some states and social groups within many countries claiming to defend their traditions. These justifications are questionable precisely because the defenses are generally voiced by political leaders or traditional authorities, not by those actually affected. The need for sensitivity and respect of culture is an element that cannot be ignored either; thus a sensitive debate has ensued and is ongoing.There has also been a history of recognizing the harmful effects of this violence. In the 1870s, courts in the United States stopped recognizing the common-law principle that a husband had the right to "physically chastise an errant wife".BOOK, Calvert, Robert, Criminal and civil liability in husband-wife assaults,weblink Steinmetz, Suzanne, Straus, Murray A., Murray A. Straus, Violence in the family, 88–91, Harper & Row, New York, 1974, 9780060464196, harv, The first state to rescind this right was Alabama in 1871. In the UK the right of a husband to inflict moderate corporal punishment on his wife to keep her "within the bounds of duty" was removed in 1891.R. v. Jackson [1891]. 1 Q.B. 671BOOK, Corporal punishment, Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, 11th, 1911, Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, In the 20th and 21st centuries, and in particular since the 1990s, there has been increased activity on both the national and international levels to research, raise awareness and advocate for the prevention of all kinds of violence against women. Most often, violence against women has been framed as a health issue, and also as a violation of human rights. A study in 2002 estimated that at least one in five women in the world had been physically or sexually abused by a man sometime in their lives, and "gender-based violence accounts for as much death and ill-health in women aged 15–44 years as cancer, and is a greater cause of ill-health than malaria and traffic accidents combined."Certain characteristics of violence against women have emerged from the research. For example, acts of violence against women are often not unique episodes, but are ongoing over time. More often than not, the violence is perpetrated by someone the woman knows, not by a stranger. The research seems to provide convincing evidence that violence against women is a severe and pervasive problem the world over, with devastating effects on the health and well-being of women and children.


Some of the most important milestones on the international level for the prevention of violence against women include:
  • The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which recognizes violence as a part of discrimination against women in recommendations 12 and 19.WEB, Global norms and standards: Ending violence against women,weblink UN Women, 2 December 2013,
  • The 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, which recognized violence against women as a human rights violation, and which contributed to the following UN declaration.
  • The 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was the first international instrument explicitly defining and addressing violence against women. This document specifically refers to the historically forever-present nature of gender inequalities in understanding violence against women. (Include current 2nd paragraph here). This Declaration, as well as the World Conference of the same year, is often viewed as a "turning point" at which the consideration of violence against women by the international community began to be taken much more seriously, and after which more countries mobilized around this problem.JOURNAL, Venis, Sarah, Horton, Richard, Violence against women: a global burden, The Lancet, 359, 9313, 1172, Elsevier, 11955533, 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08251-X, 6 April 2002, harv, BOOK, Garcia-Moreno, Claudia, WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence against women: initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women's responses, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2005,weblink 9789241593588,
  • The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, linking violence against women to reproductive health and rights, and also providing recommendations to governments on how to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
  • In 1996, the World Health Assembly (WHA) declared violence a major public health issue, and included in the subtypes recognized were intimate partner violence and sexual violence, two kinds of violence often perpetrated as violence against women. This was followed by a WHO report in 2002 (see below).BOOK, Krug, Etienne G., Dahlberg, Linda L., Mercy, James A., Zwi, Anthony B., Lozano, Rafael, World report on violence and health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2002,weblink 9789241545617,

Also available as: * JOURNAL, Krug, Etienne G., Dahlberg, Linda L., Mercy, James A., Zwi, Anthony B., Lozano, Rafael, The world report on violence and health, The Lancet, 360, 9339, 1083–1088, Elsevier, 12384003, 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)11133-0, 5 October 2002, harv,weblink The UN also created the Trust Fund to Support Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women.JOURNAL, Fried, Susana T., Violence against women, Health and Human Rights, Health and Human Rights Journal, 6, 2, 88–111, Harvard University Press, 10.2307/4065431, 4065431, 2003, harv, Pdf.
  • In 1999, the UN adopted the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
  • In 2002, as a follow-up of the WHA declaration in 1996 of violence as a major public health issue, the World Health Organization published the first World Report on Violence and Health, which addressed many types of violence and their effect on public health, including forms of violence affecting women particularly strongly. The report specifically noted the sharp rise in civil society organizations and activities directed at responding to gender-based violence against women from the 1970s to the 1990s.
  • In 2004, the World Health Organization published its "Multi-country study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women", a study of women's health and domestic violence by surveying over 24,000 women in 10 countries from all regions of the world, which assessed the prevalence and extent of violence against women, particularly violence by intimate partners, and linked this with health outcomes to women as well as documenting strategies and services that women use to cope with intimate-partner violence.
  • The 2006 UN Secretary General's "In-depth study on all forms of violence against women", the first comprehensive international document on the issue.
  • The 2011 Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which is the second regional legally-binding instrument on violence against women and girls.
  • In 2013, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) adopted, by consensus, Agreed Conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls (formerly, there were no agreed-upon conclusions).
  • Also in 2013, the UN General Assembly passed its first resolution calling for the protection of defenders of women's human rights.NEWS, NRK, Protection of women human rights defenders,weblink" title="">weblink 13 December 2013,weblink The Norway Post, 30 November 2013, 6 August 2014, The resolution urges states to put in place gender-specific laws and policies for the protection of women's human rights defenders and to ensure that defenders themselves are involved in the design and implementation of these measures, and calls on states to protect women's human rights defenders from reprisals for cooperating with the UN and to ensure their unhindered access to and communication with international human rights bodies and mechanisms.WEB,weblink UN adopts landmark resolution on Protecting Women Human Rights Defenders, Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), 28 November 2013, 6 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2014, dmy-all,
Additionally, on the national level, individual countries have also organized efforts (legally, politically, socially) to prevent, reduce and punish violence against women. As a particular case study, here are some developments since the 1960s in the United States to oppose and treat violence against women:WEB, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women (OVM), The History of the Violence Against Women Act,weblink U.S. Department of Justice, 2 December 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 October 2011, dmy-all,
  • 1967: One of the country's first domestic violence shelters opened in Maine.
  • 1972: The country's first rape help hotline opened in Washington, D.C.
  • 1978: Two national coalitions, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, were formed, to raise awareness of these two forms of violence against women.
  • 1984: The U.S. Attorney General created the Department of Justice Task Force on Family Violence, to address ways in which the criminal justice system and community response to domestic violence should be improved.
  • 1994: Passage of the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA, legislation included in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, sponsored by then-Senator Joseph Biden, which required a strengthened community response to crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault, strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and strengthened legislative protection of victims, among many other provisions.
  • 2000: President Clinton signed into law the VAWA of 2000, further strengthening federal laws, and emphasizing assistance of immigrant victims, elderly victims, victims with disabilities, and victims of dating violence.
  • 2006: President Bush signed into law the VAWA of 2006, with an emphasis on programs to address violence against youth victims, and establishing programs for Engaging Men and Youth, and Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services.
  • 2007: The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline opened.
  • 2009: President Obama declared April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
  • 2013: President Obama signed into law the VAWA of 2015, which granted Native American tribes the ability to prosecute non-Native offenders, and regulated reports of sexual assault on college campuses.BOOK, Kohlman, Cindy, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) New Reporting Requirements Effective July 1, 2015 – Are You Ready?,weblink Inceptia Institute, 9 June 2015,

See also: * BOOK, ACE, American Council on Education, New requirements imposed by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act,weblink American Council on Education, 1 April 2014, BOOK, Fee, Stephen, etal, Tribal Justice: Prosecuting Non-Natives for Sexual Assault on Reservations (transcript),weblink PBS documentary, 5 September 2015,
Other countries have also enacted comparable legislative, political and social instruments to address violence against women. Experts in the international community generally believe, however, that solely enacting punitive legislation for prevention and punishment of violence against women is not sufficient to address the problem. For example, although much stricter laws on violence against women have been passed in Bangladesh, violence against women is still rising. Instead, it is thought that wide societal changes to address gender inequalities and women's empowerment will be the way to reduce violence against women.JOURNAL, Fawole, Olufunmilayo I., Ajuwon, Ademola J., Osungbade, Kayode O., Faweya, Olufemi C., Interventions for violence prevention among young female hawkers in motor parks in South-Western Nigeria: a review of effectiveness, African Journal of Reproductive Health [La Revue Africaine de la Santé Reproductive], 7, 1, 71–82, Women's Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), 10.2307/3583347, 3583347, April 2003, harv, 1807/2587, BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, Violence against women,weblink World Health Organization, 1 September 2011, 2 December 2013,

Effect on society

(File:Map3.1NEW Womens Physical Security 2011 compressed.jpg|thumb|A map of the world showing countries by level of women's physical security, 2011)According to an article in the Health and Human Rights Journal, regardless of many years of advocacy and involvement of many feminist activist organizations, the issue of violence against women still "remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations worldwide".{{rp|91}} The violence against women can occur in both public and private spheres of life and at any time of their life span. Violence against women often keeps women from wholly contributing to social, economic, and political development of their communities. Many women are terrified by these threats of violence and this essentially influences their lives so that they are impeded to exercise their human rights; for instance, they fear contributing to the development of their communities socially, economically and politically. Apart from that, the causes that trigger VAW or gender-based violence can go beyond just the issue of gender and into the issues of age, class, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and specific geographical area of their origins.Importantly, other than the issue of social divisions, violence can also extend into the realm of health issues and become a direct concern of the public health sector.JOURNAL, Colarossi, Lisa, A response to Danis & Lockhart: What guides social work knowledge about violence against women?, Journal of Social Work Education, 41, 1, 147–159, Taylor and Francis on behalf of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), 10.517/FJSWE.2005.200400418, 23044038, Winter 2005, harv, 2019-08-20,
See also: * JOURNAL, Danis, Fran S., Lockhart, Lettie, Guest Editorial – Domestic violence and social work education: what do we know, what do we need to know?, Journal of Social Work Education, Special Section: Domestic Violence and Social Work Education, 39, 2, 215–224, Taylor and Francis on behalf of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), 10.1080/10437797.2003.10779132, 23044061, Spring–Summer 2003, harv, A health issue such as HIV/AIDS is another cause that also leads to violence. Women who have HIV/AIDS infection are also among the targets of the violence.{{rp|91}} The World Health Organization reports that violence against women puts an undue burden on health care services, as women who have suffered violence are more likely to need health services and at higher cost, compared to women who have not suffered violence. Another statement that confirms an understanding of VAW as being a significant health issue is apparent in the recommendation adopted by the Council of Europe, violence against women in private sphere, at home or domestic violence, is the main reason of "death and disability" among the women who encountered violence.{{rp|91}}
In addition, several studies have shown a link between poor treatment of women and international violence. These studies show that one of the best predictors of inter- and intranational violence is the maltreatment of women in the society.NEWS, Maffly, Brian, BYU study links women's safety, nation's peace,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2010,weblink The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 March 2009, BOOK, Strearmer, Matthew, Emmett, Chad F.,weblink The great divide: Revealing differences in the Islamic world regarding the status of women and its impact on international peace, WomanStats Project, 2007, 6 August 2014, Paper prepared for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, 29 August – 1 September 2007.

WHO's typology table


Throughout the life cycle {| class"wikitable"

Phase >| Type of violence
style="vertical-align: top;"
| Sex-selective abortion; effects of battering during pregnancy on birth outcomes
style="vertical-align: top;"
| Female infanticide; physical, sexual and psychological abuse
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| Child marriage; female genital mutilation; physical, sexual and psychological abuse; incest; child prostitution and pornography
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| Dating and courtship violence (e.g. acid throwing and date rape); economically coerced sex (e.g. school girls having sex with "sugar daddies" in return for school fees); incest; sexual abuse in the workplace; rape; sexual harassment; forced prostitution and pornography; trafficking in women; partner violence; marital rape; dowry abuse and murders; partner homicide; psychological abuse; abuse of women with disabilities; forced pregnancy
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| Forced "suicide" or homicide of widows for economic reasons; sexual, physical and psychological abuse
Significant progress towards the protection of women from violence has been made on international level as a product of collective effort of lobbying by many women's rights movements; international organizations to civil society groups. As a result, worldwide governments and international as well as civil society organizations actively work to combat violence against women through a variety of programs. Among the major achievements of the women's rights movements against violence on girls and women, the landmark accomplishments are the "
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women" that implies "political will towards addressing VAW " and the legal binding agreement, "the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)".BOOK, Rosche, Daniela, Dawe, Alexandra, Oxfam Briefing Note: Ending violence against women the case for a comprehensive international action plan, 2, Oxfam, Oxfam GB, Oxford, 2013,weblink 9781780772639, In addition, the UN General Assembly resolution also designated 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.BOOK, UN, United Nations, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,weblink, United Nations, 17 December 1999, 3 April 2016,

Another typology: over time

File:Typology of Violence Against Women over Time.png|thumbnail|300 px|A diagram of typology of violence against women over time, as conceived by authors Charlotte WattsCharlotte WattsThis similar typology from an academic journal article on violence against women shows similarly the different types of violence perpetrated against women according to what time period in a women's life the violence takes place. However, it also classifies the types of violence according to the perpetrator. One important point to note is that more of the types of violence inflicted on women are perpetrated by someone the woman knows, either a family member or intimate partner, rather than a stranger.

Forms of violence

Violence against women can take a number of forms and arise in a number of situations:


Women are most often the victims of rape, which is usually perpetrated by men known to them.Relevant citations:
  • JOURNAL, Abbey, Antonia, BeShears, Renee, Clinton-Sherrod, A. Monique, McAuslan, Pam, Similarities and differences in women's sexual assault experiences based on tactics used by the perpetrator, Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 4, 323–332, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2004.00149.x, 26257466, 4527559, December 2004,weblink" title="">weblink dead, 8 January 2013, dmy-all,weblink harv,
  • WEB,weblink Statistics,, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 January 2008,
  • BOOK, Tjaden, Patricia, Thoennes, Nancy, Extent, nature, and consequences of rape victimization: findings From the national violence against women survey,weblink National Criminal Justice Reference Service, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, January 2006, Pdf.
  • WEB, ABS, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Sexual assault in Australia: a statistical overview, 2004,weblink, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 7 September 2004, 31 December 2010,
  • BOOK, Myhill, Andy, Allen, Jonathan, Rape and sexual assault of women: findings from the British Crime Survey,weblink 31 December 2010, dead,weblink 18 February 2011, dmy-all, Home Office, London, 2002, Home Office Findings No. 159, The rate of reporting, prosecution and convictions for rape varies considerably in different jurisdictions, and reflects to some extent the society's attitudes to such crimes. It is considered the most underreported violent crime.BOOK, AMA, American Medical Association, Strategies for the treatment and prevention of sexual assault, American Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois, 1995, 33901581, BOOK, Kelly, Liz, Regan, Linda, Lovett, Jo, Liz Kelly, A gap or a chasm?: Attrition in reported rape cases, Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, London, 293, 2005, 9781844735556,weblink 18 February 2011,weblink dead, dmy-all, 31 December 2010, Following a rape, a victim may face violence or threats of violence from the rapist, and, in many cultures, from the victim's own family and relatives. Violence or intimidation of the victim may be perpetrated by the rapist or by friends and relatives of the rapist, as a way of preventing the victims from reporting the rape, of punishing them for reporting it, or of forcing them to withdraw the complaint; or it may be perpetrated by the relatives of the victim as a punishment for "bringing shame" to the family. This is especially the case in cultures where female virginity is highly valued and considered mandatory before marriage; in extreme cases, rape victims are killed in honor killings. Victims may also be forced by their families to marry the rapist in order to restore the family's "honor".Relevant articles:
  • NEWS, PTI, Press Trust of India, Rape victim threatened to withdraw case in UP,weblink Zee News, Essel Group, Mumbai, India, 19 March 2011, 3 February 2013,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Stigmatization of rape & honor killings,weblink" title="">weblink 8 November 2012,weblink WISE Muslim Women, Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, 31 January 2002, 3 February 2013,
  • NEWS, Harter, Pascale, Libya rape victims 'face honour killings',weblink BBC News, 14 June 2011, 3 February 2013,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Morocco protest after raped Amina Filali kills herself,weblink BBC News, 15 March 2012, 19 November 2013, In Lebanon, the Campaign Against Lebanese Rape Law - Article 522 was launched in December 2016 to abolish the article that permitted a rapist to escape prison by marrying his victim.
Internationally, the incidence of rapes recorded by police during 2008 varied between 0.1 per 100,000 people in Egypt and 91.6 per 100,000 people in Lesotho with 4.9 per 100,000 people in Lithuania as the median.BOOK, UNODC, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Rape at the National Level, number of police recorded offenses,weblink spreadsheet, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, In some countries, rape is not reported or properly recorded by police because of the consequences on the victim and the stigma attached to it.

