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Controlling womens sexuality, sustaining dominant culture(s), legitimising gender-based violence: the case for due diligence

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that accountability using the due diligence standard is a way to make clear that governments are responsible to address and prevent gender-based violence perpetrated in the name of culture, and violence that takes place in the context of family and community. This is particularly important since culture is often used to justify violence against women. The chapter emphasises the persistent use of violence to control womens (and mens) sexuality, and the brutal reprisals meted out to gender transgressors and sexual outlaws. A growing accumulation of human rights documentation confirms the devastation that patrolling the boundaries of culture has wrought, especially but not solely, on women. Gender-based violence is culturally (i.e., geographically, temporally and locationally) specific, but the standards to guide governments in acting with due diligence and their duty to address gender-based violence is encompassed by the universality of human rights.

Keywords: control womens sexuality; gender-based violence; human rights



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