No Justice in Justifications: Violence against Women in the Name of Culture, Religion and Tradition


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Violence is Not our Culture Campaign

This briefing presents a survey of culturally justified violence against women, including how violence against women is justified by ‘culture’, the different forms this violence can take, and recommendations for change. The SKSW Campaign is undertaking projects on ‘culture’, women and violence, with partners in Senegal, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, and Sudan.

This briefing paper will therefore give a general overview of discourses on culture, tradition, and/or religion that are used to justify, and therefore perpetuate, specic manifestations of VAW in these 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.

Author: Shaina Greiff

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