Marital rape

Marital or spousal rape was once widely condoned or ignored by law, and is now widely considered an unacceptable violence against women and repudiated by international conventions and increasingly criminalized. Still, in many countries, spousal rape either remains legal, or is illegal but widely tolerated and accepted as a husband's prerogative. The criminalization of spousal rape is recent, having occurred during the past few decades. Traditional understanding and views of marriage, rape, sexuality, gender roles and self determination have started to be challenged in most Western countries during the 1960s and 1970s, which has led to the subsequent criminalization of marital rape during the following decades. With a few notable exceptions, it was during the past 30 years when most laws against marital rape have been enacted. Some countries in Scandinavia and in the former Communist Bloc of Europe made spousal rape illegal before 1970, but most Western countries criminalized it only in the 1980s and 1990s. In many parts of the world the laws against marital rape are very new, having been enacted in the 2000s.In Canada, marital rape was made illegal in 1983, when several legal changes were made, including changing the rape statute to sexual assault, and making the laws gender neutral.BOOK, Grady, William, Crime in Canadian context: debates and controversies, Oxford University Press, Don Mills, Ontario, 2011, 9780195433784, BOOK, Brennan, Shannon, Taylor-Butts, Andrea, Sexual assault in Canada, 2004, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Ottawa, 2008,weblink 9781100111636, 6 August 2014, BOOK, SIECCAN, Sexual assault in Canada: what do we know?, The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN),weblink" title="">weblink 22 July 2014,weblink October 2011, 6 August 2014, In Ireland spousal rape was outlawed in 1990.BOOK, Temkin, Jennifer, Defining and redefining rape, Temkin, Jennifer, Rape and the legal process, 86, Oxford University Press, Oxford New York, 2002, 2nd, 9780198763543,
Citing: * WEB, Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act, 1990, section 5,weblink" title="">weblink 29 April 2017,weblink, Irish Statute Book, 21 December 2017, In the US, the criminalization of marital rape started in the mid-1970s and in 1993 North Carolina became the last state to make marital rape illegal.NEWS, Associated Press, Associated Press,weblink N.C. the last state to outlaw marital rape, The Daily Gazette, New York, 2 July 1993, 6 August 2014,
In England and Wales, marital rape was made illegal in 1991. The views of Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century jurist, published in The History of the Pleas of the Crown (1736), stated that a husband cannot be guilty of the rape of his wife because the wife "hath given up herself in this kind to her husband, which she cannot retract"; in England and Wales this would remain law for more than 250 years, until it was abolished by the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, in the case of R v R in 1991.WEB,weblink R v R [1991] UKHL 12 (23 October 1991), British and Irish Legal Information Institute, 6 August 2014, In the Netherlands marital rape was also made illegal in 1991.JOURNAL, Zeegers, Nicolle, What epistemology would serve criminal law best in finding the truth about rape?, Law and Method, 2, 1, 60–71, January 2012, harv, 10.5553/ReM/221225082012002001005, Pdf. One of the last Western countries to criminalize marital rape was Germany, in 1997.THESIS, Kieler, Marita, 2003, Tatbestandsprobleme der sexuellen Nötigung, Vergewaltigung sowie des sexuellen Mißbrauchs widerstandsunfähiger Personen, University of Osnabrück via Tenea,weblink 758907108, Pdf.The relation between some religions (Christianity and Islam) and marital rape is controversial. The Bible at 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 explains that one has a "conjugal duty" to have sexual relations with one's spouse (in sharp opposition to sex outside marriage, which is considered a sin) and states, "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another..."WEB,weblink 1 corinthians 7:3-7:5 NKJV,,, Bible Gateway, 6 August 2014, Some conservative religious figures interpret this as rejecting to possibility of marital rape.WEB,weblink Valley paper criticized over pastor's column on spousal rape, Alaska Dispatch, 22 July 2011, 6 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 October 2013, dmy-all, Islam makes reference to sexual relations in marriage too, notably: "Allah's Apostle said, 'If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning';"WEB,weblink Hadith 4:460,, Internet Sacred Text Archive, 6 August 2014, and several comments on the issue of marital rape made by Muslim religious leaders have been criticized.NEWS, Halliday, Josh,weblink Islam Channel censured by Ofcom, The Guardian, 8 November 2010, 6 August 2014, NEWS, Staff writer,weblink BBC News, Cleric 'must deny' views on rape, 22 January 2009, 11 December 2013,

Domestic violence

File:Anti-domestic violence sign in Liberia panoramio (193).jpg|thumb|Anti-domestic violence sign in LiberiaLiberiaWomen are more likely to be victimized by someone that they are intimate with, commonly called "intimate partner violence" (IPV). Instances of IPV tend not to be reported to police and thus many experts find it hard to estimate the true magnitude of the problem.WEB, Intimate partner violence: fact sheet,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2007,, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006, 4 September 2007, Though this form of violence is often considered as an issue within the context of heterosexual relationships, it also occurs in lesbian relationships,JOURNAL, Girshick, Lori B., No sugar, no spice: reflections on research on woman-to-woman sexual violence, Violence Against Women (journal), Violence Against Women, 8, 12, 1500–1520, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1177/107780102237967, December 2002, harv, daughter-mother relationships, roommate relationships and other domestic relationships involving two women. Violence against women in lesbian relationships is about as common as violence against women in heterosexual relationships.WEB, Rose, Suzana, Lesbian partner violence fact sheet,weblink Medical University of South Carolina, Women are much more likely than men to be murdered by an intimate partner. In the United States, in 2005, 1181 women were killed by their intimate partners, compared to 329 men.WEB, Intimate partner violence: consequences,weblink, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 February 2010, WEB, Wheel gallery,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 28 July 2011, The Duluth Model, 9 February 2010, In England and Wales about 100 women are killed by partners or former partners each year while 21 men were killed in 2010.NEWS, Staff writer,weblink All domestic abuse deaths to have multi-agency review, 13 April 2011, BBC news, 14 April 2011, In 2008, in France, 156 women were killed by their intimate partner, compared to 27 men.BOOK, L'action du ministère dans le cadre des violences au sein du couple / Aide aux victimes: présentation des différents dispositifs,weblink French, Minister of the Interior (France), Ministère de l'Intérieur, 6 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 March 2012, dmy-all, According to the WHO, globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by an intimate partner. A UN report compiled from a number of different studies conducted in at least 71 countries found domestic violence against women to be most prevalent in Ethiopia.NEWS, Ethiopian women are most abused,weblink BBC News, 11 October 2006, A study by Pan American Health Organization conducted in 12 Latin American countries found the highest prevalence of domestic violence against women to be in Bolivia.BOOK, Bott, Sarah, Guedes, Alessandra, Goodwin, Mary, Mendoza, Jennifer Adams, Violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a comparative analysis of population-based data from 12 countries,weblink Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pan American Health Organization, 2012, English pdf. {{webarchive |url= |date=4 February 2016 }} Spanish pdf. {{webarchive |url= |date=8 April 2015 }} In Western Europe, a country that has received major international criticism for the way it has dealt legally with the issue of violence against women is Finland; with authors pointing out that a high level of equality for women in the public sphere (as in Finland) should never be equated with equality in all other aspects of women's lives.JOURNAL, Clarke, Kris, The paradoxical approach to intimate partner violence in Finland, Tokiwa University#Publications, International Perspectives in Victimology, 6, 1, 9–19, Tokiwa University via California State University, The Press at California State University, 10.5364/ipiv.6.1.19, August 2011, harv, 2019-08-20, Available through, McKie, Linda, Hearn, Jeff, Gender-neutrality and gender equality: comparing and contrasting policy responses to 'domestic violence' in Finland and Scotland, Scottish Affairs, 48, 1, 85–107, Edinburgh University Press, 10.3366/scot.2004.0043, August 2004, harv, weblink" title="">Pdf.REPORT, September 2008, Case Closed: Rape and Human Rights in the Nordic Countries, Amnesty International,weblink 89–91, Finland is repeatedly reminded of its widespread problem of violence against women and recommended to take more efficient measures to deal with the situation. International criticism concentrates on the lack of measures to combat violence against women in general and in particular on the lack of a national action plan to combat such violence and on the lack of legislation on domestic violence. (...) Compared to Sweden, Finland has been slower to reform legislation on violence against women. In Sweden, domestic violence was already illegal in 1864, while in Finland such violence was not outlawed until 1970, over a hundred years later. In Sweden the punishment of victims of incest was abolished in 1937, but not until 1971 in Finland. Rape within marriage was criminalised in Sweden in 1962, but the equivalent Finnish legislation only came into force in 1994 – making Finland one of the last European countries to criminalise marital rape. In addition, assaults taking place on private property did not become impeachable offences in Finland until 1995. Only in 1997 did victims of sexual offences and domestic violence in Finland become entitled to government-funded counselling and support services for the duration of their court cases., harv, .,

Diagnosis planning

The American Psychiatric Association planning and research committees for the forthcoming DSM-5 (2013) have canvassed a series of new Relational disorders, which include Marital Conflict Disorder Without Violence or Marital Abuse Disorder (Marital Conflict Disorder With Violence).BOOK, First, Michael B., Bell, Carl C., Cuthbert, Bruce, Krystal, John H., Malison, Robert, Offord, David R., Reiss, David, Shea, M. Tracie, Widger, Tom, Wisner, Katherine L., Personality disorders and relational disorders: a research agenda for addressing crucial gaps in DSM,weblink Kupfer, David J., First, Michael B., Regier, Darrel A., A research agenda for DSM-V, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D.C., 2002, 9780890422922, harv, {{rp|164, 166}} Couples with marital disorders sometimes come to clinical attention because the couple recognize long-standing dissatisfaction with their marriage and come to the clinician on their own initiative or are referred by an astute health care professional. Secondly, there is serious violence in the marriage that is -"usually the husband battering the wife".{{rp|163}} In these cases the emergency room or a legal authority often is the first to notify the clinician. Most importantly, marital violence "is a major risk factor for serious injury and even death and women in violent marriages are at much greater risk of being seriously injured or killed (National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women 2000)".{{rp|166}} The authors of this study add, "There is current considerable controversy over whether male-to-female marital violence is best regarded as a reflection of male psychopathology and control or whether there is an empirical base and clinical utility for conceptualizing these patterns as relational."{{rp|166}}Recommendations for clinicians making a diagnosis of Marital Relational Disorder should include the assessment of actual or "potential" male violence as regularly as they assess the potential for suicide in depressed patients. Further, "clinicians should not relax their vigilance after a battered wife leaves her husband, because some data suggest that the period immediately following a marital separation is the period of greatest risk for the women. Many men will stalk and batter their wives in an effort to get them to return or punish them for leaving. Initial assessments of the potential for violence in a marriage can be supplemented by standardized interviews and questionnaires, which have been reliable and valid aids in exploring marital violence more systematically."{{rp|166}}
The authors conclude with what they call "very recent information"{{rp|167, 168}} on the course of violent marriages, which suggests that "over time a husband's battering may abate somewhat, but perhaps because he has successfully intimidated his wife. The risk of violence remains strong in a marriage in which it has been a feature in the past. Thus, treatment is essential here; the clinician cannot just wait and watch."{{rp|167, 168}} The most urgent clinical priority is the protection of the wife because she is the one most frequently at risk, and clinicians must be aware that supporting assertiveness by a battered wife may lead to more beatings or even death.{{rp|167, 168}}

Honor killings

Honor killings are a common form of violence against women in certain parts of the world. Honor killings are perpetrated by family members (usually husbands, fathers, uncles or brothers) against women in the family who are believed to have placed dishonor to the family. The death of the dishonorable woman is believed to restore honor.WEB,weblink the role of community in combating honor killings,, 2018-12-08, These killings are a traditional practice,{{where?|date=January 2019}} believed to have originated from tribal customs where an allegation against a woman can be enough to defile a family's reputation.NEWS, Staff writer, Ethics guide – Honour crimes,weblink BBC, 18 November 2013, WEB, Staff writer, Definition of honor killing,weblink, Merriam-Webster, 18 November 2013, Women are killed for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, attempting to leave a marriage, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways that are deemed inappropriate.NEWS, Harter, Pascale,weblink BBC News, Libya rape victims 'face honour killings', 14 June 2011, 18 November 2013, Honor killings are common in countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen.WEB, UN Women, UN Women, Violence against women: work of the General Assembly on violence against women,weblink, UN Women, Violence Against Women, 18 November 2013,
Listing for: * BOOK, UN Secretary-General, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Working towards the elimination of crimes against women committed in the name of honour,weblink A/57/169, United Nations General Assembly, English, 2 July 2002, Arabic pdf. Chinese pdf. French pdf. Russian pdf. Spanish pdf.NEWS, Ghanizada, 240 cases of honor killing recorded in Afghanistan, AIHRC,weblink Khaama Press, Afghanistan, 9 June 2013, 18 November 2013, NEWS, UPI, United Press International, AIHRC: 400 rape, honor killings registered in Afghanistan in 2 years,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 February 2015, Latin Business Today, Kabul, Afghanistan, 10 June 2013, 18 November 2013, NEWS, Bayoumy, Yara, Kami, Aseel, "Honor killings" require tougher laws, say Iraqi women,weblink Reuters, 6 March 2012, 18 November 2013, Honor killings also occur in immigrant communities in Europe, the United States and Canada. Although honor killings are most often associated with the Middle East and South Asia, they occur in other parts of the world too.WEB, International Domestic Violence Issues,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2014,, Sanctuary for Families, In India, honor killings occur in the northern regions of the country, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.NEWS, Donald, Alice, Bishop, Hilary, World agenda: what justice?,weblink BBC World Service, 18 November 2013, NEWS, Staff writer, India court seeks 'honour killing' response,weblink BBC News, 21 June 2010, 18 November 2013, In Turkey, honor killings are a serious problem in Southeastern Anatolia.NEWS, Rainsford, Sarah, 'Honour' crime defiance in Turkey,weblink BBC News, 19 October 2005, 18 November 2013, BOOK, Kardam, Filiz, Murray, Genevra, The dynamics of honor killings in Turkey: prospects for action,weblink United Nations Development Programme, Population Association (Turkey) and United Nations Population Fund, 2005, 18 November 2013, Pdf.

