last updated November 2014
In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org.
The legislative preamble sets the stage for the entire piece of legislation. The following elements are important to a strong and inclusive legislative preamble regarding violence against women and specifically the maltreatment of widows:
IT acknowledges that the root cause of violence against women is the subordinate status of women in society. (See: Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), CEDAW, General Recommendation 12, General Recommendation 19, UN Secretary-General’s study on violence against women, Other Causes and Complicating Factors; The International Legal Framework, Stop VAW, Advocates for Human Rights);
IT defines discrimination against women. (See: United Nations Handbook for legislation against women, 3.1.1)
IT protects all women, with specific protections for populations such as widows. (See: United Nations Handbook for legislation against women, 3.1.3 and 3.4.1)
IT excludes customary or religious justifications for the maltreatment of widows. United Nations Handbook for legislation against women, 3.1.5; the Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, a framework for model legislation on domestic violence, 1996, E/CN.4/1996/53/Add.2.
IT states that the main principles of the legislation are to promote safety for the complainant/survivor and accountability for the perpetrator. (See: Drafting Domestic Violence Laws; United Nations Model Legislation, Stop VAW, Advocates for Human Rights)
IT states that everyone is entitled to equal rights and responsibilities as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (See: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 23 (hereinafter ICCPR) and CEDAW, Article 16)
IT states that parents, regardless of their marital status, share equal rights and responsibilities, in matters relating to their children. (See: CEDAW, Article 16)
IT states that everyone is entitled to equality before the laws and in civil matters, and it states that women are entitled to equality with men in inheritance and property matters. (See: CEDAW, Article 16)
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