Gender based violence and culture

28 Oct

In feminist and gender studies spaces, the advancement of women’s rights internationally often seems to be pitted against cultural relativism. Those advocating for women are accused of cultural imperialism or neocolonialism, while those defending traditional cultures are accused of turning a blind eye to harmful patriarchal structures. Gender Across Borders has just launched a series it is hosting, along with Violence Is Not Our Culture, entitled Culture and Human Rights: Challenging Cultural Excuses for Gender-Based Violence. This series explores the tension between these two positions with clarity and nuance. The pieces are linked to below.

Please be aware that these articles contain discussions about physical and sexual violence.

Street Culture

What’s wrong with this picture? That depends on your perspective. The problem or lack of problem with this piece is not the work itself or the artist. The problem is with the viewer or with a particular viewer. The problem is when we participate in a culture that says there is something wrong with a scantily clad woman who smokes…

The space between culture and women’s rights

As a woman who grew up in Arab culture, studied and worked in societies governed by Arab values and customs, and later lived, studied and worked in Western culture, before returning to an Arab country, I’ve been left with two fundamental questions: what is Arab culture? And why are women oppressed in this culture?

Remembering Eudy

*MASSIVE trigger warning – extreme lesbophobic sexual/physical violence*

“It makes me want to go back into the closet,” Sandra tells me as we lie in bed together, the lights dimmed. “Why should I tell anyone…”

Conquering Culture and Creating Change: A Grassroots Level View from Morocco

For the past ten years, we have worked in Morocco for gender equality recognition both in law and in Moroccan society. During this time we have traveled throughout the Northern African state and we have heard countless stories of abuse. But there is one story that stayed with us…

No Excuse: Cultural Makeover Time

There is one in every workshop.
A male, usually, worryingly young, who crosses his arms, raises an eyebrow and speaks up. “What you call family violence, this is part of our culture. This is something we’ve always done.” Normally, after, there is a deafening silence as all eyes look to the front, awaiting an answer…


One Response to “Gender based violence and culture”


  1. Unlike Charlie, Women Aren’t Exactly “Winning!” Quite Yet « Uniting Western Notions with the Eastern World - November 5, 2011

    […] Gender based violence and culture ( Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this post. Tags: Arab world, Egypt, Feminism, microfinance, Middle East, Newsweek, Politics, Sharia, United States, Women, Women's rights Comments RSS feed […]

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