Dowry violence

File:Say no to dowry.jpg|thumb|upright|Anti-dowry poster in Bangalore, IndiaBangalore, IndiaThe custom of dowry, which is common in South Asia, especially in India, is the trigger of many forms of violence against women. Bride burning is a form of violence against women in which a bride is killed at home by her husband or husband's family due to his dissatisfaction over the dowry provided by her family. Dowry death refers to the phenomenon of women and girls being killed or committing suicide due to disputes regarding dowry. Dowry violence is common in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In India, in 2011 alone, the National Crime Records Bureau reported 8,618 dowry deaths, while unofficial figures suggest the numbers to be at least three times higher.BOOK, UN Women, UN Women, Confronting dowry-related violence in India: women at the center of justice,weblink UN Women, 24 December 2012, 18 November 2013,

Forced marriage

File:Oskar Shmerling. Free love (Forced marriage). Molla Nasreddin.jpg|thumb|220px|left|Criticism of the Azeri custom of forced marriage, as depicted in the early 20th-century satirical periodical Molla Nasraddin ]]A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married against their will. Forced marriages are common in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The customs of bride price and dowry, that exist in many parts of the world, contribute to this practice. A forced marriage is also often the result of a dispute between families, where the dispute is 'resolved' by giving a female from one family to the other.Citations:
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Ethics guide – Slavery: Modern slavery,weblink BBC, 5 September 2013,
  • BOOK, Shahinian, Gulnara, Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, Gulnara Shahinian: Thematic report on servile marriage (A/HRC/21/41),weblink United Nations. Human Rights Council Twenty-first session, 10 July 2012,
  • BOOK, UNIFEM, United Nations Development Fund for Women, Ending violence against women & girls – Evidence, data and knowledge in the Pacific Island Countries: literature review and annotated bibliography,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink dead, 8 July 2011, United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, August 2010, 8 July 2011,
The custom of bride kidnapping continues to exist in some Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the Caucasus, or parts of Africa, especially Ethiopia. A girl or a woman is abducted by the would be groom, who is often helped by his friends. The victim is often raped by the would be groom, after which he may try to negotiate a bride price with the village elders to legitimize the marriage.News articles:
  • NEWS, Staff writer, World: Africa, Ethiopia: Revenge of the abducted bride,weblink BBC News, 18 June 1999, 19 November 2013,
  • NEWS, Gena, Alem, Ethiopia: Surviving forced marriage,weblink IRIN, 23 February 2007, 3 April 2016,
  • BOOK, PI, Pathfinder International, Report on causes and consequences of early marriage in Amhara Region, Pathfinder International,weblink" title="">weblink 23 March 2013, dead, dmy-all,weblink July 2006, 3 April 2016,
Forced and child marriages are practiced by some inhabitants In Tanzania. Girls are sold by their families to older men for financial benefits and often girls are married off as soon as they hit puberty, which can be as young as seven years old.NEWS,weblink Tanzania: Child Marriage Harms Girls, 2014-10-29, Human Rights Watch, 2018-11-30, en, To the older men, these young brides act as symbols of masculinity and accomplishment. Child brides endure forced sex, causing health risks and growth impediments.JOURNAL, Ezer, T, et, al., 2006, Child marriage and guardianship in tanzania: Robbing girls of their childhood and infantilizing women,weblink Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, Special Issue, 357–450, Hein, Primary education is usually not completed for young girls in forced marriages. Married and pregnant students are often discriminated against, and expelled and excluded from school. The Law of Marriage Act currently does not address issues with guardianship and child marriage. The issue of child marriage is not addressed enough in this law, and only establishes a minimum age of 18 for the boys of Tanzania. A minimum age needs to be enforced for girls to stop these practices and provide them with equal rights and a less harmful life.WEB,weblink -,, en, 2018-11-30,


In some countries, notably Mauritania, young girls are forcibly fattened to prepare them for marriage, because obesity is seen as desirable. This practice of force-feeding is known as leblouh or gavage.Citations:
  • BOOK, Popenoe, Rebecca, Getting fat, Popenoe, Rebecca,weblink Feeding desire: fatness, beauty, and sexuality among a Saharan people, 33–50, Routledge, London New York, 2004, 9780415280969, harv,

Book review: WEB, Fan, Space and body modification: Rebecca Popenoe's Feeding Desire (blog),weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016,weblink Savage Mind via WordPress, 3 August 2012, 3 April 2016,
  • NEWS, LaFraniere, Sharon, In Mauritania, seeking to end an overfed ideal,weblink The New York Times, Girls as young as 5 and as old as 19 had to drink up to five gallons of fat-rich camel's or cow's milk daily, aiming for silvery stretch marks on their upper arms. If a girl refused or vomited, the village weight-gain specialist might squeeze her foot between sticks, pull her ear, pinch her inner thigh, bend her finger backward or force her to drink her own vomit. In extreme cases, girls die, due to a burst stomach. The practice was known as gavage, a French term for force-feeding geese to obtain foie gras., 4 July 2007, 30 June 2011,
The practice goes back to the 11th century, and has been reported to have made a significant comeback after a military junta took over the country in 2008.NEWS, Smith, Alex Duval, Girls being force-fed for marriage as junta revives fattening farms,weblink The Observer, 1 March 2009, 22 December 2015,

Abuse related to son-preference

File:2011 Census sex ratio map for the states and Union Territories of India Boys to Girls 0 to 1 age group.svg|thumb|250px|left|A map of IndiaIndia(File:2012 Birth Sex Ratio World Map.jpg|thumb|250px|World map of birth sex ratios, 2012)File:Chinese anti infanticide tract from 1800.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Chinese anti-infanticide tract circa 1800. China has a long history of son preference, which was aggravated after the enforcement of the one child policyone child policySon preference is a custom rooted in gender inequality that is prevalent in many countries and found across religions and classes.WEB, Staff writer, Son preference,weblink, Stop Violence Against Women, June 2010, 3 October 2017, Although preference for a specific sex of the child may be common in an abstract way in many cultures, when such preference is so strong as to lead to the rejection of the child or to violence against the mother, this crosses the line into domestic violence, child abuse and violence against women. Such forms of son preference are common especially in parts of South Asia, East Asia and the Caucasus. Manifestations of such practices include sex selective abortion, female infanticide, female child abandonment, as well as favoring sons with regard to allocating of family resources.China and India have a very strong son preference. In China, the one child policy was largely responsible for an unbalanced sex ratio. Sex-selective abortion, as well as rejection of girl children is common. The Dying Rooms is a 1995 television documentary film about Chinese state orphanages, which documented how parents abandoned their newborn girls into orphanages, where the staff would leave the children in rooms to die of thirst, or starvation.Another manifestation of son preference is the violence inflicted against mothers who give birth to girls.News articles:
  • NEWS, Sarwary, Bilal, Afghan woman is killed 'for giving birth to a girl',weblink BBC News, Kabul, Afghanistan, 30 January 2012, 3 October 2017,
  • NEWS, Agarwal, Keshav, 23-year-old woman killed for giving birth to twin daughters,weblink The Times of India, 23 March 2017, 3 October 2017,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, 56 killed for giving birth to girl child in Pakistan,weblink Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, Telangana, India, 27 November 2013, 3 October 2017,

Acid throwing

File:Acid attack victim.jpg|left|Acid attack victim in thumb|250pxAcid throwing, also called acid attack, or vitriolage, is defined as the act of throwing acid onto the body of a person "with the intention of injuring or disfiguring [them] out of jealousy or revenge".BOOK, Vig, Krishan, Corrosive poisons: vitriolage,weblink Vig, Krishan, Textbook of forensic medicine and toxicology: principles and practice, 462, Elsevier, India, 2014, 5th, 9788131226841, The most common types of acid used in these attacks are sulfuric, nitric, or hydrochloric acid.JOURNAL, Welsh, Jane, "It was like burning in hell": A comprehensive exploration of acid attack violence, Carolina Papers on International Health, 32, Center for Global Initiatives, University of North Carolina, 3 April 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink 23 January 2013, dmy-all, Fall 2006, Perpetrators of these attacks throw acid at their victims, usually at their faces, burning them, and damaging skin tissue, often exposing and sometimes dissolving the bones.JOURNAL, Swanson, Jordan, Acid attacks: Bangladesh's efforts to stop the violence, Harvard Health Policy Review, 3, 1, 3, Harvard Internfaculty Initiative in Health Policy, Spring 2002,weblink" title="">weblink 17 January 2006,weblink harv, dead, dmy-all, The long term consequences of these attacks include blindness and permanent scarring of the face and body.NEWS, AP, Associated Press,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 September 2007, Bangladesh combats an acid onslaught against women, CNN, 12 November 2000, 3 April 2016, BOOK, Bahl, Taur, Syed, M. H., Encyclopaedia of Muslim world, Anmol Publications, New Delhi, 2003, 9788126114191, Women and girls are the victims in 75-80% of cases.NEWS, de Castella, Tom, How many acid attacks are there?,weblink BBC News, 9 August 2013, 18 November 2013, Acid attacks are often connected to domestic disputes, including dowry disputes, and refusal of a proposition for marriage, or of sexual advances. Such attacks are common in South Asia, in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, India; and in Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia.Articles:

Reproductive coercion

File:Mauricio rugendas - el malon.jpg|thumb|The painting depicts a Chilean woman being kidnapped during a malón. Bride kidnapping for the purpose of forced marriage and forced pregnancyforced pregnancyReproductive coercion is a form of domestic or intimate partner violence, that involves violent, manipulative or deceptive behavior against reproductive health or reproductive rights within an intimate relation and includes a collection of behaviors intended to lead to forced pregnancy.JOURNAL, Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, Committee Opinion No. 554: Reproductive and Sexual Coercion, Obstetrics & Gynecology (journal), Obstetrics and Gynecology, 121, 2 Pt 1, 411–415, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, LWW, 23344307, 10.1097/01.AOG.0000426427.79586.3b, February 2013,weblink harv, Reproductive coercion is used to maintain power, control, and domination within a relationship and over a partner through an unwanted pregnancy. It is considered a serious public health issue.JOURNAL, Chamberlain, Linda, Levenson, Rebecca, Reproductive health and partner violence guidelines: an integrated response to intimate partner Violence and reproductive coercion,weblink Family Violence Prevention Fund, San Francisco, 2010, This reproductive control is highly correlated to unintended pregnancy.JOURNAL, Coker, Ann L., Does physical intimate partner violence affect sexual health? A systematic review, Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 8, 2, 149–177, SAGE Publications, Sage, 17545572, 10.1177/1524838007301162, April 2007, harv, Forced pregnancy is the practice of forcing a woman or girl to become pregnant, often as part of a forced marriage, including by means of bride kidnapping, through rape (including marital rape, war rape and genocidal rape) or as part of a program of breeding slaves (see Slave breeding in the United States). In the 20th century, state mandated forced marriage with the aim of increasing the population was practiced by some authoritarian governments, notably during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which systematically forced people into marriages ordering them to have children, in order to increase the population and continue the revolution.BOOK, Anderson, Natalae, Memorandum: Charging forced marriage as a crime against humanity,weblink Documentation Center of Cambodia, 22 September 2010, Forced pregnancy is strongly connected to the custom of bride price.JOURNAL, Bawah, Ayaga Agula, Akweongo, Patricia, Simmons, Ruth, Phillips, James F., Women's fears and men's anxieties: the impact of family planning on gender relations in Northern Ghana, Studies in Family Planning, 30, 1, 54–66, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley on behalf of the Population Council, 1999,weblink harv, 10.1111/j.1728-4465.1999.00054.x, 2027.42/73927, Pdf.Within the discourse on reproductive rights, the issue of abortion is often debated. Abortion law falls within the jurisdiction of each country, although forced abortion is prohibited by international law. The Istanbul Convention prohibits forced abortion and forced sterilization (Article 39).BOOK, CoE, Council of Europe, Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,weblink Council of Europe, 12 April 2011, The issue of forced continuation of pregnancy (i.e. denying a woman safe and legal abortion) is also seen by some organizations as a violation of women's rights, although there are no binding international obligations on this issue. However, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women considers the criminalization of abortion a "violations of women's sexual and reproductive health and rights" and a form of "gender based violence"; paragraph 18 of its General recommendation No. 35 on gender based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19 states, "Violations of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, such as forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced pregnancy, criminalisation of abortion, denial or delay of safe abortion and post abortion care, forced continuation of pregnancy, abuse and mistreatment of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive health information, goods and services, are forms of gender based violence that, depending on the circumstances, may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."BOOK, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women#Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, General recommendation No. 35 on gender-based violence against women, updating general recommendation No. 19,weblink Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), CEDAW/C/GC/35, 14 July 2017,

Mob violence

There have been mob attacks against single women in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria.WEB, Algerian authorities must investigate and stop attacks against women,weblink Amnesty International, 13 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 September 2011, dmy-all, As of 2011, similar mob attacks against women were continuing in Hassi Messaoud and elsewhere in Algeria, notably M'sila.WEB, Stop renewed attacks on women,weblink Women Living Under Muslim Laws, 13 August 2011, WEB, Algerian authorities must investigate and stop attacks against women,weblink Amnesty International, 13 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 September 2011, According to Amnesty International, "some women have been sexually abused" and were targeted "not just because they are women, but because they are living alone and are economically independent".

Dating abuse

{{See|Dating abuse|Teen dating violence}}Dating abuse or dating violence is the perpetration of coercion, intimidation or assault in the context of dating or courtship. It is also when one partner tries to maintain abusive power and control. Dating violence is defined by the CDC as "the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking".WEB, Intimate partner violence: teen dating violence,weblink, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016, 21 October 2017, Fact sheet pdf. In some countries it is common for older men to engage in "compensated dating" with underage girls. Such relationships are called enjo kōsai in Japan, and are also common in Asian countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong. The WHO condemned "economically coerced sex (e.g. school girls having sex with “sugar daddies” (Sugar baby in return for school fees)" as a form of violence against women.

