Religion, Culture and Tradition: No Excuse for Violence


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This brief from the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) provides the human rights-based response to arguments that employ religion, culture, and tradition as justifications for gender-based discrimination and violence.  The brief revolves around five main points:

  • All human rights are universal and interrelated.
  • Invocations of culture, religion and tradition can never justify violations of human rights.
  • States have an obligation to abolish any laws, customs or practices that discriminate against women.
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief.
  • Cultural diversity can only be protected when human rights are upheld.
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