Saturday, October 6, 2012

Read On! Gender-related Killing of Women

IntLawGrrls readers will be interested in reviewing and citing a recent report by Rashida Manjoo, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences.  This report, released in May, addresses a pervasive problem—the killing of women and girls because of their gender.  The problem is to be found everywhere in the world, but it is still masked because it has become normalized as an “ordinary” aspect of crime, war, poverty, or culture.  Consider the daily news: “domestic” killings, “honor” killings, killings of women who work in maquiladoras, killings of sex workers, killings of women and children in villages and refugee camps while men are gone to war, killings of women who violate norms of dress or appearance, killings of women with disabilities, killings of lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women, gender-based killings of women as a weapon of war and armed conflict, hate crime killings of women from different racial, religion, or ethnic groups, and killings of women who are political activists or human rights advocates.
Some have come to call such violence “femicide,” “gendercide,” or “hate crimes against women,” but, no matter the name, it is responsible for a major percentage of violence internationally and domestically.
According to this thematic report by Manjoo (pictured at top):
'Rather than a new form of violence, gender-related killings are the extreme manifestation of existing forms of violence against women. Such killings are not isolated incidents that arise suddenly and unexpectedly, but represent the ultimate act of violence which is experienced in a continuum of violence. Women subjected to continuous violence and living under conditions of gender-based discrimination and threat are always on death row, always in fear of execution.'
Globally, the prevalence of different manifestations of gender-related killings is reaching alarming proportions. Culturally and socially embedded, these manifestations continue to be accepted, tolerated or justified—with impunity as the norm. States‘ responsibility to act with due diligence in the promotion and protection of women‘s rights is largely lacking as regards the killing of women.

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