Sexual violence on college campuses

{{See|Campus sexual assault}}Sexual violence on college campuses is considered a major problem in the United States. According to the conclusion of a major Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study: "The CSA Study data suggest women at universities are at considerable risk for experiencing sexual assault."BOOK, Krebs, Christopher P., Lindquist, Christine H., Warner, Tara D., Fisher, Bonnie S., Martin, Sandra L., Campus sexual assault (CSA) study: final report, RTI International,weblink October 2007, {{NCJ|243011}} Pdf. Sexual violence on campus has been researched in other countries too, such as Canada,JOURNAL, DeKeseredy, Walter, Kelly, Katharine, The incidence and prevalence of woman abuse in Canadian university and college dating relationships, Canadian Journal of Sociology, 18, 2, 137–159, University of Alberta, 3341255, 10.2307/3341255, 1993, harv, the UK,BOOK, NUS, National Union of Students (United Kingdom), Hidden Marks: A study of women student's experiences of harassment, stalking, violence, and sexual assault,weblink National Union of Students (United Kingdom), National Union of Students, London, UK, 2011, 2nd, 10 January 2015, and New Zealand.JOURNAL, Gavey, Nicola Gavey, Nicola, Sexual victimization prevalence among New Zealand university students, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 3, 464–466, American Psychological Association via PsycINFO, PsycNET, 10.1037/0022-006X.59.3.464, June 1991, harv,

Restrictions on freedom of movement

Women are, in many parts of the world, severely restricted in their freedom of movement.Freedom of movement is an essential right, recognized by international instruments, including Article 15 (4) of CEDAW.BOOK, UN General Assembly, UN General Assembly, The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW),weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2014,weblink UN Women, UN Women, Division for the Advancement of Women, 1979, 3 October 2017, Nevertheless, in some countries, women are not legally allowed to leave home without a male guardian (male relative or husband).NEWS, Lee, Dave, Saudi Arabian woman challenges male guardianship laws,weblink BBC World Service, 29 June 2011, 3 October 2017, Even in countries where there are no laws against women traveling alone, there are strong social norms, such as purdah - a religious and social practice of female seclusion prevalent especially among some Muslim and Hindu communities in South Asia. Many countries have laws on what type of clothing women may or may not wear in public (see Hijab by country). Women in some cultures are forced into social isolation during their menstrual periods. In parts of Nepal for instance, they are forced to live in sheds, are forbidden to touch men or even to enter the courtyard of their own homes, and are barred from consuming milk, yogurt, butter, meat, and various other foods, for fear they will contaminate those goods. (see Chhaupadi). Women have died during this period because of starvation, bad weather, or bites by snakes.Articles:
  • NEWS, Staff writer, PM concerned over death of woman in Chaupadi,weblink The Kathmandu Post, 19 November 2016, 3 October 2017,
  • NEWS, Pokharel, Sugam, Nepali 'mensuration hut' ritual claims life of teenage girl,weblink CNN, 10 July 2017, 3 October 2017,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Nepal criminalises banishing menstruating women to huts,weblink BBC News, 10 August 2017, 3 October 2017,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Nepali girl dies due to banned mensuration practice,weblink Al Jazeera, December 2016, 3 October 2017, In cultures where women are restricted from being in public places, by law or custom, women who break such restrictions often face violence.NEWS, Staff writer, Freedom of movement and women's economic empowerment,weblink Empower Women, February 2016, 3 October 2017,

Denial of medical care

File:Maternal mortality rate worldwide.jpg|thumb|300px|Maternal Mortality Rate worldwide, as defined by the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management, excluding accidental or incidental causes.Country Comparison: Maternal Mortality Rate in (:en:The World Factbook|The CIA World Factbook)(. Date of Information: 2010)Women in many parts of the world are often denied medical care. Denial of access to health assistance, along with denial of access to other services, is a form of socioeconomic violence against womenweblink According to the WHO, "Discrimination in health care settings takes many forms and is often manifested when an individual or group is denied access to health care services that are otherwise available to others. It can also occur through denial of services that are only needed by certain groups, such as women."WEB,weblink Joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care settings,, Women may be denied medical care for numerous reasons, including lack of necessary freedom of movement allowing women to leave home so they can go to a medical facility, lack of financial resources, the need (in law or in practice) for a male relative or husband to consent to the medical care of the woman. A common consequence of denial of women's medical care is maternal mortality. Globally, there are more than 300.000 cases of maternal mortality yearly, with 99% of all maternal deaths occurring in developing countries.WEB,weblink Maternal mortality, World Health Organization, Denial of medical care often occurs with regard to reproductive and sexual health. Sometimes women themselves avoid the medical system for fear of being reported to the police or facing family violence due to having premarital sex or being the victims of sexual violence. In some parts of Latin America, with very strict anti-abortion laws, pregnant women avoid the medical system due to fear of being investigated by the authorities if they have a miscarriage, or a stillbirth, or other problems with the pregnancy. Prosecuting such women is quite common in places such as El Salvador.WEB,weblink El Salvador: Rape survivor sentenced to 30 years in jail under extreme anti-abortion law,, WEB,weblink Jailed for a miscarriage, BBC News, Prügl, E. (Lecturer) (2 December 2013). Gender and International Affairs 2013. INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST MOVEMENTS. Lecture conducted from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, Switzerland.WEB, Hosenball, Mark,weblink Obama administration defends massive phone record collection, Reuters, 6 June 2013, 6 March 2016,


Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person, often manifested through persistent harassment, intimidation, or following/monitoring of the victim. Stalking is often understood as "course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear".WEB,weblink Stalking information,, Stalking Resource Center, 3 April 2016, Although stalkers are frequently portrayed as being strangers, they are most often known people, such as former or current partners, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. In the U.S., a survey by NVAW found that only 23% of female victims were stalked by strangers.JOURNAL, McFarlane, Judith M., Campbell, Jacquelyn C., Wilt, Susan, Sachs, Carolyn J., Ulrich, Yvonne, Xu, Xiao, Stalking and intimate partner femicide, Homicide Studies, 3, 4, 300–316, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1177/1088767999003004003, November 1999, harv, Pdf. Stalking by partners can be very dangerous, as sometimes it can escalate into severe violence, including murder. Police statistics from the 1990s in Australia indicated that 87.7% of stalking offenders were male and 82.4% of stalking victims were female.BOOK, Dussuyer, Inez,weblink Is stalking legislation effective in protecting victims?, Australian Institute of Criminology, Sydney, December 2000, 3 April 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, dead, dmy-all, Paper presented at the Stalking: Criminal Justice Responses Conference convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology and held in Sydney 7–8 December 2000.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is abusive, uninvited and unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature, typically in the work/studying place, which may include intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. It can be verbal or physical, and it is often perpetrated by a person in a position of authority against a subordinate.WEB, UN Women, UN Women,weblink What is sexual harassment, UN Women, 3 April 2016,
Citing: * BOOK, BNA, Bureau of national affairs, Preventing workplace harassment: a factsheet for employees, Bureau of national affairs, BNA Communications, Inc., Washington, DC, 1544-7820, 1992, Sample of 2016 edition. In the United States, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence defines sexual harassment as: "any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment".

Human trafficking and forced prostitution

(File:Map3.3Trafficking compressed.jpg|thumb|230px|right|A world map showing countries by prevalence of female trafficking)Human trafficking refers to the acquisition of persons by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.WEB, UNODC, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,weblink UNODC on human trafficking and migrant smuggling (index), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 3 April 2016, The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children states,WEB, OSCE, OSCE,weblink U.N. protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations convention against transnational organized crime, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 15 November 2000, 3 April 2016,
"Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
Because of the illegal nature of trafficking, reliable data on its extent is very limited.BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, Understanding and addressing violence against women: Human trafficking,weblink WHO/RHR/12.42, World Health Organization, 2012, 3 April 2016, The WHO states "Current evidence strongly suggests that those who are trafficked into the sex industry and as domestic servants are more likely to be women and children."A 2006 study in Europe on trafficked women found that the women were subjected to serious forms of abuse, such as physical or sexual violence, that affected their physical and mental health.Forced prostitution is prostitution that takes place as a result of coercion by a third party. In forced prostitution, the party/parties who force the victim to be subjected to unwanted sexual acts exercise control over the victim.WEB, McDougall, Gay J., Gay McDougall,weblink Report of the Special Rapporteur on systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during armed conflict, E/CN.4/Sub.2/1998/13, United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), 25 January 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2013,

Mistreatment of widows

File:Balinese rite of Suttee in Houtman 1597 Verhael vande Reyse ... Naer Oost Indien.jpg|thumb|200px|Description of the BaliBali{{See also|Widow inheritance|Sexual cleansing#Widow cleansing|l2=Sexual cleansing}}A widow is a woman whose spouse has died. In some parts of the world, widows are subjected to serious forms of abuse, often fueled by traditional practices such as widow inheritance.BOOK, Owen, Margaret, Human rights, equality and legal protection,weblink Owen, Margaret, A world of widows, Zed Books, London Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1996, 9781856494205, The sacrifice of widows (such as sati) has been prevalent historically in various cultures (especially in India). Although sati in India is today an almost defunct practice, isolated incidents have occurred in recent years, such as the 1987 sati of Roop Kanwar, as well as several incidents in rural areas in 2002,NEWS, Staff writer,weblink BBC News, Arrests in Indian ritual burning, 7 August 2002, 25 January 2014, and 2006.NEWS, Staff writer,weblink BBC News, Sons arrested in sati death probe, 21 September 2006, 25 January 2014, Those likely to be accused and killed as witches are often widows.NEWS,weblink The gruesome fate of "witches" in Papua New Guinea,, 13 July 2017, 23 July 2017, In parts of Africa, such as in Kenya, widows are viewed as impure and need to be 'cleansed'. This often requires having sex with someone. Those refusing to be cleansed risk getting beaten by superstitious villagers, who may also harm the woman's children. It is argued that this notion arose from the idea that if a husband dies, the woman may have performed witchcraft against him.NEWS,weblink These Kenyan widows are fighting against sexual 'cleansing',, 7 November 2018, 23 October 2018, Widow inheritance (also known as bride inheritance) is a cultural and social practice whereby a widow is required to marry a male relative of her late husband, often his brother.

Accusations of witchcraft

File:Schiltach Flugblatt.JPG|thumb|left|upright|A 1533 account of the execution of a witch charged with burning the German town of SchiltachSchiltachWitch trials in the early modern period (between the 15th and 18th centuries) were common in Europe and in the European colonies in North America. Today, there remain regions of the world (such as parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, rural North India, and Papua New Guinea) where belief in witchcraft is held by many people, and women accused of being witches are subjected to serious violence.Citations:

State violence

War rape and sexual slavery during military conflict

File:Paul Jamin - Le Brenn et sa part de butin 1893.jpg|thumb|200 px|Brennus and His Share of the Spoils, by Paul JaminPaul JaminFile:Chinese girl from one of the Japanese Army's 'comfort battalions'.jpg|thumb|200 px|Rangoon, Burma. 8 August 1945. A young ethnic Chinese woman from one of the Imperial Japanese Army's "comfort battalions" is interviewed by an Allied officer.]]Militarism produces special environments that allow for increased violence against women. War rapes have accompanied warfare in virtually every known historical era.BOOK, Washington, Harold C., 'Lest he die in battle and another man take her': violence and the construction of gender in the laws of Deuteronomy 20-22,weblink Matthews, Victor H., Levinson, Bernard M., Frymer-Kensky, Tikva, Gender and law in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East, 203, T & T Clark, London New York, 2004, 9780567080981, Rape in the course of war is mentioned multiple times in the Bible: "For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped..." {{bibleref|Zechariah|14:2|ESV}} "Their little children will be dashed to death before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked, and their wives will be raped."{{bibleref|Isaiah|13:16|NLT}}War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service. It also covers the situation where women are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by an occupying power. During World War II the Japanese military established brothels filled with "comfort women", girls and women who were forced into sexual slavery for soldiers, exploiting women for the purpose of creating access and entitlement for men.NEWS, Benedict, Helen,weblink Why soldiers rape, In These Times, 14 August 2008, 10 November 2012, JOURNAL, Morris-Suzuki, Tessa, Japan's 'Comfort Women': It's time for the truth (in the ordinary, everyday sense of the word), Japan Focus (The Asia-Pacific Journal), 5, 3, 1 March 2007,weblink 4 August 2011, harv,
Another example of violence against women incited by militarism during war took place in the Kovno Ghetto. Jewish male prisoners had access to (and used) Jewish women forced into camp brothels by the Nazis, who also used them.BOOK, Dworkin, Andrea, Andrea Dworkin, Palestinians/prostituted women,weblink Dworkin, Andrea, Andrea Dworkin, Scapegoat: the Jews, Israel, and women's liberation, 316, Free Press, New York, 2000, 9780684836126, Rape was committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War by members of the Pakistani military and the militias that supported them. Over a period of nine months, hundreds of thousands of women were raped. Susan Brownmiller, in her report on the atrocities, said that girls from the age of eight to grandmothers of seventy-five suffered attacks. {{See also|Rape during the Bangladesh Liberation War}}Rape used as a weapon of war was practiced during the Bosnian War where rape was used as a highly systematized instrument of war by Serb armed forces predominantly targeting women and girls of the Bosniak ethnic group for physical and moral destruction. Estimates of the number of women raped during the war range from 50,000 to 60,000; as of 2010 only 12 cases have been prosecuted.BOOK, UNSC, United Nations Security Council, Report of the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia Since 1991, A/52/375{{spaces, 2, S/1997/729 | publisher = United Nations Security Council |url= |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=4 August 2012 | date = 18 September 1997 | access-date = 10 November 2012}} {{See also|Rape during the Bosnian War}}The 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda recognized rape as a war crime. Presiding judge Navanethem Pillay said in a statement after the verdict: "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war."BOOK, Pillay, Navanethem, Navi Pillay, Honorary doctorate acceptance address by Navanethem Pillay, Rhodes University,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 September 2006, dmy, 2005, 27 February 2008, {{See also|Rwandan Genocide}}In 2006, five U.S. troops from a six-man unit gang raped and killed a 14-year-old girl in a village near the town of Al-Mahmudiyah, Iraq. After the rape the girl was shot in her head and the lower part of her body, from her stomach down to her feet, was set on fire.NEWS, Media pool reports,weblink Soldier: 'Death walk' drives troops 'nuts', CNN, 9 August 2006, 6 November 2012, NEWS, Staff writer, US ex-soldier guilty of Iraq rape,weblink BBC News, 7 May 2009, 10 November 2012, {{See also|Mahmudiyah killings}}A 1995 study of female war veterans found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed. A 2003 survey found that 30 percent of female vets said they were raped in the military and a 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving.NEWS, Benedict, Helen, The plight of women soldiers,weblink The Nation, NPR, 6 May 2009, 10 November 2012, According to one report, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's capture of Iraqi cities in June 2014 was accompanied by an upsurge in crimes against women, including kidnap and rape.Articles:
  • NEWS, Radwan, Zahra, Blumenfeld, Zoe, OP-ED: Surging violence against women in Iraq,weblink Inter Press Service, 27 June 2014, 5 July 2014,
  • NEWS, Winterton, Clare, Why we must act when women in Iraq document rape,weblink 25 June 2014, HuffPost, 10 July 2014,
  • NEWS, Ali, Esraa Mohamed, Kuwaiti media: "Daash" demands the people of Mosul to provide unmarried to "Jihad marriage",weblink Al-Masry Al-Youm, The Egyptian Today [Al-Masry Al-Youm], 18 June 2014, 10 July 2014,

* Original Arabic version: NEWS, إسراء محمد علي, إعلامي كويتي: "داعش" يطالب أهالي الموصل بتقديم غير المتزوجات لـ"جهاد النكاح,weblink المصری الیوم, 10 July 2014, The Guardian reported that ISIL's extremist agenda extended to women's bodies and that women living under their control were being captured and raped.NEWS, Susskind, Yifat, Under Isis, Iraqi women again face an old nightmare: violence and repression,weblink The Guardian, 3 July 2014, 17 July 2014, Fighters are told that they are free to have sex and rape non-Muslim captive women.NEWS, sv, Det jag har bevittnat i al-Raqqa kommer alltid förfölja mig,weblink 25 September 2014, Dagens Nyheter, 23 September 2014, Yazidi girls in Iraq allegedly raped by ISIL fighters committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar, as described in a witness statement.NEWS, Ahmed, Havidar, The Yezidi Exodus, Girls Raped by ISIS Jump to their Death on Mount Shingal, 14 August 2014,weblink Rudaw Media Network, 26 August 2014, Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. "They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls ... are raped or married off to fighters", she said, adding, "It's based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters."NEWS, Brekke, Kira, ISIS is attacking women, and nobody is talking about it,weblink HuffPost, 8 September 2014, 11 September 2014, Describing the Yazidi women captured by ISIS, Nazand Begikhani said "[t]hese women have been treated like cattle... They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags."NEWS, Watson, Ivan, 'Treated like cattle': Yazidi women sold, raped, enslaved by ISIS,weblink CNN, 30 October 2014, 23 February 2015, In December 2014 the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights announced that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant had killed over 150 women and girls in Fallujah who refused to participate in sexual jihad.NEWS, NOW News, NOW News, ISIS just executed more than 150 women in Fallujah,weblink Business Insider, 17 December 2014, 23 February 2015,

