What are Traditional and cultural practices Causing violence against women?

 “What are Traditional and cultural practices Causing violence against women?”


Women are particularly vulnerable to certain crimes as a result of certain societal structures, traditions, prejudices, and opinions about their role in society. Fundamentalist groups frequently focus on women’s control, utilising cultural grounds to oppose women’s rights. Furthermore, the majority of women in developing countries are ignorant of their basic human rights. This condition of ignorance promotes their acceptance and, as a result, the preservation of detrimental traditional practices that affect their own and their children’s well-being.

Although all abuses of women’s and girls’ rights can be classified as harmful practices, some community members support specific types of violence against women and girls based on tradition, culture, religion, or superstition. These are commonly referred to as “harmful traditional practices.” These are frequently carried out without the girl's or woman's knowledge or consent, and thus constitute a violation of human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Harmful traditional practices, like all types of violence against women and girls, are produced by gender inequality, which includes unequal power relations between men and women, rigid gender roles, norms, and hierarchies, and assigning women a lower social standing.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 24(3)), CEDAW (Articles 2, 5, and 16), and regional instruments mention such harmful practices. Acid violence, breast flattening, cosmetic mutilation, dowry and bride price, early/forced marriage and marriage by abduction/rape, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), ‘honour’ crimes, corrective rape, and female infanticide, ritual sexual slavery, virginity testing, practises related to initiation or menstruation, some widowhood rituals, and accusations of witchcraft levied against older women are all examples of violence against women

Traditional practices that are harmful are the result of social conventions that try to maintain cultural views about gender roles and social relationships. Many of these activities, such as acid violence and sex-selective abortion, have just recently become prevalent, but they may be deemed detrimental to traditional practices because they are based on and supported by such ideals. Where such traditions remain, individuals may be subjected to negative social consequences if the harmful traditional behaviour is not followed.

These behaviours are frequently carried out without the consent of the women involved, and as a result, women are frequently complicit in the perpetuation of violence.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the removal of the external female genitalia in part or whole for non-medical reasons. It obstructs the body’s normal functions and has no proven health advantages.

FGM is most commonly performed on young girls, ranging in age from infants to adolescents as old as 15 years old. Adult women are occasionally subjected to the procedure. Female genital mutilation is performed in at least 28 African countries, according to the WHO, with the Sahel and Horn of Africa being the most prevalent. It is widely practised in Egypt and to a lesser extent in Yemen in the Middle East and North Africa. Oman, Jordan, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories have all reported it. FGM is thought to be practised in several parts of Asia, particularly in Malaysian and Indonesian cultures. FGM has been recorded in migrant groups across the globe, including North America, Europe, and Australia.

It is done for a variety of socio-cultural reasons. Those that practise it frequently point out that it is founded in local culture and has been passed down through the generations. It can serve as a symbol of cultural identity, creating a powerful drive to continue the practice, particularly if a society is under pressure or threat. Other cultural elements originate from gender inequality in civilizations where women are viewed as the guardians of family honour. In these circumstances, it may be assumed that young girls’ sexual impulses must be stifled in order to keep their virginity and avoid immorality. In certain cultures, the practice is viewed as important for maintaining marital fidelity and preventing “deviant” sexual behavior.

Early and Forced Marriage

In recent decades, the age at which females should marry has been a difficult issue in many countries. Children were rarely consulted in societies where marriage was considered the prerogative of families, and the age of marriage, or at least of betrothal, was likely to be relatively young before children could assert their own decision.

This practice has been widely adopted across continents and in many parts of the globe. The practice of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, frequently with their parents’ cooperation, is known as ukuthwala in South Africa.

It is also practised in other African countries, such as Niger and Madagascar. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India are the major Asian countries that have been doing so from the dawn of time. In Britain, where parts of the British Pakistani community practise forced marriage due to considerations such as family pride, social responsibility, and parental wishes, forced marriage is also used as a strategy to get citizenship.

Early and forced marriages have a variety of causes that are complicated, interconnected, and reliant on individual circumstances and context. Because of societal and cultural customs, attitudes, and beliefs that deny them their rights and restrict their capacity to play an equal role in their homes and communities, women and girls often have a lesser position in society. Marriage is thought to protect against ‘immoral’ or ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. Another aspect is poverty, where girls are generally considered as liabilities in low-income families. The failure to enforce laws is another key factor.

Female infanticide and foeticide

Female feticide is defined as “the identification and abortion of a female foetus due to a preference for male babies and the low value associated with female birth.”

All throughout the world, women are murdered. The Indian census has traditionally exhibited a gender imbalance, with 93 women for every 100 men in India, and 94 for every 100 men in Bangladesh and Afghanistan. This discrepancy is mostly due to female foeticide (selective termination of female foetuses) and infanticide.

Raising a female child is simply more expensive than raising a male child because the female child requires a dowry upon marriage. Sons are preferred in South Korea, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Mexico, Taiwan, and China, according to studies. The reason given in India is that families prefer boys to daughters because boys provide security to their elderly parents.

Honour killings

An honour killing (also known as a customary killing) is the killing of a family or social group member by other members based on the perpetrators’ (and potentially the wider society’s) belief that the victim has brought discredit to the family or community. Women and girls are the primary targets of honour killings.

Mostly practised in places in the Middle East where terrible incidents have become public awareness. More than half of all honour killings occur in countries like Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and others. Pakistan (Karo-Kari) and Afghanistan are two countries that practice stoning. Honour killings have been reported in northern India, primarily in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, as a result of persons marrying outside their caste or religion, or for marrying without their family’s approval.


In developing countries, most women are uninformed of their basic human rights. This condition of ignorance insures their acceptance—and, as a result, the continuation of detrimental traditional practices that affect their well-being and the well-being of their children. Even when women have a basic understanding of economic and political issues, they frequently feel powerless to affect the required changes to abolish gender inequity. Women’s empowerment is critical to any transformation process and the abolition of these detrimental traditional practices.

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