Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Sierra Leone

Laying the groundwork

Starting off right
Rights-Based Approach
Involve Community
Targeting men
Entry points
Legislative Action
Local organizations
Power strutctures
Personal involment
Values vc. Practice
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects

Follow legislative action with advocacy
An effective legal framework is a precondition for ending violence against women. It enables government to generate the policies and protocols needed to ensure a coordinated approach to solving the problem. Moreover, it gives legitimacy to a project and provides an incentive for local government involvement. But in many countries, from Mexico to Mauritania and from Turkey to Bangladesh, laws to protect women victims of violence are not enforced. The underlying attitude seems to be that the victims are somehow to blame, and the perpetrator should go unpunished. Awareness-raising, advocacy, follow-up on cases and other efforts are needed to end impunity for perpetrators. In Morocco, a law governing marriage and the family, known as Al Mudawwana, was amended to give womenmoreequalrightswithmen.Changesinthelaw, which were highly controversial, are being accompanied by the training of justice officials to implement them and awareness campaigns to inform the local population about their rights. In Bangladesh, a grass-roots approach to advocacy and awareness-raising was needed before new laws could be enforced. At the same time, sensitization efforts were targeted to policy makers and other opinion leaders.


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