Forced sterilization and forced abortion

{{See|Eugenics in the United States|Violence against women in the United States#Forced pregnancy and sterilization}}(File:SOU 1929 14 Betänkande med förslag till steriliseringslag s 57 Laughlin.jpg|200px|thumb|right|A map from a 1929 Swedish royal commission report displays the U.S. states that had implemented sterilization legislation by then)Forced sterilization and forced abortion are forms of gender-based violence.WEB, EIGE, European Institute for Gender Equality, What is gender-based violence?,weblink, European Institute for Gender Equality, 24 August 2015, 18 November 2013, Forced sterilization has occurred throughout much of the world, both at the hands of the state and from intimate partners. Studies show forced sterilizations often target socially and politically disadvantaged groups such as racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and indigenous populations.JOURNAL, Volscho, Thomas W., Sterilization racism and pan-ethnic disparities of the past decade: the continued encroachment on reproductive rights, Wíčazo Å a Review, 25, 1, 17–31, Johns Hopkins University Press, 40891307, Spring 2010, harv, 10.1353/wic.0.0053, According to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, all "women are guaranteed the right to decide freely and responsibly on the number of and spacing of their children, and to have access to information, education, and means to enable them to exercise these rights."WEB, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,weblink United Nations General Assembly, 9 May 2016, In the United States, much of the history of forced sterilization is connected to the legacy of eugenics and racism in the United States. Many doctors thought that they were doing the country a service by sterilizing poor, disabled, and/or minority women, whom they considered a drain on the system.NEWS, Kessel, Michelle, Jessica, Hopper, Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and Blacks,weblink" title="">weblink 8 November 2011,weblink Rock Center with Brian Williams, NBC News, 7 November 2011, 9 May 2016, Native American, Mexican American, African American and Puerto Rican-American women were coerced into sterilization programs, with Native Americans and African Americans especially being targeted. Records have shown that Native American girls as young as eleven years-old had hysterectomy operations performed.JOURNAL, Vincenti Carpio, Myla, 2004, The Lost Generation: American Indian Women and Sterilization Abuse, Social Justice (journal), Social Justice, 31, 4, 40–53, In Europe, there have been a number of lawsuits and accusations towards the Czech Republic and Slovakia of sterilizing Roma women without adequate information and waiting period.BOOK, ERRC, Coercive and cruel – a report by the European Roma Rights Centre: Sterilisation and its consequences for Romani women in the Czech Republic (1966–2016),weblink European Roma Right Centre, Budapest, Hungary, November 2016, 9789638991638, In response, both nations have instituted a mandatory seven-day waiting period and written consent. Slovakia has been condemned on the issue of forced sterilization of Roma women several times by the European Court for Human Rights (see V. C. vs. Slovakia, N. B. vs. Slovakia and I.G. and Others vs. Slovakia).In Peru, in 1995, Alberto Fujimori launched a family planning initiative that especially targeted poor and indigenous women. In total, over 215,000 women were sterilized, with over 200,000 believed to have been coerced.JOURNAL, Boesten, Jelke, Free choice or poverty alleviation? Population politics in Peru under Alberto Fujimori, European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies ERLACS, 82, 82, 3–20, Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation [Centro de Estudios y Documentación Latinoamericanos] (CEDLA), 10.18352/erlacs.9637, 2007, harv, In 2002, Health Minister Fernando Carbone admitted that the government gave misleading information, offered food incentives, and threatened to fine parents if they had additional children. The procedures have also been found to have been negligent, with less than half using proper anesthetic.NEWS, Staff writer, Mass sterilisation scandal shocks Peru,weblink BBC News, 24 July 2002, 9 May 2016, In China, the one child policy included forced abortions and forced sterilization.Citations:
  • NEWS,weblink China: Mother of 2 dies after forced sterilization, Jackson, Allison, 9 April 2013, GlobalPost, 18 November 2013,
  • WEB,weblink Thousands at risk of forced sterilization in China, AI, Amnesty International, 22 April 2010, Amnesty International,weblink 29 May 2013, 18 November 2013,
  • NEWS,weblink China forced abortion photo sparks outrage, Staff writer, 14 June 2012, BBC News, 18 November 2013,
  • BOOK,weblink The Hidden Gulag, Hawk, David, 2012, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, 2nd, Washington DC, 793983613, 18 November 2013, Forced sterilization is also practiced in Uzbekistan.NEWS, Antelava, Natalia, Uzbekistan's policy of secretly sterilising women,weblink BBC World Service, 12 April 2012, 18 November 2013, AV MEDIA, Natalia Antelava (reporter) and Wesley Stephenson (producer), 18 November 2013, 16 April 2012, Forced sterilisation in Uzbekistan, Audio, 20:30, Crossing Continents, BBC Radio 4,weblink

Violence by the police and other authority figures

File:Taliban beating woman in public RAWA.jpg|right|thumb|250px|A member of the Taliban's religious police beating an Afghan woman in KabulKabulWhen police officers misuse their power as agents of the state to physically and sexually harass and assault victims, the survivors, including women, feel much less able to report the violence.COVERING 'TAINTED JUSTICE' AND WINNING A PULITZER > URL = HTTPS://WWW.NPR.ORG/TEMPLATES/STORY/STORY.PHP?STORYID=126386819 SERIESLINK = FRESH AIR TERRY GROSS > NETWORK = NPR WHYY-FM>WHYY AIRDATE = 3 MAY 2010 AUTHOR-LINK = JEANNIE SUK PUBLISHER = YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS YEAR = 2009 ISBN = 9780300172621, Government agencies often disregard the victim's right to Freedom of association#Intimate association with their perpetrator.HANNA TITLE = NO RIGHT TO CHOOSE: MANDATED VICTIM PARTICIPATION IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTIONS HARVARD LAW REVIEW > VOLUME = 109 PAGES = 1849–1910 DOI = 10.2307/1342079 SSRN = 1276830 REF = HARV, Women's shelter workers are often reduced themselves to contributing to violence against women by exploiting their vulnerability in exchange for a paying job.KOYAMA CHAPTER = DISLOYAL TO FEMINISM: ABUSE OF SURVIVORS WITHIN THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER SYSTEM EDITOR-LAST = INCITE! WOMEN OF COLOUR AGAINST VIOLENCE PUBLISHER = DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS YEAR = 2016, 9780822373445, Human rights violations perpetrated by police and military personnel in many countries are correlated with decreased access to public health services and increased practices of risky behavior among members of vulnerable groups, such as women and female sex workers.JOURNAL, Beletsky, Leo, etal, Mexico's northern border conflict: collateral damage to health and human rights of vulnerable groups, Pan American Journal of Public Health, 31, 5, 403–410, Pan American Health Organization, 10.1590/s1020-49892012000500008, 3660986, 22767041, May 2012, harv, These practices are especially widespread in settings with a weak rule of law and low levels of police and military management and professionalism. Police abuse in this context has been linked to a wide range of risky behaviors and health outcomes, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.Other citations:
  • JOURNAL, Strathdee, Steffanie A., etal, Social and structural factors associated with HIV infection among female sex workers who inject drugs in the Mexico-US border region, PLOS One, 6, 4, e19048, PLOS, 10.1371/journal.pone.0019048, 3081836, 21541349, 25 April 2011, harv, 2011PLoSO...619048S,
  • JOURNAL, Ramos, Rebeca, etal, A tale of two cities: social and environmental influences shaping risk factors and protective behaviors in two Mexico-US border cities, Health & Place, 15, 4, 999–1005, Elsevier, 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.04.004, 19464228, 2735581, December 2009, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Pollini, Robin A., etal, Syringe possession arrests are associated with receptive syringe sharing in two Mexico-US border cities, Addiction (journal), Addiction, 103, 1, 101–108, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02051.x, 18028520, 2214830, January 2008, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Pollini, Robin A., etal, High prevalence of abscesses and self-treatment among injection drug users in Tijuana, Mexico, International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 14, S3, e117–e122, Elsevier, 10.1016/j.ijid.2010.02.2238, 20381396, 2917477, September 2010, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Strathdee, Steffanie A., etal, Individual, social, and environmental influences associated with HIV infection among injection drug users in Tijuana, Mexico, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 47, 3, 369–376, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, LWW, 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318160d5ae, 2752692, 18176320, 1 March 2008, harv,
  • BOOK, Raj, Anita, Gupta, Jhumka, Silverman, Jay G., Women, migration, conflict and risk for HIV,weblink Forbes Martin, Susan, Tirman, John, Women, migration, and conflict: breaking a deadly cycle, 107, Springer, Dordrecht, 2009, 9789048128242, Extortion of sexual services and police sexual abuse have been linked to a decrease in condom use and an elevated risk of STI and HIV infections among vulnerable groups.JOURNAL, Blankenship, Kim M., Koester, Stephen, Criminal law, policing policy, and HIV risk in female street sex workers and injection drug users, The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 30, 4, 548–559, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2002.tb00425.x, 12561263, December 2002, harv,

Stoning and flogging

Stoning, or lapidation, refers to a form of capital punishment whereby an organized group throws stones at an individual until the person dies. Stoning is a punishment that is included in the laws of several countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and some states in Nigeria, as punishment for adultery.NEWS, Batha, Emma, FACTBOX: Stoning - where does it happen?, Thomson Reuters Foundation News,weblink" title="">weblinkitem/20130927165059-w9g0i, 25 January 2016,, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 29 September 2013, 19 November 2013, Flogging or flagellation is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. It is a judicial punishment in various countries for specific crimes, including sex outside marriage. These punishments employed for sexual relations outside marriage, apart from constituting a form of violence in themselves, can also deter victims of sexual violence from reporting the crime, because the victims may themselves be punished (if they cannot prove their case, if they are deemed to have been in the company of an unrelated male, or if they were unmarried and not virgins at the time of the rape).NEWS, Lang, Olivia, Maldives girl to get 100 lashes for pre-marital sex,, BBC News, 26 February 2013, 19 November 2013, NEWS, Jamali, Hasan,weblink Rape case brings Saudi laws into focus, Today (U.S. TV program), Today, NBC, 19 November 2013, dead,weblink 14 September 2013, dmy-all,

Female genital mutilation

(File:Fgm map.gif|thumb|250px|Map showing the prevalence of FGM in Africa)File:FGM road sign, Bakau, Gambia, 2005.jpg|thumb|250 px|Anti-FGMFGMFemale genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, Female genital mutilation (factsheet),weblink World Health Organization, June 2000, 18 November 2013, According to a 2013 UNICEF report, 125 million women and girls in Africa and the Middle East have experienced FGM.BOOK, UNICEF, UNICEF, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change,weblink UNICEF, 22 July 2013, 18 November 2013, The WHO states: "The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women" and "Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths" and "FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women." According to a UNICEF report, the top rates for FGM are in Somalia (with 98 percent of women affected), Guinea (96 percent), Djibouti (93 percent), Egypt (91 percent), Eritrea (89 percent), Mali (89 percent), Sierra Leone (88 percent), Sudan (88 percent), Gambia (76 percent), Burkina Faso (76 percent), Ethiopia (74 percent), Mauritania (69 percent), Liberia (66 percent), and Guinea-Bissau (50 percent).According to some local practitioners, it is believed that FGM is linked to cultural rites and customs. It is considered to be a traditional practice that continues to take place in different communities/countries of Africa and Middle East, including in places where it is banned by national legislation. FGM is defined as a "harmful traditional practice"JOURNAL, Shell-Duncan, Bettina, From health to human rights: female genital cutting and the politics of intervention, American Anthropologist, 110, 2, 225–236, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1548-1433.2008.00028.x, June 2008, harv, in accordance to the Inter-African Committee. Due to globalization and immigration, FGM is spreading beyond the borders of Africa and Middle East, to countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, the U.S., and UK.BOOK, Nussbaum, Martha, Martha Nussbaum, Judging other cultures: the case of genital mutilation,weblink Nussbaum, Martha, Martha Nussbaum, Sex & social justice, 120–121, Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, 978-0195110326, registration,weblink Although FGM is today associated with developing countries, this practice was common until the 1970s in parts of the Western world, too. FGM was considered a standard medical procedure in the United States for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.JOURNAL, Webber, Sara, Schonfeld, Toby L., 2003-06-27, Cutting History, Cutting Culture: Female Circumcision in the United States,weblink The American Journal of Bioethics, 3, 2, 65–66, 1536-0075, 10.1162/152651603766436324, 12859826, Physicians performed surgeries of varying invasiveness to treat a number of diagnoses, including hysteria, depression, nymphomania, and frigidity. The medicalization of FGM in the United States allowed these practices to continue until the second part of the 20th century, with some procedures covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance until 1977.BOOK,weblink Women in Developing Countries: A Reference Handbook, Kinnear, Karen L., 2011, ABC-CLIO, 9781598844252, en, The Istanbul Convention prohibits female genital mutilation (Article 38).BOOK, Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,weblink 12 April 2011, 8 October 2017, As of 2016, in Africa, FGM has been legally banned in Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.Citations: There exist several approaches that were set up by international health organizations and civil societies (for example, Tostan) aimed at eliminating the practice of FGM in implemented countries:
  1. FGM as a Health issue (also known as health risks approach)
  2. FGM as a Human Rights issue (also known as Human Rights-based approach)
Some scholars suggests that, when dealing with FGM, it is necessary to take lessons from history, particularly 19th-century campaign against foot-binding in China,NEWS, Appiah, Kwame Anthony, Kwame Anthony Appiah, The art of social change,weblink The New York Times, 22 October 2010, 2 December 2013, which was successful.

Breast ironing

Breast ironing (also known as "breast flattening") is the practice of pounding and massaging the breasts of a pubescent girl, using hard or heated objects, in an attempt to try to make them stop developing or disappear.BOOK, Tapscott, Rebecca, Understanding breast "ironing": a study of the methods, motivations, and outcomes of breast flattening practices in Cameroon,weblink Feinstein International Center, 14 May 2012, 25 January 2014, NEWS, Sa'ah, Randy Joe,weblink BBC News, Cameroon girls battle 'breast ironing', 23 June 2006, 25 January 2014, NEWS, Penney, Joe,weblink Reuters, Breast ironing, 27 January 2014, 25 January 2014, It is typically carried out by the girl's mother, with the aim of making the girl less sexually attractive to men and boys, so that her virginity is preserved and she can continue her education.BOOK, Ngunshi, Rosaline, Breast ironing: a harmful practice that has been silenced for too long,weblink Gender Empowerment and Development (GeED), 24 August 2011, It is practiced primarily in Cameroon, but has also been reported across other areas in West and Central Africa.NEWS, Mabuse, Nkepile, Breast ironing tradition targeted in Cameroon,weblink CNN, 28 July 2011, 25 January 2014, Breast ironing is very painful and can have negative emotional and physical consequences.

