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Ending Violence against Women: Has Your Government made progress toward keeping its commitments?
an article by Helen Raisz

I attended both the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, and the Beijing + 5 meeting at the United Nations in New York City in 2000. The rhetoric was eloquent, but do the deeds match up to the words?

At the Beijing Conference, governments supported the Beijing Platform for Action and during the Beijing +5 meeting, they renewed this commitment.

The five main commitments include:

1) review and revise legislation to ensure that all women and girls are protected against all forms of violence and are provided recourse to justice.

2) undertake research to develop a better understanding of the root causes of violence against women.

3) promote a holistic approach to respond to all forms of violence and abuse.

4) address the root factors that encourage trafficking in women and girls for prostitution, forced marriages and forced labor.

5) set up a national coordinating mechanism including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to encourage exchange of information related to violence against women of all ages.

End-Violence Moderators ask you to answer 6 key questions, and forward the answers by e-mail to This is sponsored by UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

Look at the actions of your government.

1) Do you believe your government has fulfilled its international obligations to end Violence Against Women (VAW)

2) What steps has your government taken?

3) How successful have the actions been?

4) Is there a special government agency which focuses its attention on violence against women?

5) What steps are NGO's taking to pressure governments to fulfill their international commitments?

6) How successful have the NGO's been?

Archives of previous End-violence messages can be found at the Global Learning Group website.


Question(s) related to this article:

How to stop violence against children,

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

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Hi!  I agree with most of what you say below. By am confused by what you say here :

"The value of the ritual must be honored but it's expresstion must be changed to one which is  symbolical the same without any harm to the initates.  The group must be allowed to develop this change to the ritual and the members must feel positive about themselves as a result of this change."

IMO, if the reason for the ritual is to control and hurt others, which most rituals are for in these situations, it might be better to not perform the ritual at all. But please feel free to post and clarify what you said if I misunderstood it. Thanks.


Ritual abuse as part of cultural practice is very difficult to dimish without tampering with the culture as a whole. I know from working in social work with abused children in the US that all ritual abuse is culturally related. The adult prepentrator is encouraged by his ties to the group to met their expectations and feels justified by that group's consenus.

Not only the individuals but the group need to see themselves and the role of parenting/ caring of the young differently. . ...more.

This report was posted on May 4, 2002.