Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
Thoraya
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Bangladesh
Colombia
Ghana
Kenya
Mauritania
Mexico
Morocco
Romania
Sierra Leone
Turkey

Laying the groundwork

People & Change
Local Context
Hard Data
Cultural Values

Starting off right
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects



Identify and build upon positive cultural values
When dealing with culturally sensitive issues, one should never assume that all customs and traditions are harmful. Indeed, many traditions are positive and can be used as powerful levers for change. In Bangladesh, for example, the age-old practice of consulting with village elders was cultivated as a means to challenge violence against women. The chairman of the Union Council in Baragachha, Bangladesh, says he uses traditional religious precepts to influence abusive husbands who are also devout. He reminds such men of the respect accorded to mothers in the Koranthat Paradise lies under the feet of the motherand that the women they have just beaten are the mothers of their own children. He reports that this has been an effective message in encouraging behaviour change among men in his community.

 



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