Obstetric violence

{{See|Abuse during childbirth}}"Obstetric violence" refers to acts categorized as physically or psychologically violent in the context of labor and birth. In most developed and many developing countries, birth takes place in an increasingly medicalized environment; with numerous surgical interventions that the pregnant woman can sometimes be coerced into accepting, or which are done without her consent, or which are unnecessary.JOURNAL, Habek, Dubravko, Vuković Bobić, Mirna, Hrgović, Zlatko, Possible feto-maternal clinical risk of the Kristeller's expression, Central European Journal of Medicine, 3, 2, 3–6, Walter de Gruyter, 10.2478/s11536-008-0008-z, 2008, harv, BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, Care in normal birth: a practical guide, WHO/FRH/MSM/96.24,weblink World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, Safe Motherhood Practical Guide, 1996, 2 December 2013, Pdf.
Also as: * JOURNAL, Technical Working Group, World Health Organization, World Health Organization, Care in normal birth: a practical guide, Birth (journal), Birth, 24, 2, 121–123, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1997.00121.pp.x, June 1997, harv,
Many such practices originate in patriarchal ideologies. The WHO stated: "in normal birth, there should be a valid reason to interfere with the natural process. The aim of care is to achieve a healthy mother and child with the least possible level of intervention compatible with safety."JOURNAL, Dobbeleir, Julie M.L.C.L., Landuyt, Koenraad Van, Monstrey, Stan J., Aesthetic surgery of the female genitalia, Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 25, 2, 130–141, Thieme Medical Publishers, Thieme, 10.1055/s-0031-1281482, 3312147, May 2011, harv, 22547970, The term "obstetric violence" is particularly used in Latin American countries, where the law prohibits such behavior. Such laws exist in several countries, including Argentina, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.WEB, WHO, World Health Organization, Sexual and reproductive health: Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth,weblink, World Health Organization, 2015, 21 October 2017,
See also: * BOOK, WHO, World Health Organization, WHO statement: The prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth, WHO/RHR/14.23,weblink World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, Human Reproduction Programme (HRP), 2015,

Violence against indigenous women

Indigenous women around the world are often targets of sexual assault or physical violence. Many indigenous communities are rural, with few resources and little help from the government or non-state actors. These groups also often have strained relationships with law enforcement, making prosecution difficult. Many indigenous societies also find themselves at the center of land disputes between nations and ethnic groups, often resulting in these communities bearing the brunt of national and ethnic conflicts.BOOK, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, ILO, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children (OSRSG/VAC), United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, UN Women, International Labour Organization, Breaking the silence on violence against indigenous girls, adolescents and young women: A call to action based on an overview of existing evidence from Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America,weblink UNICEF, May 2013, 10 May 2016, Pdf.Violence against indigenous women is often perpetrated by the state, such as in Peru, in the 1990s. President Alberto Fujimori (in office from 1990 to 2000) has been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity as a result of a forced sterilization program put in place by his administration.NEWS, Staff writer, Mass sterilization scandal shocks Peru,weblink BBC News, 24 July 2002, 30 April 2006, During his presidency, Fujimori put in place a program of forced sterilizations against indigenous people (mainly the Quechuas and the Aymaras), in the name of a "public health plan", presented 28 July 1995.Bolivia has the highest rate of domestic violence in Latin America.NEWS, Dhillon, Jaskiran, Allooloo, Siku, Violence against indigenous women is woven into Canada's history,weblink The Guardian, 14 December 2015, 9 May 2016, NEWS, Shiriari, Sara, Bolivia struggles with gender-based violence,weblink Al Jazeera America, 30 April 2015, 9 May 2016, Indigenous women self-report physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner at rates of twenty-nine percent, in comparison to the national average of twenty four percent.REPORT, UN, United Nations, Thematic paper on the elimination and responses to violence, exploitation and abuse of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women,weblink Inter-agency Support Group on Indigenous Peoples' Issues, June 2014, 9 May 2016, Bolivia is largely indigenous in its ethnic demographics, and Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani women have been monumental in the nation's fight against violence against women.NEWS, Staff writer, Bolivian women battle against culture of harassment,weblink BBC News, 12 March 2014, 10 May 2016, NEWS, Shahriari, Sara, Combating violence against women in Bolivia,weblink Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, 6 March 2015, 10 May 2016, Guatemalan indigenous women have also faced extensive violence. Throughout over three decades of conflict, Maya women and girls have continued to be targeted. The Commission for Historical Clarification found that 88% of women affected by state-sponsored rape and sexual violence against women were indigenous.The concept of white dominion over indigenous women's bodies has been rooted in American history since the beginning of colonization. The theory of manifest destiny went beyond simple land extension and into the belief that European settlers had the right to exploit Native women's bodies as a method of taming and "humanizing" them.JOURNAL, Roe, Bubar, Jumper Thurman, Pamela, Violence against native women, Social Justice, 31, 4 [98], 70–86, 29768276, 2004,weblink harv, JOURNAL, Ramirez, Renya, Healing, violence, and Native American women, Social Justice, 31, 4 [98], 103–116, 29768279, 2004,weblink harv, Canada has an extensive problem with violence against indigenous women, by both indigenous men and non-aboriginals. "[I]t has been consistently found that Aboriginal women have a higher likelihood of being victimized compared to the rest of the female population."BOOK, Sinha, Maire, Measuring violence against women: statistical trends 2006 (85-570-XWE), 19, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Juristat,weblink 2006,
Citing: * BOOK, Brennan, Shannon, Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Juristat,weblink 2011, Catalogue no. 85-002. * BOOK, Perreault, Samuel, Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Juristat,weblink 2011, Catalogue no. 85-002. While Canadian national averages of violence against women are falling, they have remained the same for aboriginal communities throughout the years. The history of residential schools and economic inequality of indigenous Canadians has resulted in communities facing violence, unemployment, drug use, alcoholism, political corruption, and high rates of suicide. In addition, there has been clear and admitted racism towards indigenous people by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, making victims less likely to report cases of domestic violence.NEWS, Jackson, Kenneth, Top Mountie Admits Racism in Ranks towards Indigenous People, Aboriginal People's Television Network, 9 December 2015,weblink 9 May 2016,
Many of the issues facing indigenous women in Canada have been addressed via the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) initiatives. Thousands of Native Canadian women have gone missing or been killed in the past 30 years, with little representation or attention from the government. Efforts to make the Canadian public aware of these women's disappearances have mostly been led by Aboriginal communities, who often reached across provinces to support one another. In 2015, prime minister Stephen Harper commented that the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women was "not high on our radar",NEWS, Full Text of Peter Mansbridge's interview with Stephen Harper, CBC News,weblink 7 September 2015, 9 May 2016, prompting outrage in already frustrated indigenous communities. A few months later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched an official inquiry into the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.In the United States, Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic. One in three Native women is sexually assaulted during her life, and over 85% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives.NEWS, Chekuru, Kavitha, Sexual violence scars Native American Women,weblink Al Jazeera, 6 March 2013, 9 May 2016, The disproportionate rate of assault to indigenous women is due to a variety of causes, including but not limited to the legal inability of tribes to prosecute perpetrators who are not tribal members. Tribes currently cannot exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-Natives. In theory, tribes can send cases to the federal level in order to prosecute non-Natives, but the majority of these cases are thrown out.BOOK, Bachman, Ronet, Zaykowski, Heather, Kallmyer, Rachel, Poteyeva, Margarita, Lanier, Christina, Violence against American Indian and Alaska native women and the criminal justice response: what is known, National Institute of Justice,weblink August 2008, 10 May 2016, {{NCJ|245615}} Pdf. As a result of this, many reservations have become popular destinations for rapists and serial killers.NEWS, Gettys, Travis, Outsiders have been raping Native American women with 'impunity' — but legal loophole may finally close,weblink The Raw Story, 6 April 2015, 10 May 2016, Multiple versions of the Violence Against Women Act have attempted to address this issue, but these sections have often been removed from official versions of the act. Although the 2013 version of the act does allow tribes to prosecute non-Natives for domestic violence and violating restraining orders, it does not allow prosecution of perpetrators of incidents not included in a bought of domestic violence.WEB, Introduction to the Violence Against Women Act (The Violence Against Women Act – Title IX: Safety for Indian Women),weblink, Tribal Law and Policy Institute, Tribal Court Clearinghouse, March 2013, 10 May 2016,

Violence against immigrant and refugee women

Immigrant and refugee women often face violence, both in the private sphere (by partners and other family members) and in the public sphere (by the police and other authorities). These women are often in a vulnerable position: they do not speak the language of the country they are in, they do not know its laws, and sometimes they are in a legal position where they may be deported if they make contact with the authorities. Women who seek protection from armed conflict in their countries of origin often face more violence while travelling to the destination country or when they arrive there.JOURNAL, Freedman, Jane, Sexual and gender-based violence against refugee women: a hidden aspect of the refugee "crisis", Reproductive Health Matters, 24, 47, 18–26, Taylor and Francis, 10.1016/j.rhm.2016.05.003, 27578335, 2017, harv,weblink JOURNAL, Robbers, Gianna, Gunta, Lazdane, Dinesh, Sethi, Sexual violence against refugee women on the move to and within Europe, Entre Nous, 84, 26–29, WHO/Europe, 2016,weblink harv, Pdf.

Violence against trans women

{{See also|Violence against LGBT people}}Trans women are at higher risk of experiencing violence than cisgender women.REPORT,weblink APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women, 2018, American Psychological Association, 11, Transgender women are at a notably higher risk of violence than their cisgender counterparts...especially transgender women of color, Trans women commonly experience intimate partner violence, with one study finding that 31.1% of trans people experience it, and another finding that half of all trans women experience it.JOURNAL, Brown, Taylor N.T., Herman, Jody L., 2015, Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Abuse Among LGBT People: A Review of Existing Research,weblink The Williams Institute: UCLA School of Law, JOURNAL, Langenderfer-Magruder, Lisa, 2016, Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Subsequent Police Reporting Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Adults in Colorado: Comparing Rates of Cisgender and Transgender Victimization, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31, 5, 855–871, 10.1177/0886260514556767, 1552-6518, 25392392, JOURNAL, Risser, Jan M. H., 2005-10-11, Sex, Drugs, Violence, and HIV Status Among Male-to-Female Transgender Persons in Houston, Texas, International Journal of Transgenderism, 8, 2–3, 67–74, 10.1300/J485v08n02_07, 1553-2739, Trans women also often face abuse by police, and transgender sex workers often face violence from clients.WEB,weblink Transgender people, World Health Organization, 2019-08-10, Trans survivors of violence can have a harder time finding domestic violence shelters, as some shelters only accept cisgender women.JOURNAL,weblink Are Women's Spaces Transgender Spaces? Single-Sex Domestic Violence Shelters, Transgender Inclusion, and the Equal Protection Clause, Apsani, Rishita, 2018-10-01, California Law Review, 1689, 10.15779/Z38125Q91G, 2019-08-10, In 2018, more than two dozen transgender people were violently killed in the United States, most of them women of color.WEB,weblink Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2019, Human Rights Campaign, en, WEB,weblink Killings of transgender people in the US saw another high year, Christensen, Jen, CNN, 2019-08-10,


Sport-related violence against women refers to any physical, sexual, mental acts that are "perpetrated by both male athletes and by male fans or consumers of sport and sporting events, as well as by coaches of female athletes".BOOK, Palmer, Catherine, Violence against women and sport: Literature review, 2011, Durham University, London, 2–5,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 November 2014, dmy-all, The documenting reports and literature suggest that there are obvious connections between contemporary sport and violence against women. Such events as the 2010 World Cup, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games "have highlighted the connections between sports spectatorship and intimate partner violence, and the need for police, authorities and services to be aware of this when planning sporting events".Sport-related violence can occur in various contexts and places, including homes, pubs, clubs, hotel rooms, the streets.

Sport-related violence by male college athletes

Violence against women is a topic of concern in the United States' collegiate athletic community. From the 2010 UVA lacrosse murder, in which a male athlete was charged guilty with second degree murder of his girlfriend, to the 2004 University of Colorado Football Scandal when players were charged with nine alleged sexual assaults,NEWS, Vaughan, Kevin, Colorado woman seeks justice in alleged sexual assault Read more: Colorado woman seeks justice in alleged sexual assault,weblink The Denver Post, 9 June 2009, 17 April 2012, studies suggest that athletes are at higher risk for committing sexual assault against women than the average student.WEB, Brady, Jeff, Jeff Brady (reporter), Scandal Returns to University of Colorado Football,weblink Weekend Edition, NPR, 12 March 2012, JOURNAL, Chandler, Steve B., Johnson, Dewayne J., Carroll, Pamela S., Abusive behaviors of college athletes, College Student Journal, 33, 4, 638–645, University of South Alabama, 1 December 1999, harv, 193500507, It is reported that one in three college assaults are committed by athletes.JOURNAL, Mak, Stephanie, Are athletes more abusive than the rest of the student population?,weblink Hopkins Undergraduate Research Journal Online, 12 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 February 2012, 2004, dmy-all, Surveys suggest that male student athletes who represent 3.3% of the college population, commit 19% of reported sexual assaults and 35% of domestic violence.WEB, Staff writer, Game stats, The National Coalition Against Violent Athletes (NCVA), 27 December 2017, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 November 2016,weblink dmy-all,
Citing: * JOURNAL, Crosset, Todd W., Benedict, Jeffrey R., McDonald, Mark A., Male student-athletes and violence against women: a survey of campus judicial affairs offices, Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 19, 2, 126–140, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1177/019372395019002002, May 1995, harv, * JOURNAL, Crosset, Todd W., Ptacek, James, McDonald, Mark A., Benedict, Jeffrey R., Male student-athletes and violence against women: a survey of campus judicial affairs offices, Violence Against Women (journal), Violence Against Women, 2, 2, 163–179, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1177/1077801296002002004, 12295457, June 1996, harv,
See also: * BOOK, Benedict, Jeff, Keteyian, Armen, The system: the glory and scandal of big-time college football, Doubleday, New York, 2013,weblink 9780345803030, The theories that surround these statistics range from misrepresentation of the student-athlete to an unhealthy mentality towards women within the team itself.

Controversy over contributing factors

Sociologist Timothy Curry, after conducting an observational analysis of two big time sports' locker room conversations, deduced that the high risk of male student athletes for gender abuse is a result of the team's subculture.JOURNAL, Curry, Timothy Jon, Fraternal Bonding in the Locker Room: A Profeminist Analysis Of Talk About Competition And Women, Sociology of Sport Journal, 1991, 8, 2, 119–135,weblink 12 March 2012, 10.1123/ssj.8.2.119, He states, "Their locker room talk generally treated women as objects, encouraged sexist attitudes toward women and, in its extreme, promoted rape culture." He proposes that this objectification is a way for the male to reaffirm his heterosexual status and hyper-masculinity. Claims have been made that the atmosphere changes when an outsider (especially women) intrude in the locker room. In the wake of the reporter Lisa Olson being harassed by a Patriots player in the locker room in 1990, she reflected, "We are taught to think we must have done something wrong and it took me a while to realize I hadn't done anything wrong."JOURNAL, Disch, Lisa, Kane, Mary Jo, When a Looker is Really a Bitch: Lisa Olson, Sport, and the Heterosexual Matrix, Signs, Winter 1996, 21, 2, 278–308, 3175065, 10.1086/495067, Other female sports reporters (college and professional) have claimed that they often brush off the players' comments, which leads to further objectification. Other sociologists challenge this claim. Steve Chandler notes that because of their celebrity status on campus, "athletes are more likely to be scrutinized or falsely accused than non-athletes." Another contender, Stephanie Mak, notes that, "if one considers the 1998 estimates that about three million women were battered and almost one million raped, the proportion of incidences that involve athletes in comparison to the regular population is relatively small."

