Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW)vFirst Policy Briefing Series

The Global Campaign is pleased to announce the publication of our first Policy Briefing Series on culturally-justified violence against women (CVAW). Launched on March 3rd, 2010 at our panel discussion at the 54th UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Series is a valuable resource for those working on issues of CVAW. Policy Briefing Series I includes the following titles:

  • No Justice in Justifications: Violence Against Women in the Name of Culture, Religion and Tradition
    Shaina GreiffThis paper gives a general overview of discourses on culture, tradition, and/or religion that are used to justify, and therefore perpetuate, specific manifestations of VAW in our focal countries, as well as local methods to counter such arguments. While recognising that culture and religion can be empowering for, and central to, both individual and collective identities, this article will look at the misuse of these discourses for the purpose of sanctioning impunity for perpetrators and silencing dissenters. This discussion concludes with recommendations for activists, scholars, and policy makers.
  • Stoning is Not our Culture: A Comparative Analysis of Human Rights and Religious Discourses in Iran and Nigeria
    Rochelle Terman & Mufuliat FijabiSince stoning is implemented differently in different contexts, this paper presents two case studies – Iran and Nigeria – in order to examine the issue in a comparative perspective. These case studies detail the specific ways in which stoning arises, as well as how local activists work to eliminate stoning in their own countries. We conclude with specific recommendations to policy makers and civil society.
  • Criminalizing Sexuality: Zina laws as Violence against Women in Muslim Contexts
    Ziba Mir HosseiniThis paper shows how zina laws and the criminalization of consensual sexual activity can also be challenged from within Islamic legal tradition. Far from mutually opposed, approaches from Islamic studies, feminism and human rights perspectives can be mutually reinforcing, particularly in mounting an eff ective campaign against revived zina laws. By exploring the intersections between religion, culture and law that legitimate violence in the regulation of sexuality, the paper aims to contribute to the development of a contextual and integrated approach to the abolition of zina laws, thereby broadening the scope of the debate over concepts and strategies of the SKSW Campaign.

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

Our Key Messages:

  • Culturally-justified violence against women and all its manifestations cannot be condoned and tolerated , whenever and wherever they occur.
    Both State and non-state actors are increasingly using culture to ‘justify’ carrying out violence against women. When these acts are given legitimacy, whether at the international or regional levels, it promotes the idea that there is an inherent cultural right to execute violence amongst certain communities. This is patently unacceptable and must be rejected. When such conservative forces claim ownership over an ‘authentic’ interpretation of culture, tradition and/or religion, women are not only told to accept violence, they are denied the fulfillment of their potential as equal and active contributors to the development and production of culture.
  • Human rights are universal, indivisible, and inalienable to each and every person
    States are accountable to their existing obligations under international law to prevent, investigate, punish and redress all acts of violence against women, whether in peacetime or armed conflict, regardless of whether the perpetrators are State or non-State actors. We are calling for the repeal of all national-level laws that facilitate or condone harmful acts against women for alleged sexual and moral transgressions as a critical step without which women subject to gender-based violence have little or no legal recourse.
  • Ending discrimination against women is the ultimate solution to culturally-justified violence against women
    Patriarchal interpretations of cultural norms and traditions including religious texts in many societies which promote a mind-set which claims women’s bodies and sexuality as the prerogative of her male family and/or community members still abound. Women who do not conform to prescribed norms, especially those related to her sexuality, are ostracised and and subjected to brutal, cruel and sadistic reprisals by members of her own family and community. The Campaign actively promotes the importance of evolving a more gender-equitable, rights-based value systems.
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