United Nations Releases "Good Practices in Legislation on 'Harmful Practices' Against Women"
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:55 PM

20 January 2010


Good practices in legislation on "harmful practices" against women, a report of the expert group meeting organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has been released.


The expert group convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 25 to 28 May, 2009, to produce a supplement to the 2008 report on Good practices in legislation on violence against women, which established a model framework for legislation on violence against women with particular attention to sexual and domestic violence. The purpose of this meeting was to further develop the framework by including specific recommendations on harmful practices against women, such as female genital mutilation, female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, forced marriage, and dowry-related violence.


Although harmful practices against women have been addressed by the United Nations for many years, national legislative responses have varied. While some States have chosen to go beyond the criminalization of these forms of violence against women to incorporate prevention and support measures for victims, most responses remain inadequate. The United Nation’s Secretary-General’s 2006 in-depth study on all forms of violence against women reported that many countries still do not legally prohibit early or forced marriage and provide inadequate penalties for crimes of violence against women.


Compiled from: Good Practices in Legislation on ‘Harmful Practices’ Against Women,” United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women (2009) (PDF, 45 pages).