Response to violence by male college athletes

In response to the proposed link between college athletes and gender-based violence, and media coverage holding Universities as responsible for these scandals more universities are requiring athletes to attend workshops that promote awareness. For example, St. John's University holds sexual assault awareness classes in the fall for its incoming student athletes.NEWS, Newsom, John, Share on emailShare on redditMore Sharing Services Few Colleges Tackle Issue of Athlete Sex Assaults,weblink Los Angeles Times Online, 22 March 1992, 12 March 2012, Other groups, such as the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, have formed to provide support for the victims as their mission statement reads, "The NCAVA works to eliminate off the field violence by athletes through the implementation of prevention methods that recognize and promote the positive leadership potential of athletes within their communities. In order to eliminate violence, the NCAVA is dedicated to empowering individuals affected by athlete violence through comprehensive services including advocacy, education and counseling."WEB, Mission,weblink National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, 12 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 April 2012, dmy-all,


Cyberbullying is a form of intimidation using electronic forms of contact. In the 21st century, cyberbullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers in Western countries.JOURNAL, Smith, Peter K., Mahdavi, Jess, Carvalho, Manuel, Fisher, Sonja, Russell, Shanette, Tippett, Neil, Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49, 4, 376–385, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01846.x, 18363945, 2008, harv, On 24 September 2015, the United Nations Broadband Commission released a report that claimed that almost 75% percent of women online have encountered harassment and threats of violence, otherwise known as cyber violence.WEB,weblink cyber violence report press release, UN Women, 2016-04-03, Misogynistic rhetoric is prevalent online, and the public debate over gender-based attacks has increased significantly, leading to calls for policy interventions and better responses by social networks like Facebook and Twitter.JOURNAL, Jane, Emma Alice, 'Back to the kitchen, cunt': speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny, (Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies), 28, 4, 558–570, Taylor and Francis, 10.1080/10304312.2014.924479, 2014, harv, JOURNAL, Filipovic, Jill, Blogging while female: how internet misogyny parallels real-world harassment, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 19, 2, 295–303, Yale Law School, 2007,weblink harv, Pdf.


(File:A Russian poster urging open your eyes - against women being abused.jpg|thumb|250px|A Russian poster urging people to open their eyes about domestic violence against women)File:MintoParkMemorial.JPG|thumb|left|Memorial in Minto Park, Ottawa, of the victims of the École Polytechnique massacreÉcole Polytechnique massacre

Background and history

Activism refers to "a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue".WEB,weblink Activism (definition),, Merriam-Webster, 1 December 2013, In the activism for violence against women, the objectives are to address and draw public attention on the issues of VAW as well as seek and recommend measures to prevent and eliminate this violence.JOURNAL, Youngs, Gillian, Private pain/public peace: women's rights as human rights and Amnesty International's report on violence against women, Signs (journal), Signs, 28, 4, 1209–1229, University of Chicago Press, 10.1086/368325, 10.1086/368325, Summer 2003, harv, Many scholarly articles suggest that the VAW is considered as a violation of human rightsJOURNAL, Htun, Mala, Weldon, S. Laurel, The civic origins of progressive policy change: combating violence against women in global perspective, 1975–2005, American Political Science Review, 106, 3, 548–569, Cambridge University Press, 10.1017/S0003055412000226, 23275433, August 2012, harv, weblink" title="">Pdf.JOURNAL, Carraway, G. Chezia, Violence against women of color, Stanford Law Review, 43, 6, 1301–1309, Stanford Law School, 10.2307/1229040, 1229040, July 1991, harv, JOURNAL, Robinson, Nancy P., Origins of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: The Caribbean contribution, Caribbean Studies (UPR), Caribbean Studies, 34, 2, 141–161, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, UPR, Rio Piedras Campus, 25613539, July–December 2006, harv, as well as "public health issue".JOURNAL, Michau, Lori, Approaching old problems in new ways: community mobilisation as a primary prevention strategy to combat violence against women, Gender & Development, 15, 1, 95–109, Taylor and Francis, 10.1080/13552070601179144, 20461184, March 2007, harv, In order to better comprehend the anti-violence movements against VAW, there is a need to also understand the generic historical background of feminist movements in a holistic manner. Talking about the international women's movement, many feminist scholars have categorized these movements into three wavesBOOK, Kroløkke, Charlotte, Sørensen, Ann Scott, Three waves of feminism: from suffragettes to grrls,weblink Kroløkke, Charlotte, Sørensen, Ann Scott, Gender communication theories & analyses: from silence to performance, 1–23, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, 2006, 9780761929185, harv, according to their different beliefs, strategies and goals.JOURNAL, Rupp, Leila J., Taylor, Verta, Forging feminist identity in an international movement: a collective identity approach to twentieth-century feminism, Signs (journal), Signs, 24, 2, 363–386, University of Chicago Press, 10.1086/495344, 3175646, Winter 1999, harv, The emergence of the first women's movements, or so called the first wave of feminism, dated back in the years the late 19th Century and early 20th Century in the United States and Europe. During this period, feminist movements developed from the context of industrialization and liberal politics that triggered the rise of feminist groups concerned with gaining equal access and opportunity for women.{{rp|1}} This wave marks a period of "suffrage, independence, rights to nationality, work and equal pay" for women.BOOK, Prügl, Elisabeth (Lecturer), Violence Against Women. Gender and International Affairs Class 2013,weblink Geneva, Switzerland, Lecture conducted from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), 2 December 2013, The second wave of feminist movements was the series of movements from the period of the late 1960s to early 1970s. It was noted by feminist scholars that this wave could be characterized as a period of women's liberation and the rise of a branch of feminism known as radical feminism.{{rp|7–8}} This wave of feminism emerged in the context of the postwar period{{rp|8}} in society where other mainstream movements also played a large role; for instance, the civil rights movements, which meant to condemn capitalism, imperialism and the oppression of people based on the notions of race, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation.{{rp|9}} This wave marks a period of equal rights at home and workplace as well as rights to development for the purposes of people of different races, ethnicities, economic statuses and gender identities.The third wave of feminism is the newest wave of feminism led by young feminists whose understanding and context are of the globalized world order and the technological advances that have come with it. Also, this wave is a transition of the fall communism{{rp|17}} to more complex issues of new kinds of 'warfare'{{Clarify|reason=What does this mean by "warfare"? Also, this whole sentence is oddly worded but I don't understand what it's trying to say well enough to rewrite it.|date=November 2018}}, threats and violence. This new wave also "embraces ambiguity"{{rp|16}} and introduced a feminist approach of 'intersectionality' that includes the issues of race, gender, age, and class.{{rp|17}} Other than that, the third wave marks a period of feminism dealing with identity politics, body politics as well as the issues of violence.BOOK, Lind, Amy (Lecturer), Gender and International Affairs 2013: International Feminist Movements,weblink Geneva, Switzerland, Lecture conducted from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), 2 December 2013, File:Papua New Guinean children, men and women show their support for putting an end to violence against women during a White Ribbon Day march (21614943268).jpg|thumb|Papua New Guineans show their support for putting an end to violence against women during a White Ribbon Day march]]Nonetheless, the VAW movement was initiated in the 1970s where some feminist movements started to bring the discussion on the issue of violence into the feminist discourseBOOK, Eng, Phoebe, Phoebe Eng, Stopping the violence against women: the movement from intervention to prevention,weblink 2, Ms. Foundation for Women, New York, August 2005, A Safety Program Report, 3 December 2013, and that many other groups, on the national as well as international levels, had attempted to push for the betterment of women through lobbying of the state officials and delegates, demanding the conferences on 'gender issues' and thus made the VAW known to a wider range of population. Therefore, to put this into the theoretical context, VAW can be categorized along with the second and third waves of feminism which share a focus on violence.VAW activist movements come in many forms, operating at international, national, and local levels and utilizing different approaches based on health and human rights frameworks.JOURNAL, Miller, Alice M., Sexuality, violence against women, and human rights: women make demands and ladies get protection, Health and Human Rights, 7, 2, 16–47, Harvard University Press, 10.2307/4065347, 4065347, 2004, harv, The movements stemmed mostly from social movements and groups of women who see the need to create organizations to 'lobby' their governments to establish "sanctuaries, shelters" and provision of services that help protecting these victims, also called "battered women", from acts of violence. The term "battered women" was used in a number of VAW movements and had its root in the early stage of organizing efforts to tackle the problem of violence against women in many regions of the world such as Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin American and the Caribbean.{{rp|94}} The activist organizations against VAW, some with and the others without the support of their governments, attempted to develop "innovative efforts" to assist battered women by providing them services such as shelters and centers; drafting and lobbying governments to include the recognition and language of VAW into national legislations and international human rights instruments; advocating to raise the awareness of people via education and training sessions; forming national, regional as well as international networks to empower the movements; organizing demonstrations and gathering more efforts to end violent acts against women.{{rp|88–89}} In addition, many women's rights activist groups see the issue of violence against women as a central focus of their movements. Many of these groups take a human rights approach as the integral framework of their activism. These VAW movements also employ the idea that "women's rights are human rights", transform the concepts and ideas of human rights, which are mostly reckoned to be "Western concepts" and 'vernacularize them into the concepts that can be understood in their local institutions.JOURNAL, Merry, Sally Engle, Transnational human rights and local activism: mapping the middle, American Anthropologist, 108, 1, 38–51, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1525/aa.2006.108.1.38, March 2006, harv, {{rp|39}}

Levels of activist movements

(File:Girl_Summit_-_22nd_July_in_London_(14498368279).jpg|thumb|250px|Poster against child and forced marriage)File:Marcha_Ni_una_menos_1.JPG|thumb|250px|right|Mass protest against violence against women in Buenos AiresBuenos AiresOn the local or national level, the VAW movements are diverse and differ in their strategic program of intervention. The strategies used in a number of the movements focus on the individual level with the emphases on individuals, relationships and family. Also, many of them take the 'preventive' as an approach to tackle the issues on the ground by encouraging people to "reexamine their attitudes and beliefs" in order to trigger and create fundamental changes in these "deep-rooted beliefs and behaviors". Despite the fact that these strategies can be life changing, helpful to those who participate and feasible over a long time frame, the effects on societal level seem to be restricted and of minimal effects. In order to achieve the objectives of the movement, many activists and scholars argue that they have to initiate changes in cultural attitudes and norms on a communal level.JOURNAL, Heise, L., Gottemoeller, M., Ending violence against women, Population Reports, L, 11, 38, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Population and Information Program,weblink December 1999, An example of activism on the local level can be seen in South Africa. The movements of VAW in this context employ a strategy that is based on the 'prevention' approach, which is applicable on individual and societal levels: in families and communities. This movement encourages the individuals and small populations to rethink their attitudes and beliefs in order to create a possibility to alter these deep-rooted beliefs and behaviors, which lead to the acts of violence against women. Another example is the local level movement in East Africa that employs the prevention approach, which is applicable on a communal level. They call this a "raising voices" approach. This approach employs an 'ad hoc' framework that can be used alongside the individual approach where the strategy is to aggravate the status quo issues onto the individuals' and communities' perception and establish a common ground of interests for them to push for the movement, all in a short time period. In addition, on the domestic level, there seems to be many 'autonomous movements.' feminist movements (for VAW) can be understood as "a form of women's mobilization that is devoted to promoting women's status and well-being independently of political parties and other associations that do not have the status of women as their main concern".A number of regions of the world have come together to address violence against women. In South America, the Southern Cone Network Against Domestic Violence has worked extensively to address sexual and domestic violence since 1989. The Latin American and Caribbean Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, formed in 1990, includes representation from twenty-one different countries and has been instrumental in increasing the visibility of VAW.{{rp|88}} In September 1999, the Heads of States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met and drafted the "Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children", a document condemning violence against women and children, and resolved a set of 13 methods of addressing it, reaching into the legal; social, economic, cultural, and political; social service; and education, training, and awareness building sectors.JOURNAL, SADC, The prevention and eradication of violence against women and children, Review of African Political Economy, 26, 81, 415–417, Taylor and Francis, 10.1080/03056249908704404, 4006468, September 1999, harv, On the transnational or regional level, the anti-violence movements also deploy different strategies based on the specificities of their cultures and beliefs in their particular regions. On this level, the activist movements are known as "transnational feminist networks" or TFNs.{{rp|556}} The TFNs have a significant effect, like the autonomous movements on the national level, in shaping sets of policies as well pushing for the recognition and inclusion of language of VAW in the United Nations human rights mechanisms: the international human rights agreements. Their activities are ranging from lobbying the policy makers; organizing demonstrations on the local and regional levels; to creating institutional pressure that could push for changes in the international institutional measures.On an international level, the movements that advocate for women's rights and against VAW are the mixture of (civil society) actors from domestic and regional levels. The objectives of these VAW movements focus on "creating shared expectations" within the domestic and regional levels as well as "mobilizing numbers of domestic civil society" to create "standards in global civil society".{{rp|556}} The global women's movement works to transform numbers of international conventions and conferences to "a conference on women's rights" by pushing for a "stronger language and clearer recognition" of the VAW issues. In addition, the United Nations also plays a vital role in promoting and campaigning for the VAW movements on the international level. For instance, in 2008 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon initiated and launched a campaign called "UNiTE to End Violence against Women". This campaign "calls on governments, civil society, women's organizations, young people, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls".WEB, UNiTE, UNiTE to End Violence against Women,weblink" title="">weblink 20 December 2013,weblink Take action to Orange your day, UN Women, 2013, 20 December 2013, Moreover, this campaign also announces every 25th of the month to be "Orange Day" or "a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls".In conclusion, each level of activism is intertwined and has the common purpose to end violence against women. Activism on local levels can significantly affect national, transnational, and international levels as well. In a scholarly article on Combating Violence Against Women, the authors illustrated from their research analysis on how the norms of international society can shape and influence policy making on the domestic or national level and vice versa. They argue that there are three mechanisms which have effects on the making of national policies as well as global agreements and conventions: "1) the influence of global treaties and documents such as CEDAW on women's rights" - on the national policies "2) the influence of regional agreements on VAW (particularly after certain tipping points are reached)" - on both domestic policies and international conventions and "3) regional demonstration effects or pressure for conformity captured as diffusion within regions" - on the international norms and agreements.

Achievements of the VAW movements

On the global level:
  • The first major document that highlights the recognition of violence against women as a human rights violation: the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Vienna, 1993.BOOK, Brown Thompson, Karen, Women's rights are human rights, Khagram, Sanjeev, Riker, James V., Sikkink, Kathryn, Restructuring world politics: transnational social movements, networks, and norms, 96–122, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2002, 9780816639076, harv, BOOK, Elman, R. Amy, Sexual equality in an integrated Europe: virtual equality, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, Europe in Transition: the NYU European Studies Series, 2008, 9780230610071, JOURNAL, Weldon, S. Laurel, Inclusion, solidarity, and social movements: the global movement against gender violence, Perspectives on Politics, 4, 1, 55–74, Cambridge University Press, 10.1017/S1537592706060063, 3688626, March 2006, harv, It was a result of collective effort of global feminist movement to transform the Vienna conference from a general and mainstream human rights conference into the conference on women's rights. As before the other human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch did not focus on the issue of VAW and did not consider rape and domestic violence as violations of human rights despite of the fact that they also have agenda on women's rights.
  • The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in BeijingBOOK, UN, United Nations, Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,weblink United Nations, 1995, 16 December 2013, During the 4th Women Conference, VAW was emphasized and named as a critical concern. Also, the spillover effect was that this push highlighted the need for the development of "new international norms" that have often been used by activists and governments the proposition of legislation that provide other action to redress the acts of violence.BOOK, Fábián, Katalin, Domestic violence in postcommunist states: local activism, national policies, and global forces, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2010, 9780253222183,
  • Subsequently, the push from the global feminist movement also push for the fully incorporation of the VAW issues into the "Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women" or CEDAWBOOK, CEDAW, CEDAW, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,weblink United Nations, 31 December 2003, 19 December 2013, whereas the "original text of CEDAW in 1979 did not explicitly mention violence against women".{{rp|556}}
On the regional level:
  • Americas: the Inter-American Convention on Violence Against Women, which was formally announced and adopted by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1994, immediately after the Vienna Conference{{rp|557}}
  • Europe: The European Union (EU)'s initiatives to combat violence against women after the 1990s: the 1997 resolution calling for a zero tolerance: specifically on UN human rights instruments of CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration.
    • The Council of Europe also developed "a series of initiatives" related to the issue of VAW: "the 2000 resolution on trafficking, the 2003 resolution on domestic violence, and the 2004 resolution on honor crimes" as well as promoted "the 2002 recommendation on the protection of women against violence and established its monitoring framework".{{rp|557}}
  • Africa:
    • There emerged a series of regional meetings and agreements, which was triggered by the UN processes on the international level such as Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, 1985; the 1993 Kampala Prep Com; the 1994 Africa-wide UN women's conferenceBOOK, Tripp, Aili Mari, Casimiro, Isabel, Kwesiga, Joy, Mungwa, Alice, African women's movements: transforming political landscapes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge New York, 2009, 9780511479014, that led to the identification of VAW as a critical issue in the Southern African Women's Charter.{{rp|557}}

Access to justice for female victims of violence

International and regional instruments

Efforts to fight violence against women can take many forms and access to justice, or lack thereof, for such violence varies greatly depending on the justice system. International and regional instruments are increasingly used as the basis for national legislation and policies to eradicate violence against women.The Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Eradicate and Punish Violence Against Women – also known as the Belém do Parà Convention, for instance, has been applied by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in its first case of domestic violence to condemn Brazil in the Maria da Penha case. This led the Brazilian government to enact in 2006 the Maria da Penha Law, the country's first law against domestic violence against women.JOURNAL, Spieler, Paula, The Maria da Penha Case and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: contributions to the debate on domestic violence against women in Brazil, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 18, 1, 121–143, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Winter 2011,weblink harv, 10.2979/indjglolegstu.18.1.121, There is also, for instance, the South Asian Agreement on Regional Cooperation's (SAARC) Protocol to End Trafficking in Women and Children.

Examples of measures put in place

As violence is often committed by a family member, women first started by lobbying their governments to set up shelters for domestic violence survivors. The Julia Burgos Protected House established in Puerto Rico in 1979 was the first shelter in Latin America and the Caribbean for "battered women". In 2003, 18 out of the 20 countries in the region had legislation on domestic or family violence, and 11 countries addressed sexual violence in their laws. Legislative measures to protect victims can include restraining orders, which can be found in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Venezuela, Turkey, the United States and many western European countries for instance.Courts can also be allowed by law (Germany, 2001) to order the perpetrator to leave the home so that victims do not have to seek shelter. Countries were urged to repeal discriminatory legislation by 2005 following the review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 2000. Egypt, for instance, abolished a law that exempted men from rape charges when marrying their victims. However, the goal of antiviolence legislation is often to keep the families together, regardless of the best interests of women, which perpetuate domestic violence.Innovative measures have been pioneered in a number of countries to end violence against women. In Brazil and Jordan, women's police stations have been introduced, and one-stop women's shelters were created in Malaysia and Nicaragua.Marital rape has been illegal in every American state and the District of Columbia since 1993, but is rarely prosecuted in America.WEB, Marital rape,weblink" title="">weblink 1 December 2013,weblink, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 8 December 2013, In 2013 the UN General Assembly passed its first resolution calling for the protection of defenders of women's human rights. The resolution urges states to put in place gender-specific laws and policies for the protection of women's human rights defenders and to ensure that defenders themselves are involved in the design and implementation of these measures, and calls on states to protect women's human rights defenders from reprisals for cooperating with the UN and to ensure their unhindered access to and communication with international human rights bodies and mechanisms.

Challenges faced by women in accessing justice and limitations of measures

There can be a de jure or de facto acceptance of violent behaviors and lack of remedies for victims.
  • Lack of criminalization: in many places, acts of abuse, especially acts such as female genital mutilation, marital rape, forced marriage and child marriage, are not criminalized, or are illegal but widely tolerated, with the laws against them being rarely enforced. There are instances where crimes against women are also categorized as minor offenses.
  • Lack of awareness of the existing laws: in many places, although there are laws against violence on the books, many women do not know of their existence. This is especially the case with marital rape - its criminalization being very recent in most countries.Citations:
  • BOOK, AI, Amnesty International, Hungary – Cries unheard: The failure to protect women from rape and sexual violence in the home,weblink 12 December 2013, PDF, EUR 27/002/2007, Amnesty International,
  • NEWS, Staff writer, Hungary law 'fails rape victims',weblink BBC News, 10 May 2007, 12 December 2013,
  • NEWS, Moy, Patsy,weblink Publicity urged for law on marital rape, South China Morning Post, 23 November 2003, 12 December 2013,
  • Challenges in making a case in court: the burden of proof can be placed on the victim. For instance in the Philippines, before a change in law in 1997, rape used to be described as a crime against chastity; and virginity played an important role in court. In various countries, such as Bangladesh, a woman's past sexual experience continues to be very important in a case of rape. Bangladesh has received criticism for its employment of the "two-finger test" in rape investigations. This test consists in a physical examination of women who report rape during which a doctor inserts two fingers in the woman's vagina to determine whether the woman is "habituated to sex". This examination has its origin in the country's British colonial-era laws dating back to 1872. This deters many women from reporting rape. More than 100 experts, including doctors, lawyers, police, and women's rights activists had signed a joint statement in 2013 asking for the test, which they called "demeaning", to be abolished, as it "does not provide any evidence that is relevant to proving the offence". This test is also performed in several other countries in the region, including India.Citations:
  • BOOK, Press release, 100 experts demand change in medical evidence laws and justice for rape victims,weblink Bangladesh Legal Aid Services Trust, 2 February 2013, 4 April 2016,
  • NEWS, Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse, Bangladesh activists urge ban on rape victim 'finger test',weblink NDTV, 4 February 2013, 4 April 2016,
  • NEWS, Park, Madison,weblink Activists: Get rid of 'degrading' parts of India's sexual assault exam, CNN, 5 February 2013, 4 April 2016, It can also be difficult to make a case of sexual assault in court, when members of the judiciary expect evidence of severe struggle and injury as determinative evidence of non-consent. On the other hand, there are measures, such as the 2012 law in Brazil, that allow for cases to be filed even without the representation of the victim.
  • Existing laws are insufficient, conflicting, and have no effect in practice: some laws on domestic violence, for instance, conflict with other provisions and ultimately contradict their goals. Legal frameworks can also be flawed when laws that integrate protection do so in isolation, notably in relation to immigration laws. Undocumented women in countries where they would have, in theory, access to justice, don't in practice for fear of being denounced and deported. The CEDAW Committee recommends that a State authority's obligation to report undocumented persons be repealed in national legislation.
  • The attitude of the police: women who report acts of violence most often come into contact first with police workers. Therefore, police attitudes are crucial in facilitating a sense of safety and comfort for women who have been victimized.JOURNAL, Logan, T. K., Shannon, Lisa, Walker, Robert, Police attitudes toward domestic violence offenders, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21, 10, 1365–1374, Sage Publications, Sage, 10.1177/0886260506291653, 16940401, October 2006, harv, When police officers have hostile attitudes towards victimized women, these women are prevented from obtaining justice.NEWS, Travis, Alan, Police treatment of domestic abuse victims to be investigated,weblink The Guardian, 17 May 2016, 21 October 2017, Recognizing these problems, some countries have enacted women's police station, which are police stations that specialize in certain crimes, such as sexual violence, harassment, domestic violence committed against women.
Measures to address violence against women range from access to legal-aid to the provision of shelters and hotlines for victims. Despite advances in legislation and policies, the lack of implementation of the measures put in place prevents significant progress in eradicating violence against women globally. This failure to apply existing laws and procedures is often due to the persisting issue of gender stereotyping.BOOK, CEDAW, CEDAW, General discussion on women and access to justice,weblink United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 18 February 2013, 12 December 2013,

Relation with marriage laws

(File:Marriage_is_no_excuse_for_rape.png|thumb|Sign against justification of violence in marriage) {{Further|Criticism of marriage|Sexism#Coverture_and_other_marriage_regulations}}The relation between violence against women and marriage laws, regulations and traditions has also been discussed.BOOK, Chambers, Clare, Recognizing marriage as a symbolic institution,weblink American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C., 1 September 2005, 12 December 2013, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.
For a later version of this paper see: * BOOK, Chambers, Clare, Feminism, liberalism and marriage (workshop),weblink Political Philosophy Workshop at Brown University, 10 April 2008, Word document.BOOK, Jeffreys, Sheila, Sheila Jeffreys, The industrial vagina: the political economy of the global sex trade,weblink Routledge, London New York, 2009, RIPE Series in Global Political Economy, 9780415412322, The US and English law subscribed until the 20th century to the system of coverture, that is, a legal doctrine under which, upon marriage, a woman's legal rights were subsumed by those of her husband.BOOK, Blackstone, William, William Blackstone, Husband and wife,weblink Commentaries on the laws of England (1765-1769), vol 1: Of the rights of persons, Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom New York, NY, 2016, 1765, 9780199600991, Today, outside the West, many countries severely restrict the rights of married women: for example, in Yemen, marriage regulations state that a wife must obey her husband and must not leave home without his permission.BOOK, AI, Amnesty International, Yemen's dark side: discrimination and violence against women and girls,weblink Amnesty International, MDE 31/014/2009, November 2009, 12 December 2013, In Iraq husbands have a legal right to "punish" their wives. The criminal code states at Paragraph 41 that there is no crime if an act is committed while exercising a legal right; examples of legal rights include: "The punishment of a wife by her husband, the disciplining by parents and teachers of children under their authority within certain limits prescribed by law or by custom".BOOK, Statutory notice: The [Iraqi] penal-code with amendments, STS 251/88,weblink" title="">weblink 21 October 2012,weblink Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 1969, 12 December 2013, In the West, married women faced discrimination until just a few decades ago: for instance, in France, married women received the right to work without their husband's permission in 1965.Citations:
  • JOURNAL, Allwood, Gill, Women in France,weblink Modern & Contemporary France, Taylor and Francis, 12 December 2013,
  • WEB,weblink France's leading women show the way,, Paris Voice, November 1997, 12 December 2013,
  • WEB,weblink "The Wife is Obliged": The French Civil Code (Napoleonic Code) 1800-1820, womeninworldhistory, Women in World History Curriculum, 12 December 2013, In Spain, during the Franco era, a married woman required her husband's consent (permiso marital) for nearly all economic activities, including employment, ownership of property and traveling away from home; the permiso marital was abolished in 1975.BOOK, Solsten, Eric, Meditz, Sandra W., Social values and attitudes,weblink Solsten, Eric, Meditz, Sandra W., Spain: a country study, Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, Washington, DC, 1988, 712557481, Concerns exist about violence related to marriage - both inside marriage (physical abuse, sexual violence, restriction of liberty) and in relation to marriage customs (dowry, bride price, forced marriage, child marriage, marriage by abduction, violence related to female premarital virginity). Claudia Card, professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes:JOURNAL, Card, Claudia, Against marriage and motherhood, (Hypatia (journal), Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy), 11, 3, 1–23, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1527-2001.1996.tb01013.x, 3810319, August 1996, harv, Pdf.

"The legal rights of access that married partners have to each other's persons, property, and lives makes it all but impossible for a spouse to defend herself (or himself), or to be protected against torture, rape, battery, stalking, mayhem, or murder by the other spouse... Legal marriage thus enlists state support for conditions conducive to murder and mayhem."

Istanbul Convention

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, is the first legally binding instrument in Europe in the field of domestic violence and violence against womenweblink and came into force in 2014.WEB, Bureau des Traités,weblink Liste complète,, 18 July 2016, Countries which ratify it must ensure that the forms of violence defined in its text are outlawed. In its Preamble, the Convention states that "the realisation of de jure and de facto equality between women and men is a key element in the prevention of violence against women". The Convention also provides a definition of domestic violence as "all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the victim".WEB,weblink Council of Europe – Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CETS No. 210),, 8 October 2015, Although it is a Convention of the Council of Europe, it is open to accession by any country.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 8 February 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 February 2015, dmy,

See also

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Further reading

  • JOURNAL, Almosaed, Nora, Violence against women: a cross‐cultural perspective, Institute of Muslim Minority AffairsJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 24, 1, 67–88, Taylor and Francis, 10.1080/1360200042000212124, 2004, harv,
  • NEWS, Appiah, Kwame Anthony, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Convincing other cultures to change, Big Think, 21 September 2010,weblink bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 12 December 2013, dmy-all,
  • JOURNAL, Bellemare, Marc F., Steinmetz, Tara L., All in the family: explaining the persistence of female genital cutting in the Gambia, Social Science Research Network, 10.2139/ssrn.2280086, 2280086, 17 June 2013,weblink harv, Pdf.
  • BOOK, Dobash, Russell P., Dobash, R. Emerson, Women, violence and social change, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, 2016, 9781138174023,
  • JOURNAL, Durham, Meenakshi G., Meenakshi Gigi Durham, "Vicious Assault Shakes Texas Town": the politics of gender violence in The New York Times' coverage of a schoolgirl's gang rape, Journalism Studies, 14, 1, 1–12, Taylor & Francis, 10.1080/1461670X.2012.657907, February 2013, harv,
  • BOOK, Heise, Lori L., Pitanguy, Jacqueline, Germain, Adrienne, Violence against women: the hidden health burden, World Bank, Washington, D.C, 1994, 9780821329801, Discussion Paper No. 255
  • JOURNAL, James, Stanlie M., Shades of othering: reflections on female circumcision/genital mutilation, (Signs (journal), Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society), 23, 4, 1031–1048, University of Chicago Press, 10.1086/495300, 3175202, Summer 1998, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Jones, Helen, Diop, Nafissatou, Askew, Ian, Kaboré, Inoussa, Female genital cutting practices in Burkina Faso and Mali and their negative health outcomes, Studies in Family Planning, 30, 3, 219–230, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.1111/j.1728-4465.1999.00219.x, September 1999, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Jones, Wanda K., Smith, Jack, Kieke, Jr., Burney, Wilcox, Lynne, Female genital mutilation/female circumcision: who is at risk in the US?, Public Health Reports, 112, 5, 368–377, 1381943, September 1997, harv, 9323387, Pdf.
  • JOURNAL, Kelly, Liz, Liz Kelly, Inside outsiders: Mainstreaming violence against women into human rights discourse and practice, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 7, 4, 471–495, Taylor and Francis, 10.1080/14616740500284391, December 2005, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Mackie, Gerry, Female genital cutting: a harmless practice?, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 17, 2, 135–158, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association, 10.1525/maq.2003.17.2.135, 3655332, June 2003, harv, Pdf.
  • JOURNAL, Shell-Duncan, Bettina, Herniund, Yiva, Are there "Stages of Change" in the practice of female genital cutting?: Qualitative research findings from Senegal and The Gambia, African Journal of Reproductive Health [La Revue Africaine de la Santé Reproductive], 10, 2, 57–71, Women's Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), 10.2307/30032459, 30032459, August 2006,weblink harv,
  • BOOK, Skaine, Rosemarie, Female genital mutilation: legal, cultural, and medical issues, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Caroline, 2005, 9780786421671,
  • BOOK, Wagner, Natascha, Why female genital cutting persist?, Working Paper, University of Rotterdam,weblink March 2013,
  • BOOK, True, Jacqui, The political economy of violence against women, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2012, 9780199755912,
  • JOURNAL, Wakabi, Wairagala, Africa battles to make female genital mutilation history, The Lancet, 369, 9567, 1069–1070, Elsevier, 17405200, 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60508-X, 31 March 2007, harv,
  • JOURNAL, Williams, Lindy, Sobieszczyk, Teresa, Attitudes surrounding the continuation of female circumcision in the Sudan: passing the tradition to the next generation, Journal of Marriage and Family, 59, 4, 966–981, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley, 10.2307/353796, 353796, November 1997, harv,

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